dance organ

Self-contained player pipe organ, usually with an ornate facade, used in dance halls, cafés and other locations, especially in Belgium and Holland. Softly voiced (in comparison to band organs). Distinguished by the strongly accented rhythm of their music; the short and powerful chords of the accompaniment pipes maintain the dance rhythm. Usually of large size (8′ to 20′ or more in width) and fitted with a key frame system for playing cardboard music books, or a tracker bar for playing paper rolls. Later models (after about 1930) have novelty percussion, accordions, and other instruments prominently displayed on the facades. Made by Bursens, Decap, Mortier, and others. Some later models use electronic tone generators instead of organ pipes. * Synonym for small dance organ: café organ.