hand-played roll

A music roll that is created by a musician playing a keyboard. The keyboard is connected to a recording machine, which draws lines representing the perforations on blank paper as the musician plays. After the recording session, a hole is cut wherever a line occurs on the paper, creating a master roll. A skilled musician then edits the roll to make it sound as much like the artist’s original performance as possible. For the Mills Violano-Virtuoso, a high-speed perforator actually punched the rolls as the artists played the piano and violin parts on separate keyboards (after mid 1920). Generally, this method wasn’t accurate enough to capture the playing of the finest classical pianists for reproducing piano rolls, as the punches could not respond as quickly as a line-marking device could. * See also drawing board arrangement.