MBSI is the premier organization for people interested in antique and contemporary mechanical music. If you want to find out the history of the family music box, rebuild that old Player Piano, find new discs for your Regina disc music box or understand why those 78 RPM records won’t play on an Edison Diamond Disc phonograph, then MBSI is the place for you to start a wonderful journey into the magic of mechanical music. Along the way you will see and hear instruments of unimaginable beauty, complexity and musical ability. You will also meet people of all ages who love the fun and relaxation of sharing these instruments and their music. Don’t let the name “Musical Box Society International” mislead you.
What started out as focused on Music Boxes has grown to include orchestrions, bird boxes, crank phonographs, automatic organs, nickelodeons and all other forms of mechanically played musical instruments. MBSI is a “user group”, a “swap meet”, an educational organization, a preservation group and a club all in one.
Whether you currently own mechanical music or just find the topic intriguing – MBSI Welcomes you!
Join MBSI Today and start receiving these member benefits:
- ONLINE DIRECTORY: Connect members with similar interests or who live near you with the MBSI searchable on line directory.
- WORKSHOP VIDEOS: View on demand over 100 online workshop videos from our annual conferences. These workshops demonstrate repair techniques, reveal lost history, explain how the instruments work, highlight new MIDI applications and show performances of rare instruments.
- ARTICLE DATABASE: Search the database of 50+ years of article from “Mechanical Music” – the Journal of MBSI. Here you will find detailed rebuild and restoration techniques, manufacturer’s histories, tune sheets, techniques for musical arrangement and an unbelievable amount of other information about all types of mechanical music.
- LENDING LIBRARY: Borrow rare or out of print books about music machines and music arranging from the MBSI lending library. Many of these books are hard to find. Others are quite expensive. The MBSI lending library allow all members to read and enjoy them.
- LOCAL CHAPTERS: MBSI has 12 local chapters which meet several times a year to swap parts, show off instruments, visit member collections and share experiences. Seeing and hearing these instruments in person are amazing and inspiring. The people you meet at chapter meetings are great sources of advice and frequently become lifelong friends. Click here to read more about MBSI’s local chapters.
- MECHANICAL MUSIC – The MBSI Journal: The journal is full of information, mechanical music news and sources for instruments, rolls, discs, etc. It is published 6 times annually. Click here to read more about this great publication.
ADDITIONAL MEMBERSHIP INFORMATION
A membership includes up to two adults and immediate family living in one household. New members receive the Directory of Members, Museums and Dealers, a Goods and Services order form, Lending Library list, and regional chapter information.
Student membership is offered to men or women who are actively engaged in pursuit of an Associate Degree, Bachelor Degree, or Master’s Degree in any subject at a recognized, not for profit, College, University, Institute or Conservatory. Student member will receive an electronic copy of our publications (Journal and Directory), email communications from the International Order governance, will be included in a “Student” section of our Directory, an electronic Goods and Services order form, Lending Library list, and regional chapter information.
Who can join?
Membership is open to everyone who shares an interest in the preservation and enjoyment of automatic musical instruments.
Members are people who own instruments, or people who just like to learn about the design, history, or mechanics of automatic and mechanical music machines. Some members joined because they had an instrument that needed repair. Others joined to find out the value of a family heirloom. Many members are just fascinated with the examples of a bygone era where art and music, ingenuity and craftsmanship were blended into beautiful artifacts which could play music in private homes.
When you join MBSI, you will be able to make contact with professional and amateur specialists who can provide help, advice, and information on almost anything pertaining to mechanical music. There is nothing like standing next to a fellow enthusiast who can give you personal and accurate advice.
We hope to welcome you as a member of MBSI and that we can help you learn about and enjoy one of the most fascinating and satisfying hobbies ever to exist.
You don’t need a collection to join.