Gadget of the Week: the world’s most extraordinary orchestra
This ‘music box’ houses probably the most unusual orchestra in the world. Seventeen musical instruments all fitted in a hand-finished oak case, operated by means of a precisely calibrated system of pneumatics. The system plucks, strums, and plays drums. Along with a bass and a snare drum, twelve additional percussion instruments feature in the jukebox, including bongos, agogos, woodblocks, a tambourine, maracas, and a cow bell, along with three types of cymbal (ride, crash, and splash). The rhythm section is supported by a bass synthesiser that ensures the low notes get their due. A full-sized guitar and a banjo see to the melody and harmonies.
The wooden jukebox isn’t just home to a small orchestra – it also houses the latest in digital technology. The ‘box’ holds 13,000 MIDI, MP3 and karaoke songs, which can be selected via a 15” touchscreen. Audiophile music lovers can take their pick of songs from ten music categories, including big band, rock, blues, jazz, bluegrass, and children’s songs. Choices include classics like “A Hard Day’s Night” and “99 Luftballons”.
The price point for this eccentric jukebox? $54,000 (around £36,000).