music boxes, victrolas, and hurdy-gurdies

we've just finished a whirlwind-around-the-country-tour with my family, who have now made it back to the states. one of the stops was the antique music box museum in the artist colony of ein hod.

there are lots of photos of the museum online, including youtube videos of nisan cohen, the quirky owner, in action (see below).

Also, take a look at this blog posting, from someone else's trip there:
Clad in shorts, sandals and a French beret, our guide and the museum founder, Nisan Cohen, welcomed us with good humor and warmth as he opened our eyes…and ears… to the musical aspect of a unique period in Western history – the industrial revolution. He took us back in time as we gathered around a 140yr old box anticipating the opening of its handcrafted wood top as if it were a treasure. We were not far off. Nisan explained that when he first came across these amazing inventions over 40 years ago, he knew right away this was something he wanted to collect. During his travels as a documentary film maker for CBS and NBC based in New York, he was able to find scores of these musical gems dating as far back as 1863. When he lifted the silky smooth cover of the first item on the tour, we saw inside a creation so inspired, so unique that it changed the path of music forever. Nisan explained how the nubs on the moving spool pluck at the tiny piano-like prongs to create the delicate sounds of Vivaldi, Bach, Beethoven etc. This magical mechanical music box meant that for the first time in the history of the planet one could listen to music without being within hearing range of a live singer or musician.
the first recording of hatikvah, with the original lyrics of the poem written by naftali herz imber:

an antique music box:

playing the hurdy-gurdy barrel organ:

another old music box (which we didn't see):

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