Sales Message Goes Here


Fairground Organ Music

A fairground organ is a pipe organ designed for use in a commercial public fairground setting to provide loud music to accompany fairground rides and attractions. Unlike organs intended for indoor use, they are designed to produce a large volume of sound to be heard over and above the noise of crowds of people and fairground machinery.

As fairgrounds became more mechanised at the end of the nineteenth century so did their musical needs grow. The period of greatest activity of fairground organ manufacture and development is from the later 1880s through to the introduction of effective electrical sound amplification in the mid-1920s. The organ chassis was typically provided with an ornate and florid decorative case fašade designed to be a further fairground attraction in its own right as with all fairground equipment.

The ornate case fašades frequently had different instruments such as a Glockenspiel or Drums that provide visual entertainment as they played. There were often ornate human figures such as a conductor whose arm moved in time to the music or women whose arms would strike bells. The mechanics to accomplish this motion were quite intricate and provided a pleasant visual experience in addition to the music.

The organs were constructed so as to be able to produce the popular music of the period. Organs were designed to mimic the musical capabilities of a typical human band. For this reason they are known as band organs in the US.

The motive force for a fairground organ is typically wind under pressure generated from mechanically powered sets of bellows mounted in the base of the instrument. The instruments, designed to be operated without a human performer, are keyboard-less apart from a few one-off examples. The organ is played mechanically by either a rotating barrel with the music pinned thereon like a musical box, a strip of card perforated with the musical data and registration controls called book music or interchangeable rolls of paper similarly programmed called music rolls.

Fairground organs were used in many settings such as general fairground rides, static side shows such as bioscope shows and various locations in amusements parks such as ice rinks and the like.

Manufacturers of fairground organs also typically made instruments for indoor usage in a dance hall called a dance organ and travelling street use called a street organ

Like all mechanical instruments fairground organs come in a vast array of sizes and technical specifications made by a myriad of manufacturers all of which had their own trademark characteristics. As with all vintage equipment there is a strong preservation movement associated with these instruments and today new instruments and music are still being made.




Manufacturer Product Image Item Name Price
UK Carl Frei - Concert Organ - Decca SKL.4741

Carl Frei - Concert Organ - Decca SKL.4741

R.3594 Carl Frei Concert  Organ   Decca  SKL 4741      MADE   IN  UK  1966 Disc  ...
€10.00

Buy Now
Max: 1
UK Carl Frei - Dubbeldik Street Organ - Amberlee AFL.103X

Carl Frei - Dubbeldik Street Organ - Amberlee AFL.103X

R.3608 Carl Frei  - 64 Key Dubbeldik Organ   Summertime Serenade Amberlee  AFL103X      MADE   IN ...
€10.00

Buy Now
Max: 1
UK Carousel Van Der Beeck - Come to the Fair - Decca ECS.2082

Carousel Van Der Beeck - Come to the Fair - Decca ECS.2082

R.3625  & 3636 Carousel Van Der Beeck   Come to the Fair Decca Eclipse ECS.2082      MADE   IN ...
€10.00

Buy Now
Max: 1
UK De Arabier - Street Organ Entertains - Contour 6870506

De Arabier - Street Organ Entertains - Contour 6870506

R.3598 De Arabier    Street Organ Entertains Contour Records   6870506      MADE   IN ...
€7.00

Buy Now
Max: 1
UK De Cap 121 Key Band Organ - Englands Pride - Joy JOYS.237

De Cap 121 Key Band Organ - Englands Pride - Joy JOYS.237

R.3617 De Cap 121 Key Band  Organ   Englands Pride Joy Records  JOYS.237      MADE   IN  UK ...
€15.00

Buy Now
Max: 1
UK De Cementmolen - Street Organ - AD-RHYTHM ARPS8000

De Cementmolen - Street Organ - AD-RHYTHM ARPS8000

R.3609 De Cementmolen   Street Organ  AD - RHYTHM  ARP - S8000      MADE   IN  UK  1971...
€15.00

Buy Now
Max: 1
UK De Kempenaer - Draaiorgle - Gemini GMX.5015

De Kempenaer - Draaiorgle - Gemini GMX.5015

R.3607 De Kempenaer  Organ   Draaiorgel Gemini  GMX5015      MADE   IN  UK  1969  ...
€10.00

Buy Now
Max: 1
UK De Turk - Operette op Draaiorgel - Basart INTPS59048

De Turk - Operette op Draaiorgel - Basart INTPS59048

R.3604 De Turk  Organ   Operette op Draaiorgel Basart  INTPS 59048      MADE   IN  UK  1973...
€10.00

Buy Now
Max: 1
UK Draaiorgel De Gouwe - Gemini GMX.5017

Draaiorgel De Gouwe - Gemini GMX.5017

R.3612 Draaiorgel de Gouwe   Gemini  GMX5017      MADE   IN  UK  1968   Disc  ...
€15.00

Buy Now
Max: 1
UK Draaiorgel De Sik - Street Organ - Decca ECS R.2075

Draaiorgel De Sik - Street Organ - Decca ECS R.2075

R.3634 Draaiorgel  De Sik   Music of the Street Organ Decca Eclipse ECS R.2075      MADE   IN  UK ...
€10.00

Buy Now
Max: 1

Copyright © 2017 Off The Record. Powered by Zen Cart