Resources for Noteurs (Band Organ Arrangers)
Arrangers of music for mechanical musical instruments are
sometimes referred to using the term "noteur." Noteur is probably
French word, although it's not in my mini-dictionary, but I
it first on Dutch websites.
This page is a
listing of sources for materials which I have found useful in my
self-directed apprenticeship as an amateur noteur.
Sources for Band Organ Scales
There is a great guide to small organ scales at http://www.mmdigest.com/Sounds/mueller3.html
Wurlitzer 125 Specification compiled by Robbie Rhodes http://www.mmdigest.com/Tech/Wur125/w125spec.html
Wurlitzer 165 Specification compiled by Robbie Rhodes http://www.mmdigest.com/Tech/W165spec.html
Wurlitzer APP & Caliola Scale courtesy Bill Black, Bob Fine,
Gellerman & Art Reblitz compiled by Robbie Rhodes
Gavioli 87 and 89 note scales - http://www.mmdigest.com/Tech/Scales/gaviolig.jpg
"Carl Frei 20er" 20-note crank-organ scale by Robbie Rhodes - http://www.mmdigest.com/Tech/20er_gamma.html
The FREE software packages Noteur, Notewalk and MIDIBoek can be
any mechanical instrument through the use of Gamma files. There
least 18 downloadable Gamma files on the website http://huizen.daxis.nl/~Ppaardekam/gammas.htm
file for John
note rolls can be downloaded
for Raffin 20
rolls can be downloaded
The best overal listing of traditional European scales is, I
the book Waldkirch Street and Fairground Organs by
Jüttemann, published by A.C. Pilmer in 2002.
I posted an inquiry on MMD (Mechanical Music Digest) asking
scales for current factory produced instruments by the Stinson
and Johnson Organ companies. I have receved no information on
organs, and the responses on Stinson organs indicates that
different arrangements have been used, with buyer's decisions
I've done most of the roll production for my John Smith Senior
the programs PhotoScore MIDI Lite, PowerTracks Pro, and MidiBoek.
also use Band-in-a-Box and Noteur on occasion.
PowerTracks Pro Audio is a MIDI editor distributed by PG Music.
pretty much a "full featured" editor, and includes many options.
Particulary useful is the "Piano Roll" display, in which you may
all notes of the same MIDI number. PowerTracks remains my primary
MIDIBoek does the "drafting" work of
template of a roll, or strip, as well as a lot of file
uses an organ scale in the form of a "Gamma File," in this
case a text
file of the scale description saved with a .GAM extension.
prints only those notes which lie within the instrument
lists those notes which do not fit. It is not an editor, but
for transpositions. You can download the MIDIBoek for
software and the editor Noteur from http://www.draaiorgelweb.nl
The authors of MIDIBoek distribute it for FREE! (MIDIBoek is a Windows only program. Mike
similar program which runs under Linux or UNIX.)
PhotoScore MIDI Lite 5
PhotoScore MIDI Lite 5, which takes relatively
simple sheet music scans and produces MIDI flies. It is priced at
There are other more sophisticated, powerful, and expensive
which do the same thing, but the Lite version meets my needs
Noteur is a very good editor designed specifically to meet the
mechanical music arrangers.
You can download Noteur from http://www.draaiorgelweb.nl The authors distribute it for FREE!
Band-in-a-Box might better be described as "Arranger-in-a-Box."
The user enters chords and a melody line into the program and
style. Then the program then generates a set of multiple
parts. FANTASTIC! I have done a couple of 60s tunes from the
song books sold for electronic keyboards with this program.
Band Organ (and related) MIDI Files for Download
A few of my 20er tunes are available for
download at My
Allen Pell sells 20 note MIDI files for about $20 each through his
Terry Smythe, of Winnipeg, Canada runs the large Archive of Player
Piano Music Rolls in Midi Format at http://members.shaw.ca/smythe/archive.htm
This has about 5300 .MID files of piano rolls
released before 1928. There are 153 Wurlitzer 150 band
organ tunes and 30 Wurlitzer 125 band
organ tunes on this site at
Robert Perry, in New Zealand, also has many piano roll scans. His
scan midi files may be downloaded individually from:
There is a small collection of circus music on Music Under the
Downloadable Sheet Music
A number of years ago the North Royalton Community Band (Ohio)
received a gift of a collection of band music scores. Rather than
store it in someone's basement, the NRCB took on the task of
through the mass of materials to catalog, arrange the library for
by the band, and scan the pages for storage as .PDF files. They
decided to post the portions of their collection for which
copyrights have expired on the web for use by others. They later
received two additional collections, and continue to expand the
The music on the web dates from late 19th to early 20th centuries.
all, the collection includes hundreds of band arrangements of
popular songs, patriotic songs, light classical music, and ethnic
dances. The BandMusic PDF Library contains musical gems from the
of Gilmore, Sousa, Pryor, Liberati, Goldman, Reeves and other
professional bands that were wildly popular in their day.
Music for the Nation
The Library of Congress has a large collection of sheet music
posted online as part of their record of the past. Music for
Nation: American Sheet Music, 1870-1885 consists of over 47,000
of sheet music registered for copyright during the years 1870 to
Included are popular songs, piano music, sacred and secular choral
music, solo instrumental music, method books and instructional
materials, and music for band and orchestra.
It is part of the Library's National Digital Library Program which
offers public access to a wide range of historical and cultural
documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning.
primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives,
beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress does not
the views expressed in these collections, which may contain
offensive to some readers.
IMSLP / Petrucci Music Library
The IMSLP / Petrucci Music Library is a Canadian website
containing over 78,000 scores and pieces of sheet music. Canadian
copyright law is somewhat different from US, UK and EU law, so
may be items posted here which are still restricted in other
University Library Collections
Several universities have established online collections of
If you live near a university of a large municipal library, you
check out their collections.
Melvyn Wright is primarily known as an arranger selling rolls
small organs. He also does custom punching in a variety of formats
including the John Smith 20 - 140 mm and standard or "Raffin" 20 -
mm, the 26 note - 110 mm, and the standard or "Raffin" 31 - 140mm.
for further information.