The vast majority of rolls can be easily identified by certain features. Some rather rare types of roles pose puzzles at first - and require closer examination. The overview with the measurements in the title picture already gives some hints. In other articles we show most of the role types that can still be found today in detail.
Even for the layman, it is easy to find out what type of music roll is involved. The paper width and the roll edges are - besides the labeling of the roll - the most important information. Not always is in the music roll boxes what is written on it. Already during the manufacturing process, rolls were provided with other labels. And in collections, rolls were occasionally placed in the wrong boxes. So it is always advisable to check the roll itself, not just the boxes.
In Germany today, the standard music rolls of the manufacturers Hupfeld, Philipps, SM, Aeolian and others predominate. Reproduction reels are found only very rarely. Each manufacturer has solved the construction style of the music rolls individually - also here it was not only a matter of trying to find unique selling points but also of circumventing existing patents. The reels differed in practically all aspects, i.e. paper selection and processing, choice of spool core and flanks, design of the start of the reel, punching die (hole diameter from 1.5mm for DUCA to 2.7mm for DEA), paper width, cardboard design and labelling etc.
There were a large number of music roll manufacturers, as this was a very lucrative business for a while. In addition, some instrument manufacturers sold the music rolls of certain manufacturers under their own brand name (e.g. Broadwood rolls based on Aeolian or Hupfeld), and Hupfeld has a large number of roll type variations for the various products such as Clavitist, Phonoliszt, Universal etc. etc. Every music roll is worth preserving - even if it does not fetch a significant price in monetary terms.
If you have rolls of music to offer or know of rolls for sale, we would be pleased to hear from you.