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Keaton Music Typewriter

A rare music typewriter that was patented in 1936, there are only about twelve Keatons known to be in existence. This one is going for $6000, which puts it out of my league! It was marketed in the 1950s and sold for around $225. The Keaton music typewriter was intended to make it easier for publishers, educators, and other musicians to produce music copies in quantity. Composers, however, preferred to write the music out by hand.

Amusingly, when I first started using computers for algorithmic composition, back in the 80s, I tried using a daisy-wheel printer (a kind of automatic typewriter that predates the inkjets and laser printers we use now), to produce printed sheet music, using the ‘@’ symbol for solid note heads, and ‘O’ for half notes and whole notes, etc. The music I produced this way was essentially unreadable. A Keaton music typewriter wouldn’t have done me much good, but a Keaton music typewriter and a robot to operate it would have been awesome!

Got six grand? Here’s the link.

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