Museum for Music Automatons

Seewen

The museum for music automatons in Seewen exhibits over 600 music boxes, organs for use at amusement parks and carnivals, and orchestrions. The previously private collection, which was opened to the public in 1990, is of international significance and the largest of its kind in Switzerland.

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A small mechanical figure makes music as if driven by a ghostly hand, and in the lobby the carnival organ begins to play on its own every hour: this is the Museum for Music Automatons in the Solothurn Jura Mountains. Over 600 mechanical music automatons and a total of several thousand parts such as reels and cylinders made in Switzerland, Europe and the United States are on exhibit here. Heinrich Weiss, the collector, gathered the music boxes, carnival organs, barrel organs, orchestrions and mechanical pianos dating to the time between 1750 and 1940, and gave them to the public in 1990.

Today, restoration studios and a special library on music automatons make the museum a center of knowledge for mechanical music.

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