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Chickering & Sons

AMPICO
GRAND PLAYER

1924

Ampico Grand Player
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Ampico Grand Player

The insufficient recording qualities of the phonograph initiated the so-called Ampico system, a piano that would reproduce high-quality recordings of renowned pianists.

125 ROLLS
1 PLAYER PIANO
88 KEYS
391”7 x 551”2 x 626

Chickering & Sons
New York, U.S.
North-America

Manufacturer

American Piano Company (acronym: Ampico) was an American piano manufacturer eventually located in East Rochester, New York. The company was formed after a merger of Chickering & Sons and other companies. It was formed in response to the increasing demand for player pianos, as well as to the then current impetus towards larger economic entities and aimed at the achievement of economies of scale.

A great number of distinguished classical and popular pianists, such as Sergei Rachmaninoff, Leo Ornstein, Winifred MacBride, and Marguerite Volavy recorded for Ampico. These rolls are a legacy of 19th and early 20th century aesthetic and musical practice.

sources
Chickering pianos in Washington, 1838-1852
Chickering pianos in Washington, 1838-1852

Some
Sunny day

played by Edgar Fairchild

play

technique

The Chickering Ampico Style 58 Grand Player Piano features the unique Ampico system, adopted by the American Piano Company in 1913.

This mechanism would strike each note with varied intensity and speed and thus was capable of high quality reproductions. Only the piano rolls would be visible from the outside and were installed beneath the keyboard for aesthetic reasons.

Famous composer and pianist Sergei Rachmaninov insisted on working with Ampico exclusively. He had a very particular preference for this special technique as it would guarantee the best possible reproduction of his performances at the time.

sources
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Chickering & Sons Ampico Grand Player Piano
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Ampico Grand Player Piano
1924