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Musical Instruments and Sheet Music

Bringing their musical traditions and instruments with them, local pioneers continued to enjoy and practice music, in all its forms. Despite North Queensland’s extreme climatic conditions, they managed to preserve their instruments and sheet music – some of these are on display here.

Estey Organ

This organ is an Estey Organ made in Brailleboro, UT USA Pahling & Co. Ltd. Aust. c.1900s. It was used in the Hubinger family home for many years. 

 

Piano
This wooden veneer Waldemar piano was made in Berlin, c.1920s. It was owned by the pianist who played at the dances in this hall when it served the community in many ways.

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This included: weekly dances with supper provided; concerts; school functions; debutante balls; wedding receptions; every local bride was honoured with a kitchen tea evening from the community; end of year School of Dancing children’s concerts and travelling musical and varied shows.

 

Items on the piano
Boxes of Pop’s Ballroom Floor Dressing
Pop’s Ballroom Floor Dressing conditioned the floor, and enabled dancers to glide across the dancefloor to perform the Waltz, Foxtrot, Quickstep, Gypsy Tap, Pride of Erin, Progressive Barn Dance, and others. Of course in the late 50’s/60’s, new dances included Square Dancing and sensational dances like the Jive and Rock n Roll.  

Sheet Music 
The sheet music on display was used by pianists and consists of many genres dating from different eras. The oldest in this collection belonged  to Florence Wilson and dates from 1888 to 1898.  

 

Cylinder phonograph
On display is a Thomas A. Edison wax cylinder phonograph and 5 wax cylinders, c.1900s. These are the earliest commercial medium for recording and reproducing sound. The cylinders have an audio recording engraved on the outside wax surface which can be reproduced when they are played on a phonograph.                 

 

Other instruments include:
•    
A Star Button Accordion
•    Concertina Accordions 96183 and 97184

•    A well-used Universal Accordion
•    A Banjolele – a cross between a Banjo and a Ukulele made famous by WW11 era comedian George Formby
•    A portable electric National Brand Reel to Reel Tape Recorder c.1970s. (These were used before cassette tapes to record music, memories, stories and important events. These tape recorders revolutionized how people listened to music whilst socializing with friends and families. The speed of the tape was measured in inches per second (ips) (this model was 3 ¾ ips).
•    A Sanyo Solid State Phonograph (Portable Record Player) c.1960s and 45, 78 and 33rpms records

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