Aim of the project
Provide the public with legitimate non-commercial access to the collection of player piano rolls, a unique musical heritage of Lithuanian Americans, and ensure the preservation of this portable cultural heritage object by acquiring it and storing it at the Video and Audio Collection of the National Archive of Published Documents of Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania.
Tasks of the project
1. Acquire a unique collection (in original and digital format) of 70 Lithuanian player piano rolls, the largest of its kind in the world, from Prof. Darius Kučinskas.
2. Provide access to the collection at the National Library
3. Post digital records of the collection on the common Lithuanian cultural heritage portal www.epaveldas.lt.
4. Inform the society about the project and accessibility to the collection by organizing a dissemination event and by making the information available on the website www.lnb.lt and publishing it in the "Tarp knygų" (In the World of Books) magazine.
Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania
Canadian company Studio D Productions
Project coordinator within NLL (unit, department)
Project funding source, value (EUR)
Lithuanian Council for Culture (EUR 2,400), Canadian company Studio D Productions (EUR 600) – EUR 3,000
Introduction of the project
Lithuanian player piano records is a little known object of Lithuanian cultural heritage which is not included in the Lithuanian Bibliography Compendium and for a long period of time it was absent from both Lithuanian musicology and musical culture consciousness. The early 20th century saw rivalry between three sound capturing technologies: wax rolls, gramophone records and player pianos. The use of the latter was very simple and reproduced a great quality of sound, thus the production of piano rolls became an important part of the music business. These records were an important part of both the music life and, more broadly, national identity of Lithuanians who emigrated to the United States of America, with more than 300 player piano rolls produced for Lithuanian music. Musicologist Prof. D. Kučinskas has collected and digitized 70 player piano rolls produced during the period 1916–1930 featuring a variety of genres of Lithuanian music.