barrel organ

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barrel organ. Popular misusage has conferred this term on the street piano. The real barrel org., formerly used in churches, was a genuine automatic pipe-org. in which projections on a hand-rotated barrel brought the required notes into play. It was restricted to a no. of predetermined tunes, like a musical box.

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bar·rel or·gan • n. a mechanical musical instrument from which predetermined music is produced by turning a handle, played, esp. in former times, by street musicians.

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