Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A portable barrel-organ, both the barrel and the bellows of which are worked by a hand-crank. By shifting the position of the barrel, different tunes may be played. The pipes are usually of two or three sets or stops: a diapason, a flute, and often a coarse-toned reed-stop.
“They could not make these out at first, but as they became louder our friends thought they heard a sort of music like that made by a wheezy hand-organ; the music fell upon their ears in this way:”
“Born approximately 1325 and blind from boyhood, it was in music that he sought comfort and bliss; he played numerous instruments, foremost the ‘organetto’, the small portable hand-organ which at that time was particularly popular for performing secular music.”
“He went reluctantly behind the curtain and soon reappeared carrying in his arms a small hand-organ, which he put down on the table with an air of deep dejection.”
“Very often he had heard by chance a piano, an unknown voice, even a hand-organ in the street playing some old air, which had suddenly made him feel twenty years younger, filling his breast with tender recollections, long buried.”
““Trovatore” and other old operas which the hand-organ and the music-box have made entirely familiar to my ear.”
“He pulled open the door, and there in front of him he saw a ragged little boy carrying a hand-organ on his back.”
“They started off together along the street, and on the way Heidi asked her companion what he was carrying on his back; it was a hand-organ, he told her, which played beautiful music when he turned the handle.”
“Then suddenly at one of the street corners she saw a boy standing, carrying a hand-organ on his back and a funny-looking animal on his arm.”
“In New Orleans, I was astounded at the strange phenomenon of a colored hand-organ grinder.”
“At the far end of the scriptorium range in the cloister, under the south wall of the church, Brother Anselm the precentor was trying out a chant on his small hand-organ, a sequence of a half-dozen notes repeated over and over, like an inspired bird-call, sweet and sad.”
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