In the early days of silent motion pictures, it was realised that background music had a great influence on the audience. Before movies had sound, many picture theatres had special ‘player pianos’ to reproduce music mechanically from piano rolls. The music was meant to accentuate the mood of the film.
Some player pianos were elaborately extended, with pipe organs and sound effects installed in adjacent side-cabinets, so that the accompanist could create sounds to match the action on the screen....
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