Jonathan Herz Instrument maker Jonathan Herz examines his creation.

In 1953, Eric Herz was one of the first craftsmen in the United States to make harpsichords for the Baroque repertoire. Until this time, Baroque music was almost always played on modern instruments. This rediscovery of the unique sounds of period instruments by these pioneers launched a trend towards the use of original instrumentation in the performance of early music which remains important today.

Fifty years later, his son, Jonathan Herz, began a quest to reproduce every nuance of the sound and appearance of cylinder musical boxes from the latter half of the 19th century – the “golden age” of mechanical music. Using actual 19th century musical boxes as his models, he painstakingly reproduced every aspect of the original designs, from the composition of the sand and rosin cement inside the cylinder, to the carbon tool steel of the traditional combs. Like his father before him, he has brought to life a nearly forgotten art.