Handcrafted America comes to Herz Music Box

by Jonathan Herz on January 31, 2017

On February 3rd, my workshop appeared on the show Handcrafted America. This half-hour program on the Inspiration Network (INSP) interviews craftspeople from all over the country to, as they say, rebut the claim that “They don’t make ’em like they used to.”

Shooting the segment took place on two very hot days in August of last year. The host, Jill Wagner, tried her hand at comb tuning, watched some of the automated processes, and discussed with me the complicated process of turning the location of pins on a cylinder into long lists of numbers on a computer, then into sheet music, then into computer instructions for drilling new cylinders.

the episode promo can be seen Here.

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A three tune program on a commercial movement

by Jonathan Herz on April 22, 2016

Part of the work I do is to put custom musical programs on existing commercial movements. This can be enjoyable, especially when the box is for a special occasion such as the birth of a baby or when the job is original music done for the composer.

One particularly nice example of the latter just got shipped out to the composer. This was re-working of a Sankyo 3/72 movement (three tunes played on 72 teeth). Although commercial boxes do not have the large combs and brilliant tone of a traditional 19th century design such as I make from scratch, I though this piece came out very well. The composer, Chris S H, of New York, did a great job of composing a program that was both lively and intimate and which well suited the Sankyo. You can hear it below.


Herz Music Box on the Science Channel

February 6, 2016

This summer I was contacted by a production company which was doing a series for the Discovery Science Channel on how machines work. They wanted to look into the intricacies of a multi-tune musical box. After filming in my shop for a day, they worked their magic with 3D graphics. It is my hope that […]

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Baroque Music on a traditional Musical box

June 5, 2012

I completed a very interesting and unique box recently for a customer interested in early music. The box plays a transcription of four pieces from Bach’s French Suite #1 in D minor. The program is unusual in that it is a note-by-note transcription of the piece, not an arrangement. Making a transcription program is challenging, […]

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A Unique Anniversary Present

August 26, 2010

We recently delivered a custom musical box which we are very excited about. The box was commissioned as a 20th wedding anniversary present. There are only two tunes, both performed at the wedding it commemorates. We were enormously pleased to have the services of Peter Mansfield (www.mansfieldmusic.net) to arrange the pieces for this musical box. […]

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News from the Workshop

April 27, 2010

Welcome It has been a long road to perfecting the Herz musical box but here we are! The Herz musical box is now for sale. In future I will write more about the process of development, but for now, thank you for reading and below is or first posting of our activities here at the […]

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