Anniversary Roll Project

New  Anniversary piano roll cut!

To celebrate the North West Player Piano Association's 50th Anniversary in 2022 a special reproducing roll was commissioned with the collaboration of members of the Player Piano Group and Allyson Devenish, recording artist.  The music chosen was Florence Price’s Fantasie Nègre No.1, composed in 1929. No other piano rolls ever have been made of any of her works.  The piece incorporates the   Negro spiritual "Please Don’t Let This Harvest Pass" with a series of variations and reharmonizations, deftly combining classical European and African-American spiritual musical idioms. It was dedicated to Price’s student Margaret Bonds, another female composer of colour.

Music by the Afro-American composer Florence Price was largely ignored during her lifetime but identified by the BBC’s Radio Three’s ‘Forgotten Female Composers’ initiative of 2017.  Her works are now being increasingly performed and published, and their quality is attracting an ever-expanding audience.

This is possibly the first time since the 1930s that a live performance has been recorded for the Duo-Art reproducing system. It is also the first use of algorithmic software to automatically convert note dynamics from MIDI velocities to the specially-coded perforations that operate the Duo-Art system. The roll runs for about 10 minutes.

Recording artist Allyson Devenish FRAM signing off the completed roll

A video has been produced of the whole recording, editing and roll production process including the piece itself, shown below: 

A video of the complete and final Duo-Art roll being played on another finely-restored Steinway Duo-Art reproducing piano is given below:  

Copies of this roll are available in Duo-Art and Standard (88-note, for conventional player pianos) format from Julian Dyer at