Exceptional Custom Music Box Arrangements (Like the Old Days) are Still
Our arranger - an excellent classical keyboard performer
and composer - is one of the small handful of great music box arrangers
still keeping this musical craft alive. A great music box arranger must
have strong musical skills (including music theory) and a thorough understanding
of the mechanical limitations imposed by the music box mechanism. He must
also have invested years studying antique music box arrangements to fully
grasp the specific kinds of harmonic structures and embellishments that
music boxes excel at - and when to use which. Anyone can call himself
a music box arranger, but very few truly understand all the intricacies
that great arrangements display. Some arrangements are little more than
a plain copy of the basic melody. A great music box arrangement will bring
your melody to mind in the context of all the elaborate harmonies and
glistening elements that make music box movements so unique and beautiful.
If you are familiar with antique music boxes, you know what we mean!
Of course, exceptional music box arrangements begin with great music. Sadly, most modern composers lack a deep knowledge and appreciation of the classical masters, and their tunes reflect that ignorance. There are exceptions, but generally older tunes work better.
Notes from Our Arranger
Is there a melody that is special
to you, a certain someone, or a special group? Would you like to preserve
that special melody? Is there a special occasion you'd like to commemorate?
Would you like to offer music boxes to a specific market? Perhaps I
can help you do just that with a custom-arranged music box tune.
I can also offer music composed especially for a music box. I can
Paint an Emotional Picture in a style that will showcase all the potential
of a music box - including exceptional harmonies, chord progressions,
and ornaments. As an added bonus, custom compositions also eliminate
any potential copyright licensing headaches and costs.
Until now, well-arranged tunes for music boxes have been very expensive
- for obvious reasons. My love for music and our technology
add up to exceptional arrangement quality
at prices that were absolutely unheard of in the past.
Have you ever been to an old-fashioned music box shop or museum? I went
to my first music box museum in 1960 at Knott's Berry Farm, as a
child. About three years later, I discovered a shop there that actually sold
music boxes. At that time, I did not know anyone was still making any movements
larger than 18 notes. But, there it was, I saw it: a three-tune, 50-Note
music box! I loved it. However, due to my youth and finances I was not able
to get it. It was sold before I could save up enough money. Who would have
thought that I would not only build a collection of other such music
boxes, but I would also become a custom composer and arranger for
I want everyone who gets a custom arrangement from me to
experience some of that golden era of long ago. Be assured my arranging
styles do indeed embrace those of the antique music boxes. I remember
the days when I would go to a music box shop - after they called me
to come and see their newest music box. Once I heard the magnificent
instrument, I remember saving as much money as I could to pay for the
music box. What days those were!
The store owner and I had quite a celebration!
The Custom Arrangement Process
Once you have read this page, please
call us at .
We'll give you more thorough information about our process, review
your tune or musical preferences, then ask for a retainer. If we are arranging
a copyrighted tune, we'll also need to obtain royalty licensing.
will expertly arrange (or compose) your tune, and supply you with a recording
for your approval. After receiving the rest of your payment, we send your
completed arrangement to the factory. They program a computer to accurately
place one pin in the cylinder for each and every note of your arrangement.
They program another computer to pre-grind each tooth of your comb for
the notes in your arrangement. They then hand-tune each tooth to the correct
pitch. We take it one step farther with our
In-House Bell-Like Tuning. There is certainly
nothing generic about this!
If you wish, we can also put your Custom Music Box Movement in a
Music Box for you.
Examples of Custom Arrangements
For examples of our custom arrangements, German
Folk Tunes, The
Musical Snuff Box, Texas
Tunes, and The
Great Bath. We've also done Disney's
Bambi, custom tunes for Shevach
Art, Chris Hüelsbeck and others (we will also be glad to play these arrangements over a LANDLINE phone).
The following is an excerpt from Mike's
I sent my wedding song "This Day In September" to Rick and asked him to
do what I thought would be impossible. Take a standard song, re-score
it to sound like a classic music box should sound and still keep the original
feeling and emotion of the song intact. Rick listened to the song and
suggested I choose a 72 note Sankyo movement. I listened to some of the
samples Better Music Boxes has online and was taken by the exquisite quality
of the 50, 72 and 100 note movements. I trusted his judgment and decided
to go with the 72 note.
Within a week, my phone rang. I answered and all I heard was Rick saying, "Are you sitting down?" I answered "Yes" and he proceeded to play me the score over the phone. When it finished, I heard Rick say, "Well, what do you think".
I sat quiet for about 30 seconds. I was trying to compose myself as I
was overtaken my emotions. I'm not an overly emotional guy, so this was
quite surprising to me. Rick on the other hand was very emotional and so
excited to have me listen to this arrangement for the first time. This emotion
is why I wanted Rick and Better Music Boxes to take on this challenge. What
I heard on the other end of the phone that day was purely magical. I
had no idea what to expect, but obviously what Rick had delivered was beyond
any expectations. I told him it was perfect and to not change a thing.