A replacement conductor

The following appeared in the Musical Times, August 1890:

We read that “a Saxon engineer has invented an automatic machine, the object of which is to save conductors the physical part of their duties. By pressing a button the apparatus, which is provided with an arm holding a conducting-stick, can be made to beat with the regularity of a metronome.” It is a pity to be compelled to throw discredit upon the well-meant efforts of this clever engineer; but every musician knows that an orchestra cannot be conducted by an arm without a head.

Source: Scholes, Percy (1947) The Mirror of Music. London: Novello. vol.1, p.409.

By Greg

Australian composer and pianist