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Tuesday 31 January 2012

Corona Music Keyboard Portable Typewriter

Dr Nicholas Reyland is looking for a typewriter. Not to own, but to look at, and perhaps, if he likes it, to put on the cover of his latest book. And not any old typewriter, but one adapted to be used for writing sheet music.
Nick Reyland is a musicologist and lecturer at Keele University at Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire, England.
He contributes to the Music, the Media, Communications and Culture and the Film Studies degree programs at Keele. Nick studied music at the University of Surrey before undertaking doctoral research at Cardiff University, where was awarded his doctorate in 2005 (and where he once taught my eldest son, Simon).
Broadly, his studies concentrate on the theory, analysis and criticism of music since 1900. He has spoken at Cornell University and the Institute of Musical Research. He serves on the editorial boards of the journals Music Analysis and Twentieth-Century Music.
Nick has just completed his third book, this one in collaboration with an American colleague (Michael Klein, Temple University), a collection on music and narrative since 1900, to be published by Indiana University Press.
In terms of an image for the cover of this book, the only offering I could make Nick from my own collection is this Corona music keyboard portable typewriter.
It is a 1941 adaption by Al Avery and Joe Barkdoll of the very familiar Corona portable (in this case the Sterling) designed by Avery in 1933: the beautiful, boxy Corona four-bank. (Details on Avery and Barkdoll can be found elsewhere on this blog.)
In applying for a patent for this adaption, Avery and Barkdoll stated that their aim was “to provide a typewriting machine with minimum variation from machines most commonly employed for ordinary text typing but well adapted for rapid typing of music scores and lyrics”.
They set out to provide an “improved coordinated arrangement of the types, type case changing means, line spacing means and line finding means of the usual typewriter, facilitating rapid typing of such scores with or without accompanying lyrics; and to provide an improved forward and backward line spacing means of great accuracy, particularly adapted for correct typing of music scores”.
One obvious difference from the normal Corona portable typewriter of this period is highlighted here. The line indicator is open at the top, to allow for the higher musical notations, such as the G clef, or treble clef and the F clef, or bass clef, as seen here, as typed on this Corona. The quaver is also much higher than a normal type character.

This Avery-Barkdoll design was adopted by Cecil Effinger for his 1950 Musicwriter, based on the R.C.Allen typewriter. What attracted Nick Reyland to my blog was my post on this and other music typewriters. See
The Effinger Musicwriter is for musical notes writing only, and no "correspondence" (as Avery and Barkdoll put it) or lyrics shall be entered into:
Here are some more offerings for the the book cover: