"The Happiest Music on Earth"

This project was begun September 2009, and was completed late spring 2013. For building reference I used a spiral bound publication entitled, Wurlitzer Building Plans and Voicing Tips, Model 104/105, authored and self-published by R. M. Stanoszek, ca 1978. This booklet contains all hand drawn figures and tabled dimensions for at least rebuilding an original Wurlitzer 105 Band Organ. I also relied on many other publications, and internet contacts made over the years, professionals and novices alike who own, rebuild, or similarly build or who have tried to build their own band organ.

Prior to beginning the project I investigated the theory of how this pneumatic instrument functions, the physics of how the pipes speak, the general construction techniques I was unfamiliar with - such as working with leather - plus materials availability and so forth.

I would also needed original music to play, and for this I discovered digitized midi files of the original paper rolls/bookplates available online: there preserved as historical archival resource.

So with the basics in place I began construction, developing specialized skills along the way as needed. The goal was to build an instrument that looked and sounded like an original Wurlitzer 105 Band Organ.  

Appreciate that this was not a part time effort, and when not actually building, my mind was fully engaged most all free moments on problem solving. Consequently, though often asked, I could not  even guess how many hours were spent on this project, but it was all consuming. Ultimately the effort was musically very rewarding. 

                      ~Michael Falco 

Pipes:    122 total, consisting of; 18 Piccolo, 18 Melody Flageolet, 16  Trumpet,
               12 Accompaniment Cello, 18 Melody Violin, 5 Bass Cello, 18 Melody
                Flute, 12 Accompaniment Flute, 5 Bass Bourdon
Voicing:  F2 - A#7, 59 notes; cross-blown, open flute, stopped flute,
                open Frein Harmonique, brass resonator
Percussion:   Bass and Snare drums w/custom shells, plus splash cymbal;
                        all with custom fabricated pneumatic beaters; Triangle, Castanets, 18 note glockenspiel
Primary materials: Oak, Maple, Poplar, brass, leather, cork
Hand crafted pieces:   1200+
Finish:   Pipes - Shellac, amber and custom tinted;
               Case - Brown grain filler, clear nitrocellulose lacquer
Electronics:  Midio128 Micro Controller driving 135 pallet magnets. Songs played  
                      using Brotech Electronics Mega Midi Sequencer
 rated 120VAC, 400W (3.5Amps) 
Dimensions:  59H x 73W x 27D
Construction Time:  ~4 years
Weight:  340lbs

General: The band organ is installed in a Haulmark factory customized trailer.
                It has two large awning windows, opposite sides, 6'W x 4'H.
                The awning windows are hinged at the top an fold upwards
                with pneumatic assist.
Body:    10'9"L x 6'W
Overall: 14'L x 92"W
Axle:    single independent torsional suspension
Curb Weight:    1100 lbs
Total Weight: ~1500 lbs