It is extremely hard to keep up to date with the continuous development of devices which enable us to play music. Record players to cassettes, cassettes to CD, CD to MP3 and now digital download! And yet in Switzerland, there is one musical device which has been manufactured over 200 years ago and is still going strong. Based high up in a mountain village in western Switzerland, Reuge is the last remaining manufacturer of the music box. The whole village once specialised in the industry but over time, the manufactures have disappeared and yet Reuge is still going strong.
Employing 40 skilled workers who use specialist machinery to produce rotating barrels with pins, that will pluck finely tuned steel combs to play melodies. The workers have all learnt their skill from previous generations in the village.
The music box has a very distinct sound and whilst the industry might be kept afloat by traditional collectors, the forward thinking manufacturers are adapting the box to appeal to a wider market.
So keep watch for the newest additions including a box which plays modern theme tunes from Mission Impossible and James Bond to a coffee machine music box, which plays a tune whilst making an espresso!