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The Music Box Builder

Updated on April 4, 2018
vocalcoach profile image

Here's a "head's up" on what to buy and which products to skip when shopping at the Dollar Store. Not everything is priced at one dollar.


My Music Box Story

One of my childhood memories was about a music box sitting under the Christmas Tree. I hoped with all my heart that it was for me and not my little sister. I had previously written to Santa confirming that I had been very good all year and wanted a music box more than anything. And when I saw that music box under the tree I begin praying that it would be for me.

I carefully read the tag, " To Audrey June", and could barely contain my joy. Tears filled my eyes as I held the little music box in my lap. Oh, I was the luckiest little girl in all the world. I can't remember what ever happened to my music box and I wish I still had it. But I do remember asking my father this question, "where is its heart Daddy?" I will never forget his answer..."The Heart of The Music Box Is You ."

The stories I could share with my music box. Every night for years, its lingering music lulled me to sleep with strains of Puccini's "Oh Caro Mio Babbino." Sometimes I would pretend to be a ballerina and glide across the floor in my tiny room to the rhythm of the music coming from the inside my music box.

I wondered how the music got inside of the little wooden box. I tried to imagine how that was possible. I would make up different scenarios of how the music box came to be and put a variety of faces to the inventor.

Little did I know that one day when I grew to be an "old lady" I would discover the truth and the story behind the music box. Little did I know that a magical place called Hubpages would lead me to this discovery.

One of 8 Children Started building Music Boxes

It was the year, 1848. James Marshall finds gold in Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California. The 1st commercial bank in San Francisco, California was established. Mexico gives Texas to US, ending the war. The 1st US women's rights convention was held in Seneca Falls, NY. The first railroad in Spain - between Barcelona and Mataró - is opened.

And in in L'Auberson (Sainte-Croix), Switzerland lived the father of 8 children by the name of Alix Gueissaz. As if he didn't have enough to do with 8 children to help care for, he began manufacturing music boxes.

One of those 8 children, a young man by the name of Jules-Louis took an avid interest in helping his father build music boxes. He learned the art so well, he became the firm's first successful salesman.

Alix Gueissaz Live here with 8 Children

How The Music Box Works

I wonder as I write this, if the inventor of the box filled with such delicate musical sounds had even a vague notion that he was bringing to the world something so intriguing and lasting.

A music box brings a sense of tranquility. There's something about the celestial sound that seems to wrap itself around you. It's music is appealing to all ages. The enchanting and magical sound charms the memory of earlier times.

Music boxes come in a wide variety of styles and types and can easily become a collecting treasure. And children love to wind them up and listen to the melody as it slowly and very accurately winds down to a stop.

The music from inside the box comes from a vibration. The Vibration is a rhythmic mechanical motion which occurs around a stable equilibrium. And it is sustained while the system has access energy.

The melody, or pitch is produced by the rate of vibrations that occur. When the pitch is low, the vibrations are slower and when the pitch is higher the vibrations are faster. In this sense, the music box can be compared to the strings of a piano. The longer strings vibrate slower than the short strings. The longer strings then, produce a lower sound while the shorter strings produce a higher pitch. There is of course much more on the physics of music but this is basically how it works.

The Little Music Box

Wind the little music box

And it begins to play

A melody so haunting

It somehow seems to say

My little song is just for you

So play me often please

I’ll play your every care away

And put you right at ease

My little switch you simply move

When you’ve heard enough

Unlike most human beings

(It’s hard to shut them up)

I’ll be here for you waiting

To share my song with you

I’m such a happy music box

And I love to sing for you.

vocalcoach 1.8.2012

The Heart of The Music Box Is You

The Heart of the Music Box is You, for only you can connect to the music. It is you who listens to the melody and feels its rythym. The music box is unable to play until you wind it up. And with many music boxes, it is you who can stop its music when you want to by closing its lid.

But even more important are the memories that flood the human mind. Memories of another time and another place. Our mental camera reminds us of both blissful and sorrowful times. It re-captures events, times, places and people.

Yes, you are the heart of the music box and may you live each day with your own music, played to the beat of your own drummer.

On behalf of music boxes everywhere...I thank you.

Check out the Glass Harp

A Few Facts About the Music Box

  • Switzerland is noted for its fine music boxes.
  • As the cylinder turns within the music box the pins strike the teeth of a metal comb. Each tooth gives off a different note when it is struck.
  • Over a century ago more people owned music boxes than any other type of automatic musical instrument.
  • In the 1400's a German Medieval wall clock (driven by iron weights and gears) played glass bells struck by tiny metal hammers. Mechanical music could now come indoors.
  • Cylinder music boxes were invented in 1796.
  • The first music box was created in the 18th century made from a snuff box.

I used to play this for my mother - she loved this piece.

Have you ever had a music box?

See results


© 2012 Audrey Hunt


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    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      ologsinquito - I'm so happy to see you here. Thank you for liking this hub, for voting up, sharing and pinning. Happiness to you ~ Audrey

    • ologsinquito profile image


      7 years ago from USA

      What a fascinating story. Voted up, shared and pinned.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      8 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      jabez3 - Oh, how beautiful your words are. I close my eyes and listen. Thank you!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      RTalloni - Yes, indeed...every child should have a music box. I'm glad you enjoyed the small history of the Gueissaz family. I wonder if they have any idea how much joy they have brought to the world through their little music boxes!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      kelleyward ~ Your boys must be delighted with their music boxes. What a lovely thing to give to them. When they are older, their music box will bring them many delightful memories!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hello Sunshine - Its so true. "Magical" is a perfect description for a music box. I so wish I still had mine!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      As I child I loved to watch a music box ballerina that my mother's brother had given her. It is a sweet memory of quiet moments. Every child should have access to a music box that has sweet music in it! Thanks for sharing your memory of a music box for Christmas, and for the neat look at the Gueissaz family and their legacy.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      The heart was the first music box ever created. Just close your eyes and listen...

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I love this hub. I also have great memories about my music box from my childhood and bought some for my boys already. This was beautiful. Voted up and shared on facebook!

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 

      9 years ago from Orlando, FL

      I love music boxes. There is something so magical and comforting to them. Thank you for sharing your story.

      Happy Birthday (2/22)!!!!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Dear hyphenbird - You touched my heart and brought a tear with "Audrey June." Only you, so sweetly sensitive, would do such a sweet thing.

      I can picture your little ballerina on your music box, dancing around and around. How little it took back in those days to please children.

      Thank you my precious friend for always finding in my, Audrey June, and bless you with lasting love and joy until the time we meet with our Father in Heaven.

    • epigramman profile image


      9 years ago

      ....dear dear Audrey I have enjoyed hanging out with your daughter at the Hub - she has quite a sense of humor and a nice personality just like her mum and she even tried out my famous honey garlic chili recipe - I love this hub subject as you can imagine and I feel the inspiration of a written piece by the epi-man coming with the inspiration you have brought me here - this is such a labor of love too and I know how much you love music which makes us soul mates and kindred spirits that way - thank you for all of your love and support over the past almost 2 years now - and I will see you over the rainbow with a posting to my Facebook page.

      lake erie time ontario canada 8:12pm sending warm wishes to you and good energy too

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 

      9 years ago from North Carolina

      "The heart of the music box is you" What an awesome line. This is such a sweet hub, I've thoroughly enjoyed you sharing about this memory and the beautiful videos you've added.

      My youngest daughter used the Canon in D as her wedding processional song escorted by my husband John to a Lakeside arch in an outdoor wedding. It was stunning.

      The music box dancer (not this version, LOL) brought back dear memories of our dance studio and one of the numbers I had choreographed for some little ballerinas.

      Thank you for sharing such a sweet hub...I voted it up and awesome.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      9 years ago from Florida

      I have several music boxes my children have given me for special occasions. I love them. I enjoyed the videos, especially the glass harp one. When I had a cranky baby, I would turn on a music for her to lull her to sleep. Music Boxes are very special, I think. I voted this Hub UP, etc.etc.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      drbj, my friend ~ I'm touched that you liked my story about my music box. I think everyone should have at least one. If I were able, I would send one to each of my special hubfriends beginning with you.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hello Dear MM ~ I wish we both had our music boxes. I must make it a point to ask Santa for one next year. I'll be good all year and write lots of high quality hubs!

      Thank you so for being here to read and comment on my hub.


    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Ruchira - You are so sweet and so are your welcomed comments. Thank you for wishing me days filled with music. I couldn't ask for anything more. I'm glad you have your music box filled with lovely jewelry.

    • marcoujor profile image

      Maria Jordan 

      9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

      Ah, vocal,

      I am obviously a child at heart. Music boxes are a gift of choice for me when I attend baby showers, etc...

      Years ago, my best college buddy gave me a train music box (Chattanoga Choo Choo) that I keep by my bed, as it reminds me of my Dad, an engineer and my childhood... the sounds are truly magical and your Dad is right, we put our heart/ meaning into these treasures.

      Thank you for these beautiful memories in this amazing piece. Voted UP & UABI. Many hugs, Maria

    • Charlotte B Plum profile image

      Charlotte B Plum 

      9 years ago

      Hey vocalcoach! I was really drawn to this hub because of the title! What a sweet childhood memory you have. I love the delicate sounds of music boxes too, and I really love the videos that you chose to go with the hub! =) I just spotted you published another hub about warm ups, and I am going to go there noooowwww! I'm excited! =)

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 

      9 years ago

      I remember as a Kid having a Music Box that played "Some Enchanted Evening"...and I thought it was Beautiful and I would dance around to the music. I too, don't know what ever became of it.

      I Loved this Hub Vocalcoach, so Interesting, and the History Lesson, most Enjoyable, as well as the Videos...And Last, but certainly not Least, I adored your Lovely Poem. Always a Treat to come to your Hub Page!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Hi tammy ~ You and I share the same appreciation for good music. I was hoping that someone would enjoy this video as much as I have. Thanks and have a beautiful day!

    • Angela Blair profile image

      Angela Blair 

      9 years ago from Central Texas

      It's difficult for me to imagine a home without a music box. My Granny, who raised me, had a very old music box that was absolutely fascinating to me as a very small child. It was so old Granny wouldn't let me wind it but she'd wind it for me time after time until I'd wear her completely out. The music box disappeared when she died and I have no idea to whom -- hopefully whoever has it finds it as valuable as I. Great Hub and intense memory trigger! Voted UP. Best, Sis

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Dear Cindy - What a sweet story. I'm sorry though that you were hospitalized for such a long time at the young age of 14. How thoughtful of the person to give you the music box. It must have helped to pass the time. Thanks for contributing.

    • leni sands profile image

      Leni Sands 

      9 years ago from UK

      The heart of any music instrument (including the voice) is always the person who owns it, nurtures it and cherishes it. Wonderfully, well-written and interesting hub, beautiful memories - voted up, useful, interesting, beautiful & awesome, great videos as well!

    • Hyphenbird profile image

      Brenda Barnes 

      9 years ago from America-Broken But Still Beautiful

      Oh, this Hub brings back such lovely memories to me of my childhood ballerina music box. I learned so much about the history of music boxes also. Thank you Audrey June (a beautiful name)for the poem and the "heart" with which you wrote this.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      9 years ago from south Florida

      What a sweet and tender story of your first muic box, Audrey. You have gladdened the hearts of nusic box lovers and music boxes everywhere with your kind words.

    • Movie Master profile image

      Movie Master 

      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      I remember my first music box, it was a ballerina in a globe, we bought it on holiday in Switzerland and the music was the Isles of Capri, how I loved that music box, how I wish I still had it!

      Thank you for sharing Audrey, I loved your story, poem and the history of the music box.

      Voted up/awesome

    • Ruchira profile image


      9 years ago from United States

      Hi Vocalcoach,

      A Music box is always treasured esp when you have jewelry in it :)

      I love my box and treasure it well 'cause of the pleasant music when opened. it's so soothing to the ear and feels good to store something in it.

      I wish you a great year ahead, June Audrey :) Wishing your days are full of soothing and relaxing music!

    • tammyswallow profile image


      9 years ago from North Carolina

      Canon in D on glass.. It just doesn't get any better than that. Such a beautiful, creative hub! Beautiful!

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Will - What a very sweet gift to give your lady. Both the music box and the ring. Ahhhhh - love a romantic man!

    • homesteadbound profile image

      Cindy Murdoch 

      9 years ago from Texas

      When I was 14, I was in the hospital for 6 weeks when I shattered a vertebrae in my spine. I was 90 miles from home, so did not have a lot of visitors. Someone gave me a music box. I loved to play it and watch it turning and plinging against the cylinder. Great memories.

    • vocalcoach profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Hunt 

      9 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Oh, thoughtforce - thankyou! Your comments have given me just the lift I need. And how wonderful that you can relate to that childhood experience of wanting something so much and then getting it.

      You like my writing style! I'm thrilled to hear that. So happy you saw this just before logging out of HP. I just published it and you are my first visitor.

      I'm happy! Thank you my friend.

    • WillStarr profile image


      9 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      When my wife and I were dating, for our first Christmas, I bought her an Italian made music box with a compartment for her jewelry. The other gift was an engagement ring.

    • thougtforce profile image

      Christina Lornemark 

      9 years ago from Sweden

      This is a wonderful story and I can relate to your memories of music. That feeling when we got something that we really wanted as a child stays in the memory. You did a great job with this, writing this hub both interesting and written with feeling in your awesome style. Thanks for sharing this Vocal, I was just on my way to log out from HP when I saw this and I just knew I had to read it! I am glad I did, it was a delight in every way.Voted up and more,

      Best wishes



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