"Prithee", quoth Another Kiwi, "let us hie to the Old Entomologist, there to partake of amber fluids and discourse of lofty issues."
"Such as?" I asked.
"Such as whether Te Papa was right to spend $1.5M on a red-painted, refigured concert piano."
Instead we somehow allowed ourselves to be side-tracked onto the topic of Player Pianos as a theme in post-war literature.* Why is it, we asked ourselves, that only automated keyboard instruments have the metonym monopoly?** Why does no-one write novels called "Drum Machine" or "Serinette" when they want to express their anxieties about human redundancy and depersonalisation and the death of creativity in an increasingly automated, alienated economy? Is that fair? IS IT BOGROLL.
It was a matter of moments to find the paper napkins (head barmaid Evangeline van Holsterin doesn't hide them very well) and start designing the self-playing programmable cello. Later Evangeline threw us out for what she describes as "unbecoming conduct with the juke-box". We've been band!
Here Gustav Wolpertiger is inventing the Automatic Clockwork Bagpipes in 1822. Sadly, it never had the same social impact as the player piano, partly because the prototype was sabotaged by disgruntled Luddite pipers who replaced the tapes with their own vandalised version, and partly because no-one could tell the difference.
Below: Research by Athanasius Kircher along similar lines resulted in the invention of the automated barrel-driven dentures [includes supplementary skeleton].
Below: Another of Kircher's inventions, the Tigriphone: musical but not automatic.
Right: Bonus 1592 Tigriphone
** There must be something about the combination of a keyboard interface and strips of paper as a storage medium that specifically appeals to the writer's fear of being replaced by computer.