Street organ or barrel organ
“I love to hear singing to a street organ,” said Raskolnikov, and his manner seemed strangely out of keeping with the subject–“I like it on cold, dark, damp autumn evenings–they must be damp–when all the passers-by have pale green, sickly faces, or better still when wet snow is falling straight down, when there’s no wind–you know what I mean?”. Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky.
Called in Russia “Sharmanka”, the word came from the French Charmante Catherine – “Beautiful Catherine”, the name of one of the first songs performed on a mechanical device. Meanwhile the inventor of street organ was Italian master Barbieri. Originally, it was a small organ without a keyboard. Turning the knob, the organ-grinder could reproduce 6-8 melodies recorded on the platen.
However, in the Holland of the XV century, such instruments were a complex stationary structure, acting by means of hydraulics, weights or a winding mechanism. In the XVIII-XIX centuries used a variety of barrel organ in English churches, where hymns and psalms played. Nevertheless, we associate a barrel organ with a stray musicians with a portable instrument, with the rotation of the handle performing 6-8 melodies.