Facts behind Sankyo’s Orpheus Line of Mechanisms
Sankyo is a Japanese Company that manufactures 30, 50, 72, 100 and 144 note mechanisms. The name Orpheus was appropriately chosen after the minstrel master of Greek mythology, to represent their beautifully sounding movements (also known as mechanisms).
Orpheus played the lyre, a hand held harp presented to him by the god Apollo. Most legends relate that Orpheus' mother was one of the Muses, Calliope (the patron of epic poetry) and his father was Oeagrus, a king of Thrace. The "Orpheus" music boxes have a wonderfully centered sound true to its name. Sankyo reproduced the "needling" technology, (the procedure of skillfully driving needles into the cylinder of music box). Needling technology had been practiced and polished among the master craftsmen of Europe in the 19th century. By sliding laterally, the cylinder, can play multiple tracks of 2 or 3 songs. It can also play 3 parts of one song. The is no doubt that the recipient of one of these mechanisms will enjoy the splendid music box sounds, of which Japan's largest manufacturer, Sankyo boasts.
More about the Minstral Orhpeus:
There are several retellings regarding The Story of Orpheus and Eurydice, as told by Apollonius of Rhodes, Virgil and Ovid.
One short anonymous summary, found on line, is as follows:
“His lyre and his odes were so charming that upon hearing them, wild animals became quiet, and trees and rocks started to move. Orpheus fell in love with the nymph Eurydice and married her, but she died suddenly from a snake bite. In despair, Orpheus followed Euridyce into Hades (Hell) to bring her back. His music and lyrics so enchanted Hades' protectors,(even the triple-headed dog, Cerberus) that the gods of Hades were persuaded to bring back to life, his dead wife. One condition of Eurydices' return was that Orpheus could not look back at her until he reached the threshold of Hades. Sadly he looked back to see whether Eurydice was following him and lost her forever.”
A beautifully written, more detailed account can be accessed by clicking on this link