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Music boxes: The origin and why they are still around

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A music box is a musical instrument that plays a melody when you wind it up. A music box is a kind of music box that has a cylinder with pins on it that swing and make the melody.

It is a musical instrument that plays a melody when you wind it up, but it is also a decoration for your home. Let's find out how it works and where it comes from.

What is a music box

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The music box: a special musical instrument

The music box belongs to the category of musical instruments and was developed in the 18th century. The principle of the music box is simple: by winding up a spring, a cylinder or disc with pins is set in motion. These pins then hit a pendulum, creating a melody. The music box was developed in France and adopted by other countries. Antoine Favre-Salomon is considered the inventor of the music box.

Types of music boxes

There are different types of music boxes, including the cylinder music box and the disc music box. A round cylinder with pins rotates in the cylinder music box, while a flat disc with pins is used in the disc music box. Most music boxes used to be turned by hand, but nowadays there are also automatic music boxes that are equipped with a spring that can be wound with a key or string.

How does a music box work?

When the music box is wound up, the cylinder or disc with pins starts to rotate. The pins then hit the pendulum, creating a melody. The melody can consist of a single melody, but there are also music boxes in which several melodies are stored.

Music boxes nowadays

Music boxes are still popular today. They are not only used as toys, but also as decoration in the house. There are even special music boxes that are hung above a baby's bed as a mobile. The contents of the music boxes vary enormously, from classical music to popular tunes.

Well-known brands and models

Some well-known brands and models of music boxes are:

  • Regina MusicBox
  • Polyphon
  • Comet
  • Antoine Favre-Salomon

Music boxes in the Listening Museum

Several music boxes can be found in the Listening Museum in Alphen aan den Rijn. Here you can listen to the melodies played and learn more about the development of the music box. Many media files of music boxes can also be found on Wikimedia Commons.

The history of the music box

The music box (best rated here) is an instrument that has been around for more than a century. It was first invented in the 18th century in Switzerland. Antoine Favre, a clockmaker from Geneva, is often credited as the inventor of the music box. The idea of ​​the music box came from the bell ringer, an instrument used to tell the time. The music box was developed as a way to play music without a musician being present.

The music box today

Music boxes are still available today, but they are not as popular as they used to be. Yet there are still people who have a music box at home and listen to it every now and then. The music box is sometimes used as a decorative element in the home and can also be a nice gift for someone else. Music boxes can still be found on display in some major museums.

Confusion with other names

The music box is sometimes confused with other names, such as music box, Regina music box or Blechplatten. This is because there are different types of music boxes and because the names are different in different countries. In Flanders, for example, the music box is sometimes called a spieldose.

What types of music boxes are there?

Music boxes are available in just about any shape and size you can think of. From cute baby music boxes in the shape of an animal to elegant wooden music boxes for adults. There are even music boxes that you can make and personalize yourself. It is important to choose a music box that fits well with the situation and application in which you want to use it.

For every age and development

Music boxes are not only intended for babies and children, but can also bring a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere to adults. For babies and children there are music boxes that help to develop their motor skills and rhythm. It is important to look at the age and development of the child when choosing a music box.

Benefit of relaxation and entertainment

A music box can be played at any time of the day and often brings quiet and relaxing moments. It's a nice idea to take a music box with you on a trip or to put it next to your bed before going to sleep. It not only brings entertainment, but also positive effects on the development and motor skills of a child.

Possible Benefits for Pregnant Moms

It turns out that listening to calm sounds and rhythms can have a positive effect on a baby's development in the womb. It is therefore a good idea to buy a music box for pregnant moms. It can help stimulate development and create a calm environment for the baby.

Make the right choice

When buying a music box, it is important to look at the application, situation and development of the child. It is advisable to look at the different types of music boxes available and determine which is most suitable for the situation. This way you can make the right choice and enjoy the many benefits that a music box brings.

Why should you buy a music box?

A music box can be a great product to help children develop. It can help with sound discovery and motor skills development. It is also a fun toy that is easy for any age and situation. It can even help develop rhythm and stimulate children's creativity.

Positive Effects

There are many benefits to buying a music box. It can help children develop, provide relaxation and entertainment and even have positive effects later in life. It is also a cute and fun part of the nursery.

Nice as a gift

A music box can also be a nice gift for a pregnant friend or family member. It is a well-known and well-known product that is almost always popular. It can also be a nice idea to give a music box after the baby is born as a helpful and cute gift.

What should you pay attention to when buying a music box?

First of all, it is important to see for which age the music box is suitable. Music boxes are available from birth to older children. In addition, it is important to consider what you want to use the music box for. For example, is it intended as a toy for your baby or as a decoration for the nursery?

Features and Sounds

Certain music boxes have extra functions, such as lights that come on or figures that move. In addition, there are music boxes with different sounds, such as classical music or nature sounds. Think about what you think is important and what fits the situation in which the music box will be used.

Material and safety

The material of the music box is also important. For example, choose a music box made of wood if you want to keep it for a long time. In addition, it is important to check whether the music box is safe for your child. Are there any small parts that can be swallowed? Is the music box completely safe to play with?

Color and design

Of course you also want a music box that fits nicely with the rest of the room. Therefore, choose a color and design that you like and that matches the rest of the interior.

Price and quality

The price of a music box can vary greatly. Think for yourself how much you want to spend and what you want to get in return. Pay attention not only to the price, but also to the quality of the product. For example, a more expensive music box can be of better quality and last longer.

Advantages of a music box

A music box can have positive effects on your child's development. For example, it can help develop motor skills and discover sounds. In addition, it can provide pleasant moments together and a sense of security.

Online range and reactions from others

If you are looking for a music box online, it is useful to look at the range and possible reactions from other people. This way you can get a better picture of what is available and what other people think of certain music boxes.

Latest tips

  • Make a choice that suits you and your child, not just because it seems the nicest or best choice.
  • Always keep your child's safety in mind.
  • Ask the seller any questions or post them online.
  • Take the music box home and test it in the situation in which it will be used.
  • Do you find it difficult to make a choice? Then ask other parents or people who have experience with buying music boxes for advice.


It is a musical instrument from the 18th century that produces a melody by rotating a cylinder with pins touching a pendulum. It is a nice decorative element for the home and a good idea for a gift for a baby or child.

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.