You give the handle a few cranks and listen to it plink out a few seconds of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, but if you were to crack open a music box and dig deep into the mechanics of how it works, you’d find some deceptively simple but brilliant engineering that’s been refined over the centuries.
If you step back and compare the two, the intricate patterns you'll find in a detailed folk embroidery don't look that much different than the series of punched holes you'll find on the scrolling scores used in a traditional hand-cranked music box. Artists Zsanett Szirmay and Bálint Tárkány-Kovács saw the same…
It's hard to get excited over something as antiquated as a music box when the phone in your pocket can play back a symphony. But there's still something oddly appealing about this twelve-track sequencer that skips the digital samples for a row of random music boxes.
When shopping for a music box there's usually a decent selection of lawsuit-free public domain songs to choose from. But a new online service called Music Drop finally lets anyone compose their own 16-note tune, which is 3D printed alongside these adorable custom hand-cranked music boxes.