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The small mechanical music box plays the melody of "Summertime" from the opera "Porgy and Bess" by George Gershwin. Originally written as an aria, "Summertime" quickly became the most interpreted song of all time. Especially jazz singers and pop artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Janis Joplin, Sting, Scarlett Johansson, to name a few, covered the song.
So you may feel reminded of hot, leisurely summer days, feel wistful melancholy or buoyant ease when you hear Summertime in one of its many interpretations. Gershwin was inspired by Afro-American rhythms and wrote "Summertime" as a lullaby.
Depending on how fast and intensively you turn the crank of the little musical box, you can make your own cover version of "Summertime" sound. You can also modulate the volume. If you press the music box lightly on a larger resonance chamber, the melody will sound much louder. Tables, chairs, boxes or cajons are particularly suitable as resonating objects.
By the way: George Gerschwin was a Jewish New Yorker who combined Afro-American folk music with European opera elements and created the controversially discussed opera "Porgy and Bess" around 1935. For his compositions, he temporarily settled on the southwest coast of the USA to be inspired by African-American culture and Music.
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