Meaning of barrel organ in English:

barrel organ


Translate barrel organ into Spanish


  • A small pipe organ played by turning a handle, which rotates a cylinder studded with pegs that open the valves to produce a preset tune, formerly much used by street musicians.

    ‘A barrel organ was in the street below playing ‘In the Sweet Bye and Bye,’ and one by one, the passengers took up the hymn.’
    • ‘An alternative was the barrel organ, usually a small chamber organ for which the church could buy a selection of pinned barrels with the most popular hymn tunes of the day ready set.’
    • ‘It is a stringed instrument, usually placed flat on the knee, and plucked somewhat like a guitar; it has been described as sounding something like a cross between a guitar and a barrel organ.’
    • ‘In Holland, a council in the city of Rotterdam are keeping unruly youths off the streets by blaring out Christmas carols from a barrel organ.’
    • ‘Medalled and licensed to play his barrel organ for passers-by, he's a magnet for the slew of widows left behind by war and post-war flu, women who regard a slightly damaged man as broken-in and containable.’
    • ‘From heap to heap, using the Ligeti adaption of Musica ricercata for the barrel organ, the music supplied an aptly offbeat underpinning for the bizarre punishments performed in Dante's Inferno.’
    • ‘That's a real barrel organ you hear in the background - ever slightly so out of tune that it grated on my nerves.’
    • ‘It was during one of these moments that I noticed a barrel organ pumping out German oompah - music.’
    • ‘They also watched a Punch and Judy show and listened to a Victorian barrel organ.’
    • ‘Phil Webb, who has organised barrel organ street collections for the past 11 years, said: ‘People always seem happy to see us.’’
    • ‘In this, another of his mechanical music pieces, the choreographer uses Ligeti's Musica Ricercata, transcribed from piano for barrel organ.’
    • ‘Dennis will entertain fans by smashing sour Chilean grapes on his forehead and peeing into the audience while simultaneously dancing to the relentless grinding pulsing hurdy-gurdy rhythm of Mr. Karl's barrel organ.’
    • ‘There will also be morris dancing, a car boot sale, barrel organ and a further display by the Army.’
    • ‘Twinkly lights festooned the rides and side-stalls, the smell of hot dogs, popcorn and candyfloss permeated the air and best of all, they had all the old rides with hurdy-gurdys and barrel organs!’
    • ‘The whimsical sounds of a dozen barrel organs raised £1, 200 at a street collection in Marlborough High Street.’
    • ‘A dozen barrel organs, synonymous with the Victorian period, will line the road as Macmillan fundraisers grind away to raise cash for the Swindon Cancer Appeal.’
    • ‘A number of ‘Weeks cabinets’ with barrel organs and clock mechanisms are known, including one at Temple Newsam.’