Tag Archives: Serinette

Canary pedagogy


The serinette (after the French serin, canary) is a very small barrel organ that was used to teach repertoire to pet songbirds in the 18th century. These instruments were made in England, France, and Germany.

In 2007 an independent organ and barrel organ builder affiliated with the mechanical instruments center of Waldkirch in Baden-Württemberg embarked upon a series of modern reconstructions of the serinette. His main sources were the description of the serinette found in Dom Bédos de Celles’s L’art du facteur d’orgues (Paris, 1778) and two instruments from Mirecourt.

This according to “Serinetten französischer Bauart aus Waldkirch” by Achim Schneider (Das mechanische Musikinstrument: Journal der Gesellschaft für selbstspielende Musikinstrumente XXXVI/107 [April 2010] pp. 6–9; the author is the organ builder in question.

Above, La serinette by Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin; below, a working serinette.


Filed under Animals, Curiosities, Instruments