J Ascher - La Cloche du Couvent

Many years ago, I had a player piano roll that I was very fond of, it was a little piano piece that simulated a convent bell, together with a pretty tune. Unnfortunately, I lost it when I sold one of my player pianos, and I must have given it away to the buyer as part of the deal. I thought that I would be able to replace it relatively easily, but this turned out not to be the case. I had forgotten the composer's name. I knew that the title was (in French) La Cloche (or Les Cloches) du Couvent but I knew no more than that.

I put out "feelers" to the player piano community, but could find no one who had a piano roll of that name. Searching the internet revealed that I could buy the sheet music for a piece called Les Cloches du Couvent by Henry Bollman, so I bought it online. Unfortunately it turned out to be an entirely different piece of music. Very nice, but not the one I wanted.

The only other piece of music I could find turned out in the end to be the correct one, by Joseph Ascher. and the British Library had a copy at their St Pancras site in their collection of sheet music, from which it is possible to obtain electronic scans. These I obtained, copied the score into MuseScore , exported the result to a MIDI file, which I then tweaked further using MidiEditor. I am not very good at editing MIDI files, but with a bit of luck you are now listening to the result. That is to say that you might be listening to it if you use Internet Explorer with Windows Media Player as its default media player. There are so many possible variations of media player and browser that rather than try to fix things if you hear nothing, I offer a link at the bottom of this page to download the file and play in your own way.

It is interesting that very few people have heard this piece of music for a great many years, which I think is a shame for it is, in my opinion, quite charming.

Joseph Ascher - La Cloche du Couvent - Download MIDI file