An Amusing Typewriter Performance With an Orchestra

During a 2011 performance of the humanitarian orchestra “Voces para la Paz” (Voices for Peace), percussionist Alfredo Anaya quite amusingly rolled a manual typewriter through to the front of the stage, took his time getting comfortable (much to the conductor’s annoyance). Once seated, Anaya played the typewriter to absolute perfection.

The Typewriter for Orchestra was composed by Leroy Anderson who completed the work on October 9, 1950. It has been performed many times by different people. In this instance, the soloist is Alfredo Anaya, with conductor Miguel Roa, at the Concierto “Voces para la Paz”, Músicos Solidarios, Auditorio Nacional de Música de Madrid, on the 12th of June, 2011.

This piece, “The Typewriter”, was written by composer Leroy Anderson in 1950. Anderson told PBS in 1972 that he liked writing syncopated pieces like that.

You know it’s an interesting thing, because I’ve written pieces like “The Typewriter” which you just heard, and about clocks, not the regular kind but the syncopated kind, a lot of people associated this, because they happen to know the number, with the music I write, and I’ve been told that people say, Oh, Anderson, he just writes these pieces for noises, you know, about clocks and that sort of thing, and of course this isn’t true, actually most of the pieces I’ve written have been melodic…

Here’s audio of Anderson playing his original song.

Here are several other versions of the piece performed throughout the years, including a pantomiming Jerry Lewis in Who’s Minding the Store?

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.