Definition of barrel organ in English:

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barrel organ

Pronunciation: /ˈberəl ˈˌôrɡən/


A mechanical musical instrument from which predetermined music is produced by turning a handle, played, especially in former times, by street musicians.
Example sentences
  • 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.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: bar·rel or·gan

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