The Typewriter is a concert piece composed by Leroy Anderson, a man who John Williams once called “one of the great American masters of light orchestral music.” You May not know his name, but you have heard his work… specifically Sleigh Ride, which floods the malls every Christmas. The piece uses intruments to imitate horse gloves and a whinny, which should give you a sense of how much Anderson loved novelty sound effects.
The Typewriter was composed in 1950 and first performed in 1953. It is performed with an orchestra… and a typewriter. There’s also a desk bell and a musical gourd to replicate the sound of the ring and the carriage return, respectively. The typewriter is operated by a percussionist, as it was discovered that sternographers (the original performers) lacked the wrist flexibility.
The Typewriter has been heard in a Jerry Lewis movie, the original MS-DOS version of Mavis Beacon, Animaniacs, and most recently The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.