The movements are driven from a geared shaft attached to the governor wheel, terminating in a star wheel (for the pianist's right hand) and a crank (for her left). The crank simultaneously drives two strips of mahogany in see-saw formation which animate the conductor and the dancing doll. Unlike most 19th Century French automata, the wire linkages for the figures are not attached directly to the movement, making the base removable without damaging the mechanism. The construction is also different from comparable French automata of the same date in that the animation for the figures is powered by the musical movement.
The serial numbers indicate manufacture between 1870-1871.