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instruments in museums

Andy7 10 Jan 18 - 07:18 PM
Tattie Bogle 10 Jan 18 - 07:39 PM
GUEST,julia L 10 Jan 18 - 08:29 PM
GUEST,. 10 Jan 18 - 09:41 PM
GUEST,Ray 11 Jan 18 - 04:18 AM
Will Fly 11 Jan 18 - 04:31 AM
BobL 11 Jan 18 - 04:41 AM
GUEST,Joe G 11 Jan 18 - 05:21 AM
Will Fly 11 Jan 18 - 05:49 AM
nickp 11 Jan 18 - 06:31 AM
Will Fly 11 Jan 18 - 06:34 AM
GUEST,Jack Campin 11 Jan 18 - 07:43 AM
GUEST,Richard 11 Jan 18 - 08:47 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Jan 18 - 09:01 AM
Manitas_at_home 11 Jan 18 - 09:02 AM
punkfolkrocker 11 Jan 18 - 09:50 AM
gillymor 11 Jan 18 - 10:10 AM
Tattie Bogle 11 Jan 18 - 11:22 AM
punkfolkrocker 11 Jan 18 - 11:37 AM
GUEST 11 Jan 18 - 11:39 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Jan 18 - 11:42 AM
Gutcher 11 Jan 18 - 01:08 PM
GUEST,Ray 11 Jan 18 - 01:39 PM
Tattie Bogle 11 Jan 18 - 08:21 PM
G-Force 12 Jan 18 - 05:46 AM
Gallus Moll 13 Jan 18 - 06:09 PM
GUEST,FloraG 14 Jan 18 - 03:16 AM
Mr Red 14 Jan 18 - 04:34 AM
SPB-Cooperator 14 Jan 18 - 05:24 AM
Tattie Bogle 14 Jan 18 - 06:58 AM
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Subject: instruments in museums - what a bad idea!
From: Andy7
Date: 10 Jan 18 - 07:18 PM

As a reasonable fiddle player without any particular talent or genius, it really saddens me to see beautiful and valuable violins displayed in glass cases in museums.

Just let me, or any other half-decent fiddle player, play that violin for one evening at a local folk club, or with an amateur orchestra! Even with our blunders, we'd give people far more pleasure than can ever be achieved by displaying that beautiful instrument as an untouchable historic artefact for tourists to gaze at!

I'm sure the same is true of many other musical instruments.


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 10 Jan 18 - 07:39 PM

Well we have had Pete Clark very recently playing one of Niel Gow's fiddles in Edinburgh, and Steve Burnett with the Sherlock fiddle. But as I understand it, at least some of the ones in glass cases might fall apart if anyone trued to play them!


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: GUEST,julia L
Date: 10 Jan 18 - 08:29 PM

Not only that, Tattie, but consider that anything playable probably is very good. Nobody is going to take a nice sounding instrument out of circulation (unless they belonged to luminaries )! Many that I have seen in museums are more decorative than playable

We must also consider that what was "pleasant" to the audience in the time of the instrument may not seem so today

best- J


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: GUEST,.
Date: 10 Jan 18 - 09:41 PM

Just what sort of a museum.....???

..................What type of viola????

Sincerely,
GARGOYLE

Stop shuffling around and let others come to feast on the dead host.


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 04:18 AM

There used to be a Strad in a glass case in the V&A but the last time I saw it (30+ years ago) it looked as though it might need a fair deal of set-up work to make it playable.


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 04:31 AM

I recall seeing a large photograph of a "historic" Martin guitar in a display case - I believe it might have been the millionth Martin made - and the thing was covered in mother-of-pearl and similar inlays, hugely decorative. It looked hideous to my way of thinking and, so I learned later from someone who'd played it, was not particularly well-sounding.

Some instrument repositories do have a procedure in place for getting their treasures regularly played. However, I doubt thatbthis happens at the V&A, where the collection is part of the Furniture department.


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: BobL
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 04:41 AM

One reason for keeping stuff in museums is to help researchers answer questions about the times it was made or used (follow this link and scroll down a page for a better explanation than I could provide). For this purpose it has to be kept in as near as possible original condition, which puts limits on activities such as playing instruments. Doesn't rule it out completely: the Yetties managed to borrow Thomas Hardy's fiddle for a bit.


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: GUEST,Joe G
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 05:21 AM

There is a superb museum in Brussels where a recording of the instrument plays in your headphones as you walk towards its case


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 05:49 AM

I believe Michael Turner's violin (of "Michael Turner's Waltz" fame) hangs in a case in Horsham Museum. Must go and look at it...


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: nickp
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 06:31 AM

I guess you wouldn't play 'Four Poster Bed' on a Strad!


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: Will Fly
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 06:34 AM

LOL!


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: GUEST,Jack Campin
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 07:43 AM

The V&A moved from having their musical instruments classified as furniture, to having them only viewable one day a month, to getting rid of the collection entirely.

About what you'd expect from an outfit that can't even run an exhibition about the history of underwear without having it loudly sponsored by an English knicker factory and made into an advert for them.


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: GUEST,Richard
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 08:47 AM

I think some of the V & A collection went to the Horniman museum. Whether or not, their collection of instruments is well worth seeing. It also includes recordings of them being played.
Richard


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 09:01 AM

Would that museums in the past would have had the nouse to include more musical instruments among their exhibits
Does anybody know where I can lay hands of a phonofiddle or a sackbut!!
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: Manitas_at_home
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 09:02 AM

While at school I attended a keyboard concert at the V&A. Several harpichords and virginals from the collection were played.


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 09:50 AM

When I lived in London, the annual Hornimans free festival was a highlight I couln't miss.
At least historic instruments in glass cases are an improvement on mediocre photographs in dusty old books.


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: gillymor
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 10:10 AM

I like Marty Stuart's approach to museum-quality instruments. Every week on his 1/2 hour cable TV show his two main guitars are a pre-war D-45 Martin once owned by Hank Williams Sr. and Clarence White's famous '54(?) Tele with the Parsons/White string bender. He occasionally plays the Telecaster (with lots of tremolo), that he inherited from Pops Staples, when they do a gospel number. Sadly. he hasn't done any new episodes since 2011 but we're blessed with a lot of reruns.


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 11:22 AM

There's a large collection of instruments of all sorts and from different ages in St Cecilia's Hall in Edinburgh: this includes the various keyboard instruments: fortepiano, spinet, harpsichord. The non-keyboard stuff used to be in The Reid Hall, next to McEwan Hall, near Bristo Square, but I think it was moved to St Cecilia's when it was expanded, and the other hall re-furbished.

And, as with the Brussels museum that JoeG describes, the Cite de la Musique in Paris has a similar way of hearing the instruments as you go around: very impressive.


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: punkfolkrocker
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 11:37 AM

Far worse than museums, was the destructive fad for screwing old instruments to pub and cafe walls...

Who knows how many were rendered unplayable, then discarded in skips for the next faddish refurb...!!!???

Jim - a local greasy fry up caff had a phonofiddle bodged to the wall above an old harmonium and violin...

We'll never know what happened to it afer the cafe suddenly went bust and closed down...


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 11:39 AM

Here are some pix of that millionth Martin that Will mentioned above.
Gadzooks!


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 11:42 AM

"Jim - a local greasy fry up caff had a phonofiddle bodged to the wall above an old harmonium and violin..."
Pity they don't do the same with bodhrans, spoons and accordions!!
Jim


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: Gutcher
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 01:08 PM

Talking of instruments hanging on walls---when Mary Queen of Scots set sail from Dundrenan to England and eventual execution she made a gift of her lute to Sir J. Gordon of Kenmure. This beautiful instrument hung on the wall at Kenmure Castle until the beginning of the 19th.C. at which time one of the young Gordons took it to the school with him one day and niffered {exchanged} it with one of his fellow pupils for an object he desired. The new owner of the lute bore his trophy home to the paternal farm where his father, with no eye to the beauty of the instrument, decided that if the top were removed it would make a grand ladle for scooping up the swill to feed the pigs with and for this purpose he mutilated the said instrument, which of course disintegrated after a short time into a bundle of staves.

Thus perished a thing of beauty, which would, no doubt, be of great historical and monetary value today.


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 01:39 PM

I thought the V&A collection might have moved. The last time [the only] time I went to the Horniman museum, the musical instrument collection was closed for renovation.

As far as I am concerned, London may as well be another country. It's just as easy, and probably cheaper, to travel to any other European capital city from the North of England.


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 11 Jan 18 - 08:21 PM

Like I said, try Edinburgh! (Some people call it the N of England anyway!)
And although this is maybe an older link, it probably has the best info about the variety and periods of the instruments:
Musical Museum, Edinburgh


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: G-Force
Date: 12 Jan 18 - 05:46 AM

There used to be a great museum called Finchcocks in Kent, UK, where you could hear the instruments being played. Very old pianos, clavichords, harpsichords etc. etc.

But I think it's gone now, and the stuff sold off to America.


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: Gallus Moll
Date: 13 Jan 18 - 06:09 PM

there's a Stradivarius museum in Italy (would it be Cremona?) where a man is employed to play every instrument I think every day for a certain length of time----
sorry I can't remember the details and I may have 'folk processed' this a bit but I am sure there will be someone out there who can give an accurate version?


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: GUEST,FloraG
Date: 14 Jan 18 - 03:16 AM

Some of the Nat trust places encourage the playing of their pianos by visitors. Have not come across any who allow stringed instruments to be played.
FloraG.


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: Mr Red
Date: 14 Jan 18 - 04:34 AM

Museo del Violino in Cremona


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 14 Jan 18 - 05:24 AM

If only those who have made millions from the music industry were to bequeath what would be, for them, a trifling some, combined with income from recitals, there could be a living museum of individual instruments which have either historical significance, or represent the best of their kind. The other travesty is instruments/art held in a vault for no other purpose but to sell at a later date - only ever seen for a day or so every few years when it is on display at an auction house. - for the rest of the time it might just as well be firewood/scrap paper.


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Subject: RE: instruments in museums
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Jan 18 - 06:58 AM

Yes, I have played the grand pianos in Brodick Castle (Arran), Killerton House (Devon) and Castle Drogo (Devon) and others in between!


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