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The American Musical Instrument Society


The Curt Sachs Award 2007

Arnold Myers

Arnold MyersArnold Myers, Professor of Organology, the University of Edinburgh, and Director, Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments, was presented the 2007 Curt Sachs Award by president Kathryn Libin shortly after his fascinating paper on “The Brassiness of Brass Instruments” on the first day of the conference at Yale University. The presentation, usually reserved for the banquet on Saturday evening, was made early so that Myers could attend another event. Following are Professor Myers’s remarks to the members gathered in Sudler Recital Hall:

Madame President,

Thank you for your kind and generous remarks.

I first became interested in musical instruments when studying physics at St. Andrews University. I was fascinated by the odd instruments I could find in junk shops and see in museums.

One of the instruments I started playing was the British bass trombone in G, fully aware that it was a species facing imminent extinction, but I felt that the diversity of species was something worth trying to preserve.

I read what I could about instruments, but it was a somewhat solitary study. Life as a young organologist was transformed when I visited an exhibition of historic instruments organised by the Galpin Society. I took out membership of that Society on the spot and found that there were kindred spirits—formidably knowledgeable but very friendly.

At that time, the Galpin Society was building up the collection of historic musical instruments in Edinburgh, so I moved to Edinburgh and caught the collecting disease (a disease which in my case has got progressively worse).

Some time later I attended my first AMIS meeting in Boston and found that the world contained yet more very friendly and formidably knowledgeable fellow enthusiasts.

In thanking AMIS for the great honour represented by the Curt Sachs Award and for the special invitation to participate in this meeting, I would also like to thank your members for the encouragement given earlier in my career and continuing today.

Thank you.

-Arnold Myers

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