By Jayson Kerr Dobney
The COVID-19 global pandemic continues to disturb everyone and everything. In addition to the millions of people who have suffered through illness and even the loss of loved ones, millions of others have suffered economic consequences and life disruptions. Performing artists and arts institutions have been especially hard hit by the realities of closed venues and empty museums. After a spring and summer of total lockdown, it does not look like performance venues and international travel will resume for many more months.
Yet, at the same time, there are some signs of home for those who love music and musical instruments. There are indications that music-making in homes is on the rise and musical instrument sales are up for both pianos and guitars, powered by both new musicians and those returning to music making during the pandemic.
Museums, including many musical instrument collections are starting to reopen, albeit with new safety precautions and drastic changes to their programming and outreach. Academic conferences are discovering new ways to meet and present online, saving time and travel expenses, while lowering the environmental impact of such events. While nothing will ever replace the experience of live music and the need to gather together on occasions, some of the innovations born during this period will transform the way the cultural world in beneficial ways.
Changes to this world will present both challenges and opportunities to AMIS going forward. In the months ahead this blog will focus attention on the ways in which institutions and individuals are adapting to these new realities. Make sure to look for a series that highlight the reopening of musical instrument collections and the ways they are adapting to meet the challenges of the moment. The blog will also feature reports from members who are attending some of the myriad societies and festivals that are migrating online. Look for these new features alongside more traditional musical-instrument focused content and announcements.
Musical Instrument Collections Open as of September, 2020
Antwerp, Belgium: Museum Vleeshuis
Copenhagen, Denmark: Musikmuseet
Cremona, Italy: Museo del Violino
Edinburgh, Scotland: St. Cecilia’s Hall
The Hague, The Netherlands: Gemeentemuseum
La Couture Boussey, Mairie, France: Musée des Instruments à Vent
Leipzig, Germany: Musikinstrumenten-Museum der Universität Leipzig
London, United Kingdom: Horniman Museum
London, United Kingdom: Victoria & Albert Museum
Markneukirchen, Germany: Museum of Musical Instruments
Oxford, England: The Bate Collection
Oxford, England: Ashmolean Museum
Vienna, Austria: Kunsthistorisches Museum
Cleveland, Ohio: Rock Hall of Fame
Greenville, South Carolina: Carolina Music Museum
New York, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Seattle, Washington: MoPOP