Musical Collection A Real Find

A 1736 Stradivari violin.  A 19th century clarinet.  A Paris harpsichord.  A bauble complete with the jester's scepter of late medieval times.  It's not a wish list for a multi-instrumentalist but just some of the rare and unique items that can be found at Yale University's Collection of Musical Instruments.

According to the website, the collection is "committed to fostering the understanding and appreciation of musical instruments from all cultures."  Established in 1900, the first instruments were donated by Morris Steinart, a piano dealer and founder of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra.  The collection grew slowly over half a century from alumni donations and now consists of over a thousand instruments.

The string, wind, keyboard, non-Western and miscellaneous instruments are an important resource for the music curricula of the University.  On display you can see a early 20th century suzu, an eccentric, ornamented 18th century German guitar, a 1906 Chickering and Sons clavichord which was fully restored to playing condition in 1992.

The collection, located at 15 Hillhouse Avenue in New Haven, is open to the public from Tuesday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., from September through June.  

Not only can you view the instruments on display but many of the keyboard instruments have been restored to playing condition and are regularly featured in live performances as part of a concert series. 

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