The Galpin Society Permanent Collection

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Abstract / Description of output

In 1967 the Galpin Society (the society for the study of musical instruments based in the U.K.) embarked on an ambitious project to establish a national collection of historic musical instruments in Edinburgh. This was proposed by Society member Graham Melville-Mason, who was appointed as the collection’s honorary curator, and was provided with premises and facilities by the University of Edinburgh. Misunderstandings within the Society resulted in a failure to raise adequate funds to operate a research collection on the scale envisaged. A significant collection of instruments was nevertheless brought together, which the Society in 1980 passed to the University. This became the nucleus of the Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments, today displayed in St Cecilia’s Hall Concert Room & Music Museum.
This article describes the disposition of historic instruments in Great Britain in the mid-1960s, and the Society’s vision for a research collection. The protracted negotiations with the University and the conflicts within the Society are discussed, in particular the dispute over the ownership of the Geoffrey Rendall collection of woodwinds and its resolution.
Original languageEnglish
JournalGalpin Society Journal
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2022


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