So the title of this post could probably expand to include all instruments, but most museums lend out famous or rare instruments to be played in public on occasion, and I didn’t see a magazine at the airport titled “French Horn Afficianado.” I did catch this little gem, though, and it reinforced everything that’s wrong with instrument collecting (minus a profile of Jim Irsay).
The close relationship to luxury brand names, the reinforcement of exorbitant price points, the promised access to “forbidden” or otherwise inaccessible goods – it’s all there. But if it’s going to sit in a glass case and do nothing, it’s worthless. It’s non-functional. You can own one of Eddie Van Halen’s guitars and be no closer to the “Eruption” solo than you were on a Mexican Strat 30 years ago and weren’t practicing then, either.
Famous Stradivari instruments may be rare investments, but they get played. By professionals. In public and for the enjoyment of audiences. The instruments in this publication are nowhere near as old or valuable, and they don’t deserve to be shut away and made useless for the sake of possession. There are much more lucrative investments, anyway.