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Historical Instrument Studies

Resources for the study of historical musical instruments

This is a new series of podcasts using instruments of the Birmingham Conservatoire Historical Instrument Collection to explore the development of Western Classical musical instruments.

Each podcast focuses on an instrument, or group of instruments, and examines changes in their construction and design, and how musicians and composers responded to and initiated these changes.

The series features interviews with specialist performers and demonstrations on original and replica historical instruments.

Podcasts can be downloaded directly by using the links on this page, or via the dedicated Birmingham City University iTunesU site.

There is also an extensive library of audio recordings, featuring specialists in the field of period instrument performance playing instruments from the collection.

Podcast 1: English Transitional Bows

Download on iTunesU

Birmingham Conservatoire's Historical Instrument Collection contains many examples of violin, viola, cello and bass bows by members of the Dodd family and others.

The bows of this period (late 18th to mid-19th Century) are described as 'transitional'. This is because they were made after the Baroque period and show gradual changes in construction and design before the 'modern' bows used today.

In Podcast 1, Birmingham Conservatoire Baroque Violin Consultant, Margaret Faultless, talks to Martin Perkins about the violin bows in the Collection. Please refer to the String Bows page of the collection for images and measurements.