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Free Reeds in the MFA Collection


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I don't know whether anyone's noticed this and pointed it out before--a search of the archives was inconclusive, partly because I'm lazy. Today I had occasion to look at the musical instruments display at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. I was disappointed at the lack of concertinas, and was in the midst of griping to my wife about the utter lack of free reed instruments when I came to the case marked (I think) European Folk Instruments, wherein my eye was caught first by what they're simply calling an accordion--maybe a flutina? I then saw--much to my surprise--a symphonium. Credit to Charles Wheatstone in the description and everything, and also an MP3 of someone playing it. It's a tiny little thing...the search that turned up the links above shows me that the MFA does in fact have two English concertinas they aren't displaying at the moment, a Wheatstone and a Cramer & Co--hadn't heard of that second maker...



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