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Musical Home Design

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Musical Home Design

I just ran across an article in the Wall Street Journal: Face the Music: How to Incorporate Instruments Into Your Home Design. If you get blocked by the paywall, try googling the title? Here is an example of what they are talking about:

You see this more and more in high-end homes these days. One popular choice is to combine things like African art objects with African musical instruments like the mbira. Or Mexican artisanal art with mariachi instruments. In the photo above the reminiscence is to American popular music of several decades ago. Maybe 80 years from now a home design might feature autotune somehow.

Here is how one designer describes the technique:
“You don’t have to necessarily hang it all on a wall. Leaning an instrument like a cello in a corner against the wall is a really cool way to display it. Give an instrument like a cello its own moment next to an accent chair, lamp and textured rug. You can even casually place a smaller instrument, like a clarinet on an adjacent coffee table. Use instruments as decor and as a functional piece works, too. You can literally take the guitar right off the wall and play it. There’s a level of functionality that’s also really nice about this. Display books about music or your favorite musicians. You could also fill a coffee table that has a transparent opening with guitar picks, records and sheet music. You don’t want to take it too far where it’s cheesy though. You want it to feel effortless if it’s a home where someone is very into music.” 
It all looks a bit weird to me because I actually grew up in a home stuffed with musical instruments. Between when I was eight years old and fifteen years old our very modest home contained an upright piano, a couple of violins, a vintage four-string banjo (that I still have), a steel string guitar, a mandolin, an octophone (a double-strung instrument vaguely like an overgrown ukulele), a slide whistle and probably a few I have forgotten. Later on when I got into music we added another steel string guitar, a nylon string guitar, an electric bass and amplifier and a microphone and mike-stand. And this was in a tiny two-bedroom bungalow of no more than 800 square feet. Here is what is weird to me: all our instruments were always kept in their cases to prevent damage and dust. Musical instruments easily get dusty and because of the strings and all those interstices, they are darn hard to dust. Plus, leaning a cello into a corner? Really?

So I look at these instruments just hanging on the wall and I think, doesn't anyone play them and take care of them? Guitars are like horses, you have to take care of them and, especially in winter and dry climates, keep them humidified so they don't crack.

But yeah, sure, they look cool. But they sound even cooler. This is me playing Asturias by Isaac Albéniz:

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