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Bradley Strauchen-Scherer

Dr. Bradley Strauchen-Scherer is an associate curator in the Department of Musical Instruments.

Of Note

Happy Birthday to Papa Haydn, Father of the String Quartet

Bradley Strauchen-Scherer, Associate Curator, Department of Musical Instruments

Posted: Monday, March 31, 2014

Lovers of chamber music have good reason to raise a cheer on March 31, which marks the 282nd birthday of composer Franz Joseph Haydn (1732–1809), who is often referred to as the "Father of the String Quartet."

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Of Note

The Apostle of Retrogression

Bradley Strauchen-Scherer, Associate Curator, Department of Musical Instruments

Posted: Monday, February 24, 2014

Arnold Dolmetsch (1858–1940) is widely acknowledged as the father of the modern-day early music or historical performance movement. Playing repertoire of the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods on instruments like those that composers knew during their lifetimes brings the essence of these very different soundscapes to life. This week marks Dolmetsch's birthday, and one can celebrate his legacy by attending a period-performance concert in order to appreciate the artistry, scholarship, and innovation of this performance style. Sparked by Dolmetsch's work, an increasing number of soloists, consorts, chamber groups, and orchestras around the world now focus on historically informed performance practices.

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Of Note

A Winter Warmer

Bradley Strauchen-Scherer, Associate Curator, Department of Musical Instruments

Posted: Monday, January 13, 2014

Unlike violinists, French horn players, and most other members of the orchestra, clarinet players usually have a pair of instruments at hand to tackle the concert repertoire. Look closely at the clarinet section and you will notice them switching between instruments during a performance. This is because music in flat keys is easier to play on the B-flat clarinet, while music in sharp keys lies best under the hands on the A clarinet. Clarinets are better in tune when they can be warmed up before playing—a problem when switching back and forth quickly between instruments.

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About this Blog

The Museum's collection of musical instruments includes approximately five thousand examples from six continents and the Pacific Islands, dating from about 300 B.C. to the present. It illustrates the development of musical instruments from all cultures and eras. On this blog, curators and guests will share information about this extraordinary collection, its storied history, the department's public activities, and some of the audio and video recordings from our archives.