Posts Tagged ‘harpsichord maintenance’

harpsichords, art worlds and support personnel

June 11, 2011

© Tilman Skowroneck 2011

“Art worlds decline when some groups that knew and used the conventions which inform their characteristic works lose that knowledge, or when new personnel cannot be recruited to maintain the world’s activities.” (Howard S. Becker Art Worlds, 349)

The importance of “support personnel” and “conventions” in art worlds is somewhat easier understood when we look at examples of everyday technology: until a few years ago, for example, it was not problematic in the least to get color films adequately developed, printed, or put on a high-resolution CD. For the past two years or so it has become very difficult to find labs that are still matching this standard: real film is nowadays processed so rarely that it (apparently) has become a major hassle for the labs to keep their chemicals fresh and uncontaminated. As a result, some of my most recent pictures resemble my first photographic efforts when they came back from our corner-store developing service back in the sixties, featuring indistinct colors, embedded particles of dust and debris, specks, and scratches.

But not only the standard of the technology and its maintenance declines. The people who are there for me to talk to about my pictures have no longer any clue about the processes involved in conventional photography. (more…)


dry winters versus pin blocks and old-style tuning pins

November 14, 2007

Everyone knows that dryness and heat increase the risk for cracks in harpsichord soundboards. The reason is to be found in simple cabinet makers’ lore: in a harpsichord case, various elements are glued tight together with the grain in different directions. Shrink and expansion thus cannot happen altogether freely, and if the tension in an area exceeds the sturdiness of the material at that spot, a crack will form. (more…)

four new plectra

November 14, 2007

Adjustment hour for the 2-manual French harpsichord today. Quill plectra have a tendency to show their strengths and weaknesses when seasons change. I’m 3 weeks into central heating and 2 weeks into starting up the humidifier – outdoor temperatures at night have dropped below freezing point. (more…)