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Let’s show modern instruments some #love

The Elbow Music social media campaign puts modern instruments in the spotlight

My recent article about Frank Peter Zimmermann’s dilemma in having to give back the Stradivarius he had been playing and whether he should try a modern instrument proved quite a hit here trafficwise; and last week, a picture of my friend’s viola on Facebook was very popular. It seems that there is an ever-growing interest among players in the possibilities of modern instruments, as new making gets better and better, and as players are further and further away from being able to afford old instruments.

So I thought I’d start a new social media hashtag campaign, to celebrate the beauty and quality of modern instruments, and to allow players to show theirs off and describe exactly what it is they love about them.

Rex England viola

Here's how it goes: if you play a modern instrument – and for the sake of argument, let’s define that as less than 50 years old, so made after 1965 – then please post your picture or pictures of the instrument on Instagram, Twitter or on the Elbow Music Facebook page, using the hashtags #ModernViolinLove, #ModernViolaLove, #ModernCelloLove or #ModernBassLove (#ModernLove has been occupied with other images, sadly!) Name the maker, the nationality, the date of birth, and if you have space, include at least three adjectives that describe your instrument. If you're using Facebook, you also have room to tell any stories about it, how you came across it or had it made, and why you love it.

The aim is not to sell specific instruments or to promote specific makers or dealers, so please only post if you're a player and it's your instrument, rather than if you're trying to sell something. But if you're a maker please feel free to nudge the players who own your instruments. Also, please only post if it's made by a single maker, rather than being a branded instrument. The goal is to get useful and interesting conversations going, to increase awareness about quality work, and to create an easily searchable database of lovely instruments for us all to appreciate.

By example I’ll start the ball rolling with the viola I play (on loan): Rex England, UK, 1988, even, dusky & loud #ModernViolaLove.

And of course let's not forget the bows! Post pictures of your bows under the tag #ModernBowLove, with the same criteria – less than 50 years old, with a named maker, posted by the player who owns it.

Let the loving begin!

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