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Classical 101

Musician's instruments at risk...even on the ground

Much has been made about the difficulty musicians have traveling with instruments.  Airlines want them in the hold, musicians say no; some buy their instruments seats, the airline says no; customs says pay us a lot of money or we'll impound your violin, musicians say no. You get the picture. You might remember a few years ago when a musician by the name of Dave Carroll was traveling with his group Sons of Maxwell, when United Airlines broke his guitar.  When they refused to have it fixed, the ensuing video he put together went viral, forcing the airline's hand.  (Watch the video above)

Now it appears it may be dangerous for an instrument to sit locked in a room for any length of time.

A double-bass player with the interesting name of Ratzo B. Harris (must be a family name?) had a gig in a New York restaurant.   He left the instrument and it's bow in it's case in a room overnight.  When he arrived for sound-check the next day he "found the instrument with its back halfway off and a crack running almost the entire length."  He was never totally reimbursed and, as you can imagine, a repaired instrument never sounds or feels quite the same. Mr. Harris tells another story about the cabbie whose smaller-sized car meant the neck of the double-bass had to stick out the window.

The driver managed to run the neck of the bass into a city bus.

By now, he's probably thinking clarinet lessons might be a good career move. Read Pop music? (NewMusicBox.com)