Since the first primitive horns, music has been a part of our lives and despite the developments in modern, music technology, there is still nothing like the sound of the real thing.
However, collecting old, musical pieces can be full of pitfalls for the novice – if you don’t know anything about music, you’re very likely to strike the wrong note!
The most common musical instruments in antiques centres and shops are upright pianos. An old piano is highly likely to need re-turning, so expect to add something to the purchase price. Upright pianos are available for as little as £100.
A more space-saving past time would be collecting music boxes. There are lots of these available and some are really striking.
Another instrument popular with collectors is the violin. In 400 years, these classic instruments have changed little. When buying an old violin, the main point to check is the bridge. If this is in good condition, the violin is probably worth buying. Re-stringing a violin is not expensive and the wood can easily be polished up.
But it’s not just instruments that are collectable. The arrival of cassettes, compact discs and MP3’s has meant that old vinyl records have become collectables. With 45’s starting at just 50p and LP’s selling for £1, collecting records is a pastime anyone can ardently enjoy!
Individual collectors have different priorities when buying old records: Some will collect a particular record label like Coliseum, Zonaphone, London Records or Parlaphone, whilst others search for specific artists – Famous singers like Cliff Richard, Elvis Presley or Frank Sinatra are more valuable. Some enthusiasts even collect just the printed record sleeves.
Gramophones, phonographs and accompanying accessories are today collected enthusiastically. The most important factor for a collector is that they are in working order, although there are collectors who like broken machines so they can enjoy the pleasure of repairing them.
Buying musical instruments is really for people who have a working knowledge of music, but buying music boxes and records are hobbies that can be enjoyed by anyone. Just collect what you enjoy.