Friday, September 9, 2011

Canterbury Music Racks - Solving Your Music Storage Mess

Written by Stefan Aune of Fein Violins

My mother is a piano teacher, and for as long as I can remember, our dining room, where the piano is located, has been strewn about with stacks of sheet music. The situation becomes particularly bad around the holidays, when piles and piles of music for students to "test drive" end up blotting out our dining room table, and you have to maneuver with care to avoid knocking down 20 copies of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer." I could attribute this problem to a lack of organization unique to my mother, but I've known quiet a few musicians in my life, and most of them are disorganized when it comes to sheet music. They cram it into tote bags, pack it into folders that are barely holding together, or jam it into the compartments of their instrument case. Under these conditions, trying to track down a single xeroxed sheet of paper can be a nightmare. 

We previously wrote a blog about music stands that highlighted the differences between poor quality wire stands and sturdier, better looking wood music stands. Many musicians put up with infuriating wire stands simply because they are unaware of alternatives. The same is true for sheet music storage - you don't necessarily need to keep stacking your music on the floor or cramming it into tote bags or folders. A piece of furniture called a "Canterbury," popularized in England during the 1700's, provides an elegant and practical solution to sheet music and music book storage. 


The Canterbury is a wooden piece of furniture specifically designed for storing sheet music and music books. They typically consist of several racks that music slides easily into, a bottom shelf for storing larger items, and a removable tray. Many also have handles, making them one of the classiest ways to transport music. The highly musical President, Thomas Jefferson, used a Canterbury to store his own music, and you can still see a picture of it here
At Fein Violins we offer two styles of Canterbury, one larger and one smaller. Both are crafted of solid Mahogany and look great as furniture pieces. Check them out here.

Smaller Canterbury

If you find yourself with untidy stacks of sheet music or a bag full of miss-matched xerox pages, perhaps you should consider picking up a Canterbury and simplifying your life. I know my mother could use one, and next time I need a gift idea for her I might get her a Canterbury - she could use a place to put all those copies of "Ode To Joy."

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