Detail of flute keywork made by Peter Worrell

BACKGROUND

British musical prowess is world famous; our musicians are considered some of the finest in the world. These artists rely on skilled artisans and craftsmen to supply and maintain the tools of their trade; the instruments. Without access to the finest technicians, players will be unable to maintain and develop their instruments and achieve the last 1% from the design and set-up of their instruments. This will inevitably result in frustration by the players and the slow decline in our music culture.

There is a small window of opportunity to stem the decline in the fascinating and important industry of instrument making. The last of the apprentice-served craftsmen, who made woodwind instruments from start to finish in the UK, are retiring and the great manufacturing companies like Boosey & Hawkes and Rudall Carte & Co. have now gone. Even the few excellent manufactures that are still surviving are outsourcing or mechanizing more and more. We are about to loose our skill base of truly all-round repairers and makers. Not only will the British music industry go into decline; the makers supply our fantastic players! However, we will also loose an incredible tradition of manual-skill.

It is still possible to acquire the workshops of these apprentice served craftsmen, there are still a few experienced and skilled artisans left who are keen to pass on their skills, we still have some of the best players in the world who know what they want and are willing to work with technicians to achieve the best.

Background

Preservation through Participation.