When a promising rock musician tired of the road and the pressure, he gave up music and got a job at a hardware store. Then one day, he had a revelation.
Written by NANCY LEBRUN
Photography by STEPHEN KRAMER
In the 1970s, Hohner, the world’s largest harmonica manufacturer, changed its flagship model, and in the process its signature sound. A few musicians and harp customizers waged a quiet rebellion. And they won.
Written by BEN MARKS
In honor of Juneteenth and Black Music Month, take a tour through the history—and the sounds—of the musical culture that has been a cherished folkway in and around the nation’s capital for decades.
Written by ALONA WARTOFSKY
Of all the wind instrument players in an orchestra, oboists are among the few who have to spend more time making their reeds than playing their music. As the comic monologist Josh Kornbluth has painfully learned, just one of the myriad micro-adjustments that reed makers create will make a world of difference in their music.
Written by JEFF GREENWALD
Photography by SCOTT CHERNIS
A writer searches Istanbul’s cafés and alleys for the king of the ney, an enigmatic — and at times, endangered — flute that has long been a mainstay of Muslim musical traditions.
By ROLLO ROMIG
When a Disney film, “Coco,” spotlighted a small Mexican town where almost every shop makes guitars, it suddenly made ornate, white guitars famous. Underneath the new pop icon, however, lies a variety of much finer instruments—and a rich craft going back generations.
Story by LAURA FRASER
Photography and videography by ANDREW SULLIVAN
While Scottish culture is branded by its famous Highland bagpipes, its neighbor across the water has long made a very different set of pipes that plays a much wider range of music. Our correspondent visits the indefatigable, obsessive masters of the uilleann pipes.
Story by LARRY GALLAGHER
Photography by RUTH CARDEN
The late Butch Morris, a figure from the outer edges of jazz, reimagined conducting as a form of composition, coining his own word for the combination of the two.
Written by FRANCIS DAVIS