- Carolyn Bryant
Organizations devoted to a particular musical instrument or group of instruments. Groups state their purpose and goals in many different ways, but common ideas include fostering communication between members, providing a forum for the exchange of information and ideas, and promoting interest in and study of the instrument(s) to which the society is dedicated. Some societies emphasize the history of instruments, disseminating information about them, and preserving historic instruments. Others emphasize collecting or making instruments. A common theme is bringing together amateur and professional players or instrument makers of all experience levels.
A number of groups, including what is probably the first instrument society—the American Recorder Society, founded in 1929 by lutenist Suzanne Block—were an outgrowth of the early music revival, through which instrumental ensembles brought recorders, viols, lutes, and other little-known instruments to the notice of a wider audience. The ARS continues to facilitate meetings between recorder players and to offer help and support as members choose, learn, play, and care for their instruments. Interest in early instruments has prompted the formation of similar groups such as the Viola da Gamba Society of America (founded ...