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Boring for Britain: the design, development and mass deployment of Dolmetsch recorders, 1920-1980

Boring for Britain: the design, development and mass deployment of Dolmetsch recorders, 1920-1980
Boring for Britain: the design, development and mass deployment of Dolmetsch recorders, 1920-1980
Arnold Dolmetsch and Carl Dolmetsch were two of the most influential recorder makers who ever lived. Arnold produced the first fully viable modern copies of eighteenth-century originals in the 1920s. Carl developed new, louder-sounding models in the 1930s, as was necessary to out-compete rival German manufacturers, and for several postwar decades kept his family firm at the world forefront of recorder supply. Dolmetsch plastic recorders were the best on the market at their modest price points; Dolmetsch handmade instruments were the most reliable that money could buy.

Though the Dolmetsch recorder story is widely celebrated it resists telling in well-attested detail. Sources conflict. There are holes in the evidence, and a romanticized gloss on some of the evidence that does survive, making myth and reality hard to disentangle.

Combining documentary evidence with evidence derived from instruments themselves, through close examination and comparison, ‘Boring for Britain’ presents a fuller version of the story than any yet assembled, correcting a number of widely-disseminated misimpressions along the way.
0072-0127
Pinnock, Andrew
a13924a7-d53d-41a6-827c-f91013ea4ee0
Pinnock, Andrew
a13924a7-d53d-41a6-827c-f91013ea4ee0

Pinnock, Andrew (2023) Boring for Britain: the design, development and mass deployment of Dolmetsch recorders, 1920-1980. The Galpin Society Journal, 76 (March 2023).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Arnold Dolmetsch and Carl Dolmetsch were two of the most influential recorder makers who ever lived. Arnold produced the first fully viable modern copies of eighteenth-century originals in the 1920s. Carl developed new, louder-sounding models in the 1930s, as was necessary to out-compete rival German manufacturers, and for several postwar decades kept his family firm at the world forefront of recorder supply. Dolmetsch plastic recorders were the best on the market at their modest price points; Dolmetsch handmade instruments were the most reliable that money could buy.

Though the Dolmetsch recorder story is widely celebrated it resists telling in well-attested detail. Sources conflict. There are holes in the evidence, and a romanticized gloss on some of the evidence that does survive, making myth and reality hard to disentangle.

Combining documentary evidence with evidence derived from instruments themselves, through close examination and comparison, ‘Boring for Britain’ presents a fuller version of the story than any yet assembled, correcting a number of widely-disseminated misimpressions along the way.

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Accepted/In Press date: 27 May 2022
Published date: March 2023

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 467897
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/467897
ISSN: 0072-0127
PURE UUID: 50dee16a-ce3e-485a-a4cc-295a39c283dc

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Date deposited: 25 Jul 2022 16:30
Last modified: 29 Oct 2023 22:49

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