Greetings, friends: I started my 2024 AMIS Trip Report with a write-up on the people there, along with some of the many papers and posters presented.

I’m now going to continue with nothing but fabulous musical instruments in Phoenix! I’m going to split these up into four posts, as each has particular special stories I want to tell.

This first one is a general stroll through the galleries, as I looked for new instruments that I had not seen before. I’ll share some new favorites below. I’m not repeating too much from past visits, which you can catch up on in my 2019 visit and our previous AMIS visit to Phoenix in 2011, captured in 4 blogs that start here.

The main floor Guitar Rotunda has been largely switched out:

Sorry, missed the sign on this one.

Nice to see a Larson brothers guitar prominently displayed!

A balalaika-shaped guitar. Which might be confusing…

We didn’t get to see any of the restoration crew this trip, nor was anyone working while we were there.

The start of the Europe gallery.

I don’t remember seeing this one before. Toulouse 1815, by Joseph Laurent Mast. He’s the fellow who created those wonderful harp-shaped “harp guitars” that I investigate here.

Looks like a Franciolini theorbo and two wonderful mandolins.

Two lovely kobzas. I’m still unclear on exactly when a kobza turns into a bandura…

Family groups of Russian domras and balalaikas.

The MIM’s celempung seems virtually identical to the one I recently acquired, except for the paint job.

Strolling through the vast MIM collection, it once again hit me that I’m always mentally making a fantasy “shopping list.” However, it does occasionally pay off. Besides the celempung, I put in my mind to look for an example of the wonderful morin khuur horse-headed lutes. And eventually found this to add to my collection.

Similarly, the uniquely-shaped Afghanistan waj. Impossible to find, but one day one showed up in an obscure auction and I was able to snag it.

An example of the wonderful Burmese croc zither continues to elude me.

I’m a huge fan of African art and musical instruments, especially harps. The unusual pluriarcs (one arched stick for each string) continue to enthrall me.

Ditto thumb pianos in all their myriad forms. I looked into how they make these wonderful custom metal stands. A lot of expense and work; I won’t be pursuing it I fear.

A spectacular solid ivory Indian sarinda.

I remember being at the Los Angeles Gift Show one year a couple decades ago and seeing some of these instruments for sale, as Southern Vietnam had just opened up exports to the States and all of a sudden you could see these things. Of course, you’re all now familiar with the dan bau from my last blog!

I love the included folk costumes mixed in with some of the exhibits.

There are several “Ex Walter J. Erdmann Collection” instruments at the MIM. Remember him? I was once lucky enough to get a couple of his auctioned off instruments, then subsequently told his story with the help of his widow:

On loan from the NMM: an incredible c.1670 Sellas guitar.

Another incredible instrument. Francisco Sanguino of Seville, 1770. That’s a Yepes-style ten-string in the back.

This is a rare treasure. A tastengitarre (keyed guitar) by Mathias Neüner, Mittenwald, 1810. You might recall that my friend Daniel Wheeldon copied this instrument as part of his 2019 PhD (below):

Another rare keyed guitar, but this time the English guittar.

A crazy delicate German pedal harp!

Would love to see the mechanism.

Two Welsh harps, one simply stunning.

A rare Larson-built Bruno mandocello. Wonderful headstock and body shape with extremely domed top.

The late great Rick Turner’s collection of Howe-Orme mandolin orchestra instruments.

My old friend! I highlighted this one in my very first MIM post. I just love this little Indian flat board lute instrument with the handy cut out for fingering.

The monitor lizard skin head can presumably produce some small tone as it has a hollow bowl body hidden behind.

That reminds me…time to update my “Shopping List”!

Next: The continuing story of the Raymond Zéliker collection.