Integrated Instrument Case/Stand
October 27, 2011 8:22 PM   Subscribe

I wish for a musical instrument case, that also transforms into a music stand for holding sheet music. Does such a beast exist?

I know someone who plays violin professionally and has to lug around both a violin case and various music stand incarnations. It would be so much easier logistically if the case was also the stand (with some assembly/transforming of course) there any such product currently on the market? Is that something that other musicians would be interested in?
posted by sandking to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I don't really see the need to have a magical case when a wire stand is super portable and weighs less than 5 pounds...

I have seen a tuba player tape his music to his case to use as a temporary stand while warming up. Other than that, I've never seen such an apparatus.
posted by astapasta24 at 9:02 PM on October 27, 2011

My immediate thoughts:

When an orchestral musician is asked to bring their own stand to a concert, it is generally assumed it will be a Manhasset-style. I have a Stageline which already toes the line, due to the holes in the desk; I usually have to put a black folder behind my music to help hide the holes. (But it is an awesome stand, nonetheless, and already hits a pretty sweet spot between the shitty folding stand and the cumbersome Manhasset.)

Orchestral musicians (upper woodwinds, especially the oboists, excluded) are also generally not allowed to have their case with them on stage. The musicians with the larger cases typically have to stash them backstage wherever they can find room (usually shoved under a table). If the stand part detached from the case, whatever remained of the case better be self contained enough where pieces won't get lost when a stagehand moves cases around in a well-meaning, but misguided attempt at organizing all the shit that accumulates backstage and in the wings.

A pit musician will need a stand that has a sturdy desk capable of holding at least an inch-thick of music, a magazine*, and various accessories. Nobody really gives a shit what a pit musician's stand looks like, as long as it can accommodate a stand light. Some pits are large enough where everyone can keep their cases with them; some pits are so small, you're practically in each others' laps.

A busker or other outdoor musician will want a stand that can hold up to wind gusts and the occasional jostle from a passer-by.

As a professional, I'd really like to see an improved Stageline-style stand. It's already fairly portable, but I'd love to see it in a version where the desk can fold in two somehow for greater portability (without sacrificing its size and sturdiness). And the stupid holes done away with.

*iPads and Kindles becoming more common.
posted by Wossname at 9:08 PM on October 27, 2011

A busker or other outdoor musician will want a stand that can hold up to wind gusts and the occasional jostle from a passer-by.

Plus in the case of busking, you want your case to act as a money receptacle. Sure you could put a hat out or something , but using your instrument case just seems much more .... professional, if such a word applies to busking.
posted by mannequito at 9:58 PM on October 27, 2011

I've actually been thinking about music stands since someone I used to work with was just talking to me about making some, but she was pointing me at something more upscale that what Wossname was linking to.

The issue is going to be one of form and function. An instrument case needs to be a sturdy container the size and shape of the instrument. The stand needs a table at the top to hold the music and a reasonably large base that is heavy enough so that it doesn't get knocked over every time you go to turn the page or someone walks by. It is preferable for both to be as light as possible, all other things being equal.

Merging the two would probably not save much weight, but would add the bulk of an instrument case to the music stand, I would not be surprised to learn there is an instrument case with a hard point to attach a music stand to, however. (Probably not a $550 wooden music stand however.)
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:41 PM on October 27, 2011

Sorry to dash your dreams, but orchestra musician (clarinetist) here who just doesn't see how this is going to be a marriage made in heaven. As pointed out, a wire stand is hella light anyway, whereas anything like a folding stand of the sturdy variety (and there are some out there) is going to weigh more than the violin and case, and form this hellish mass... Perhaps a more effective approach would be to find (or fabricate) some kind of back-pack type tote that would hold both the instrument case and the stand.

A couple of points about the roving musician, at least in the parts of the world where cars are in use. Strings and woodwind (especially the strings) players will carry their axe EVERYWHERE they go from the time they leave for a gig to the time they get back. Going to a bookstore beforehand? Stopping in a restaurant after the gig? The violin (or even the 'cello) comes in with them. Even if it's 72 degrees outside, it's late afternoon or evening, you're only going to be in there 30 minutes, and realistically there's no way being in the car will hurt it. They. Just. Won't. Leave. It. Something about the instrument being centuries old and costing more than their house, for one thing, and being incredibly temperature fragile, for another.

So-o -- if I go someplace enroute, as is I can bring the axe and leave the stand in the car. If I had a backpack that put it together somehow, I could pull out the case and leave 5-7 pounds behind. Stands don't care if they get hot; clarinets do.

On folding music stands - I've never owned one of these type (I have the shitty wire stands for the rare travel situation where stand is needed and a Manhasset non-folding for my studio), but believe they occupy that realm of "portable, but sturdy"
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:04 AM on October 28, 2011

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