a question of stands

Did you know that, before modern-day industrial techniques made mass production of rosin possible, local authorities were the only providers of the stuff? They would hang great municipal cakes of it in public places and local fiddlers would prep up their bows en route to the gig.

Thankfully those days are over. While some nostalgic observers lament the disappearance of the dangling amber nugget from the urban landscape, now every string player can treasure their own supply, keeping it nestled in a personalised velvet cushion-lined box, wrapped in a silk handkerchief, until such time as it is dropped and shatters on a stone floor leaving only shards to be applied to the bow hair hair by hair.

Let’s not forget that with their removal, the burden on the taxpayer is now substantially lighter too! And, since we are speaking of burdens being lightened, that brings me to another way in which local government could ride to the rescue of the travelling musician.

By providing cheap and easy access to publicly owned music stands, which would be available on street corners in much the same way as are London’s colourful if ungainly hire bikes, the authorities would alleviate one of life’s most irksome requests: please bring a stand. Even the selfish bastards who generally can’t be bothered to do such a thing (“Oh sorry, I totally forgot/thought there would be enough/had to take it to the dry cleaners”) would benefit, being henceforth able to go through life without having that misdemeanour as a burden tugging on their conscience like rosin on a string.


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