[ about ]

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the instruments played?
Many of the instruments in the Collection are maintained in playing condition dependent on the condition of the instruments and the museum’s conservation policies and resources.  These playing examples are frequently heard in concerts, tours, lectures, and other presentations.

How much is my musical instrument worth?
For ethical reasons museum staff members are not permitted to give monetary valuations of objects. Although much information on musical instruments is available on the Internet, owners should be cautioned that only authorized appraisers are qualified to establish valuations that will be widely accepted.

Is my violin a Stradivarius?
The authentication and valuation of string instruments requires the expertise of a qualified professional appraiser. Members of the public should be cautioned that many of the labels found pasted onto the inside of the back of string instruments are not genuine indicators of the age or maker of the instrument.

Does the Museum offer instruments for rental?
Accessioned objects in the Museum do not circulate. The Museum does, however, maintain a separate collection comprised largely of replicas that is available for use at no charge by faculty and students enrolled in the music programs of the University.

Do musical instruments improve with age?
While certain instruments (notably those of the violin family) have long maintained or increased their standing in the marketplace, it must be acknowledged that musical instruments, like any tool, wear out over time. It must be observed that aside from the bowed string instruments, most professional players prefer the best instruments of modern make (including replicas of older style instruments) for most of their activities.

May I bring my class or club group to visit the Collection?
Group tours may be arranged by appointment.
Groups of under 10 may visit spontaneously during public visiting hours.
For non-Yale groups a fee will be charged for guided tours.