dolmetsch onlinethe music stand

Unravelling the Music Stand
John Everingham

A few thoughts on these essential but misunderstood and maltreated items!

Every instrumental musician needs a stand. Avoid the injury to ego and physique suffered by Hoffnung's maestro by heeding the following advice. These instructions will work for the models which give users trouble. There are a few models which only fold in one way, but note the advice about the screws.

Folding your music stand.

Metal stands are generally supplied tidily folded when new, unfold as below. If yours is unfolded, this is the way to fold it.

  1. Push both diagonal members downwards. The shelf parts then rise and the top and sides of the desk come together at the top.
  2. Push the shelf parts together, and fold the top and sides back down the outside of the shelves.
  3. Loosen the wing-nut before trying to pull back the desk. It will be difficult to move if you do not, because there are ridges formed into the metal round the wing-nut and bolt. They remove the need for great force in tightening the wing-nut
  4. Loosen the wing-bolts one by one before telescoping the pillar, and tighten them afterwards, so as to prevent their loss.
  5. Loosen the lowest wing-bolt before closing the tripod, and tighten it after sliding the pillar down.

Unfolding your music stand

  1. Loosen the wing-nut and lift the (closed) desk into position. Tighten it moderately.
  2. Loosen lowest wing-bolt and pull legs apart, working round in twos if they are stiff. Then tighten (moderately).
  3. Loosen the next wing-bolt(s) lift the pillar and tighten. It is best that each section should not be pulled right out. Pulling to the limit tends to lead insecurity and a drunken appearance.
  4. Pull the side pieces out from behind the shelf parts. Separate the long and short on each side. The longs go up and the shorts stay down. All is well if you can achieve this. If you cannot, the stand has been folded haphazardly. When a long takes a short up with it and they cannot be separated, that is the way it has to be. Observe carefully, the two sides may not be the same.
  5. Finally, carefully fold down the shelf parts. Watch what happens. If the thin parts are being twisted something is wrong. You have the stand in a "Half Nelson". Check the longs and shorts put them right as above and start again.

Correcting troubles.

Screw threads are usually metric, and it is not too difficult to get ordinary bolts in the UK now. I stock wing-bolts for the best German stands, and these will often put new life into inferior stands from the Far East. Like all machinery, stands do benefit from a little oil occasionally, just a drop on the screws and pivots. Sewing machine oil is suitable. The bolt and wing-nut at the pivot for the desk can be badly damaged by forcing, and are never quite the same again. However, if they are taken completely apart, brushed with something like a suede brush to remove the torn metal, and then put back together again with a little oil they can continue to give service.