What is it that makes a musical instrument so captivating? For many people, their first encounter with an acoustic guitar or piano will be as beautiful and complex. The intricate and beautiful mechanisms of musical instruments are revealed in a new series by Charles Brooks.
Charles uses specialized lenses to capture what would otherwise be invisible - such as tool marks left behind from centuries' worth or repairs done on an instrument's body through the years, all while revealing its vast interior architecture that was previously unseen until now.
He captures instruments with fascinating histories: A cello once hit by a train, a didgeridoo hollowed out by termites, and an exquisite Fazioli grand piano hand-made from 11000 individual parts.
Charles takes pictures of each instrument at different focal lengths to create these captivating images that look in motion or at different depths. All he does is frame them beautifully against one another, creating perspective tricks on your mind and making you think the space appears larger than reality.
Scroll down below to enjoy the mesmerizing beauty of musical instruments.
01. Fazioli Grand Piano
An exquisite Fazioli grand piano hand-made from 11,000 individual parts. Photographed at Sly’s Pianos, Auckland.
02. Lockey Hill Cello Circa 1780
The inside of a rare Lockey Hill cello from around 1780. Photographed while under restoration at the Stringed Instrument Company in Auckland, New Zealand.
03. Burkart Elite 14k Rose Gold Flute
The interior of a Burkart Elite 14k Rose Gold Flute. Photographed while under restoration at Neige Music Atelier in New Zealand.
Charles Brooks believes that music and architecture are inseparable. “Many of the greatest architectural feats of past centuries were created with music and sound driving their very design, from the amphitheaters of Rome, the great cathedrals of Europe, to modern stadiums and splendid opera houses throughout the world. Their design has influenced and shaped the history of music, and music continues to shape their design in turn.”
04. Australian Didgeridoo
A unique view inside an Australian Didgeridoo by Trevor Gillespie/Peckham (Bungerroo) of New South Wales.
05. The Exquisite Architecture of Steinway Model D
The action of a Steinway Model D Grand Piano. Photographed at Lewis Eady’s in Auckland.
06. Charles Theress Bass Circa 1860
07. Buffet Prestige Bass Clarinet
08. Inside a Taylor GS Mini Guitar
9. A Cello Hit By A Train In 1929, Then Repaired
“That instrument contrasts dramatically with another cello hit by a train in 1929! It had been tied to the roof of a car that got stuck on a level crossing. Such damage would normally write off an instrument. However, this was the era of the Great Depression, and cellos were hard to come by, so it was repaired. Unusually, every luthier that has worked on it has left a signature inside.”
10. 1980s Yanagisawa Saxophone
11. CG Conn C-Melody Saxophone 1924
12. Selmer Balanced Action Saxophone from 2021
There's no way of denying that these incredible sets of images will make your day.
Antique musical instruments are prized for their intricate design and fine craftsmanship. These beautiful objects are often works of art in their own right and can be found in the homes of collectors and music lovers worldwide.
Music has been a part of human culture since the dawn of time. Ancient cultures used crude instruments to make noise and celebrate important events. Over time, these instruments evolved and became more sophisticated. By the Middle Ages, musical instrument makers were highly skilled artisans who created beautiful and elaborate instruments for use in courtly settings.
The most beautiful instruments from this period are brass wind instruments, such as trumpets, trombones, and horns. These instruments were often decorated with ornate engravings and filigree work. The attention to detail was astonishing, and these instruments were truly works of art.
Other popular instruments from this period include lutes and harpsichords. Lutes were stringed instruments that were played with a pick or quill. They were often decorated with inlaid woodwork or floral carvings. Harpsichords were similar to pianos and were played by pressing keys that plucked strings inside the instrument. Harpsichords could be very ornate, with detailed carvings on the woodwork and beautiful paintings on the soundboard.
These days, musical instruments are mass-produced without much attention to detail or craftsmanship. However, a few companies still produce high-quality, handcrafted instruments based on traditional designs. If you're looking for an exquisite musical instrument to add to your collection, be sure to do your research so you can find a reputable maker who produces quality products.