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The Library of Congress in the US has an amazing collection of Musical Instruments

The rarest and the most unique collection of the musical instruments include the Stradivari violins and the library's collection of flutes, is the largest in the world


November 04, 2016: One of the marvels in the world, the Capitol Hill in Washington DC, houses the largest library in the United States- the Library of Congress. The library was built by an act of Congress on the year 1800.

But the largest library of the US does not only have a huge collection of millions of books and varieties of maps but it also possesses an amazing collection of musical instruments. The rarest and the most unique collection of the musical instruments include the ‘Cremonese collection’, the ‘Wilkins collection’ and the ‘Miller collection’ etcetera.

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The collection showcases some antique violins. These include the excellent creations by Antonio Stradivari. There are the violins- the Ward, the Betts and the Castelbarco, the Cassavetti viola and the Castelbarco cello, present in the collection. The Stradivari violins are known around the globe for their famous musical quality. According to VOA, Steve Miller, of the famed show ‘Did You Know’ reports that the Stradivari collection includes one that is a fine craftsmanship of 53 specialist craftsmen who reportedly signed their names inside. He also reports that this very piece is not displayed to the public. There is another one which has been on loan to the collection of the library since the year 1967.

Musical instruments
A Stradivari violin. Wikimedia

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As per reports from VOA, Miller’s confirmation, and the collection catalogue of the library, the collection owns a long stringed instrument and is a vintage possession among the musical instruments. Apart from the long-stringed instrument, the collection has an exquisite and beautifully carved hand-drum presented to the library by the king of Thailand, Bhumibol Adulyadej, on the year 1960; as a token of sincere respect.

The collection of the musical instruments remains incomplete without the mention of the flutes. The library of Congress owns the world’s largest flute collection, as reported by Steve Miller. The most prized possession of the library- the flutes are not displayed to the public.  They are stored in drawers, hidden from the regular visitors and each item is perfectly catalogued in the journal of Dr. Dayton C Miller, who donated about 2000 flutes and other wind instruments to the library on 1941. It is referred as the popular ‘Miller Collection’.

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A poster for Sousa's 'Stars and Stripes Forever'. Wikimedia commons
A poster for Sousa’s ‘Stars and Stripes Forever’. Wikimedia

As per VOA’s reports, the curator of the musical instruments collections of the library, Carol Lynn Ward-Bamford, stated that Dr. Miller, who combined music with his talents and science, and created this collection, was one of the best collectors she had witnessed.

Steve Miller further says that one of the flutes from the collection was owned by a king and has an amazing feature that enables the player to switch its middle sections to change the pitch. Another, is the one that was played during the first ever performance of John Philip Sousa’s ‘Stars and Stripes forever’.

Apparently, considering one of the world’s most incredible collections of the vintage musical instruments, the Library of Congress has so much more to it than just books or maps. The collection is surely a rare one and adds to the charm of the largest library in the US.

 by Antara Kumar. Twitter: @ElaanaC

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FIFA World Cup 2018: Indian Cuisine becomes the most sought after in Moscow

Indian cuisine in FIFA World cup
Indian dishes available in Moscow during FIFA World Cup 2018, representational image, wikimedia commons

June 17, 2018:

Restaurateurs Prodyut and Sumana Mukherjee have not only brought Indian cuisine to the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018 here but also plan to dish out free dinner to countrymen if Argentina wins the trophy on July 15.

Based in Moscow for the last 27 years, Prodyut and Sumana run two Indian eateries, “Talk Of The Town” and “Fusion Plaza”.

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Both restaurants serve popular Indian dishes like butter chicken, kebabs and a varied vegetarian spread.

During the ongoing FIFA World Cup 2018, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

The Mukherjees, hailing from Kolkata, are die-hard fans of Argentina. Despite Albiceleste drawing 1-1 with Iceland in their group opener with Lionel Messi failing to sparkle, they believe Jorge Sampaoli’s team can go the distance.

“I am an Argentina fan. I have booked tickets for a quarterfinal match, a semifinal and of course the final. If Argentina goes on to lift

During the World Cup, there will be 25 per cent discount for those who will possess a Fan ID (required to watch World Cup games).

There will also be gifts and contests on offers during matches in both the restaurants to celebrate the event.

FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia
FIFA World Cup 2018, Wikimedia Commons.

“We have been waiting for this World Cup. Indians come in large numbers during the World Cup and we wanted these eateries to be a melting point,” he added.

According to Cutting Edge Events, FIFA’s official sales agency in India for the 2018 World Cup, India is amongst the top 10 countries in terms of number of match tickets bought.

Read more about Indian cuisine abroad: Hindoostane Coffee House: London’s First Indian Restaurant.

Prodyut came to Moscow to study engineering and later started working for a pharmaceutical company here before trying his hand in business. Besides running the two restaurants with the help of his wife, he was into the distribution of pharmaceutical products.

“After Russia won the first match of the World Cup, the footfall has gone up considerably. The Indians are also flooding in after the 6-9 p.m. game. That is the time both my restaurants remain full,” Prodyut said.

There are also plans to rope in registered fan clubs of Latin American countries, who will throng the restaurants during matches and then follow it up with after-game parties till the wee hours.

“I did get in touch with some of the fan clubs I had prior idea about. They agreed to come over and celebrate the games at our joints. Those will be gala nights when both eateries will remain open all night for them to enjoy,” Prodyut said.

Watching the World Cup is a dream come true for the couple, Sumana said.

“We want to make the Indians who have come here to witness the spectacle and feel at home too. We always extend a helping hand and since we are from West Bengal, we make special dishes for those who come from Bengal,” she added. (IANS)