The 3 “Ts”|Yuriko Mikami|KnowLedge World Network|Activities|KNOWLEDGE CAPITAL

  • 2017.10.25
  • The 3 “Ts”
Cremona is a town an hour’s drive from Milan. For me, a musician, it’s a town with an extremely strong connection. Although it’s a small town of 60,000 people, it is also a place that garners the interest of performers and violin makers throughout the world. I think that even among people who aren’t musicians, many know the name of Stradivari. He crafted expensive instruments so highly valued that they are priceless. Stradivari lived in Cremona and produced many exquisite instruments.


Cremona is historically a very interesting town. Even today, traces of the good old days of Italy remain.

Instruments are also displayed in the show windows of stores such as boutiques, children’s clothing shops, toy stores, and travel agencies.

There is also a bench with a bronze statue of Stradivari examining an instrument.

When I visited Cremona on this trip, there were pianos set up on street corners here and there next to signs saying, “Somebody play me.” Most people played “For Elise,” so maybe schools in Italy teach it…?

There are also signposts scattered about town showing the way to artisans who craft musical instruments.


Also, at this time in early autumn, a once-a-year major event is held in Cremona.
Dealers of musical instruments, instrument makers, shops selling sheet music, instrument case makers, performers, and others come from around the world to the musical instrument fair in Cremona.


Everyone is intent on trying out the instruments. They’re so focused on the sounds that even if they see someone they know at the venue, they’re too preoccupied to greet them.


There’s also wood on sale for making instruments. To pick out quality wood, you tap on it with the back of your hand as if knocking on a door to check the sound.


Here, wooden materials are being sold to make bows for musical instruments.


Anything and everything related to musical instruments is sold.


I feel as if the scene is familiar…on display are bridges for musical instruments that look similar to the votive horse tablets that decorate shrines.


Recently, sales for shops selling sheet music are in a slump because online sales have become mainstream and sheet music can be read on tablets. However, musicians who play classical music cling to old-fashioned sheet music printed on paper.


Lately, instrument cases feature a wealth of colors and designs, and are fun to look at.


Instrument cases have also been developed that can be equipped with GPS. They were being promoted, and looking at them I was reminded of school satchels that have GPS in Japan.


By the way, to prevent unfair sales and dishonesty, visitors aren’t allowed to bring in their own instruments to the fair venue, so this sign was placed out front. This was quite shocking because, for musicians, it’s very important to try out an instrument by comparing it with their own, and when buying a bow, to make sure it works well with their own instrument.


Instead of checking out the musical instruments, I went around town searching for Cremona’s famous sweet, Torrone. See? Doesn’t it look delicious?!


Italians told me that Cremona has three famous “T’s.” The sweet “Torrone,” Cremona’s “Torrazzo” tower and the full-figured breasts, “Tettone,” of women in Cremona. I decline to comment here whether the third “T” is true or not!

Even people who don’t play a musical instrument can enjoy sightseeing in Cremona, don’t you think?!

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  • Yuriko Mikami
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A cellist based in Milan. Performs solo and ensemble concerts, as well as produces multi-style stage performances that combine theatrical shows, images, dances and live music.

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