NOTE: The scope of this blog was expanded on the fifth anniversary of the present post, to include musical instruments. The biographical and bibliographical info cited here is pending corresponding revision.
My name is Cary Karp and I’m by no means a newcomer either to printed or online publication. However, I’ve never blogged before and have adopted the nickname stringbed for the new role (clicking on that link will show a few more autobiographical details). Much of what I’ve published elsewhere has been accounts and analyses of information culled from pre-existing sources and experimental observation. The results were always intended to enhance the understanding of the underlying subject but rarely included any subjective discussion.
There’s a representative bibliography of and about my work dating back to the early days of my career, here. The origins of my blogonym are buried deeply in it, and explained in a more recent post. Although rooted in my work with musical instruments, it seemed equally appropriate to a retired museologist’s more recent interest in loopography.
Both then and now, I often set aside a portion of the material gathered in a focused study for inclusion in a subsequent publication. Anything left over after its appearance was placed in a growing cache of tidbits waiting for an appropriate context for their presentation. They were useful in the meanwhile nonetheless, typically in conversation with others who had their own stockpiles of pending material, enabling a few more pieces of a mutually interesting puzzle to be put together.
This blog is intended as an additional platform for sharing snippets of information about the histories of both looped fabric and musical instruments, assembled from sources that are not widely known. I ultimately plan to compile much of this into cohesive research reports. Serializing that process here, both in academic essays and breezier blog posts, will allow me to cover a greater range of detail than would be included in a formal publication — and afford me the luxury of being able to make a conjectural statement or two along the way.