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Holding that note – sustainable music?

We have mentioned the environmental impact of musical instruments on this blog before – and in particular the use of hardwoods in everything from electric guitars to pianos to clarinets. Now Neil Bridgland, a conservation campaigner, has come up with a scheme to protect African Blackwood, the wood used in woodwind instruments including bagpipes and oboes.  Neil aims to create a sustainable chain of ‘custody’ for Blackwood,  with trees and a Tanzanian mill certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) guaranteeing that the wood has been harvested with minimum impact and allowing local people to share in the profit from harvested wood. The first ‘sustainable’ clarinet will be in the shops next early year!

The Observer magazine (Ethical Living) 6th June 2010