minstrel: Lark in the Morning

Sandra Davis tristan&isolde at pstbbs.com
Thu May 8 07:40:07 PDT 1997

The Lark in the Morning store was being discussed:

>>> All right - you can find Lark in the Morning
>>> (The Music Shop with the high drool factor) at:

>BTW, I do not recomment shopping at Lark in the Morning, because
>I have heard several complaints from people attempting to return
>merchandise, they have poor knowledge of pre-1600 instruments,
>and they have a really bad attitude problem.

I have shopped at Lark and know many other who have over the years.  I 
have also met the owner on a few occasions, and know many people who 
have worked with him/known him for years.  This is my assessment:

The owner is a very talented musician, plays more instruments than any person I have ever met (including numerous weird and/or early period instruments), and is very knowledgeable about the history of instruments
in general and particularly those he offers for sale.

Several people on the staff are also quite knowledgeable (but not all of 

Lark sells a huge variety of instruments, many falling into the *hard-to-find* category.  They usually have several versions of a given instrument, from 
less expensive to more expensive.

They offer a large (paper) catalog which is very informative, and shows 
pictures of most items.  I believe this is superior to the on-line version of 
the catalog.  They even have a section in the back listing *one of a kind* 
items, in various states of repair.  I believe they charge for the catalog, but 
it is worth paying if you are seriously considering making a significant purchase.

Those are the positive points about Lark in the Morning.  There are also negative points.

Their nickname among those who know them well is *Shark in the Morning*.  This is mainly because their prices tend to be high, and they can be difficult about returning items.

Also, the phrase *caveat emptor* definitely applies to their lower priced merchandise.  This isn't necessarily the fault of Lark.  The public wants to 
buy unique ethnic and medieval musical instruments, and they often balk 
when they hear the price of the well-made version of the instrument they desire.  So Lark offers *less expensive* models.  However *less expensive* also usually means *lower quality*.  In the end, you get what you pay for.  

Lark sells some high quality instruments by nationally renowned instrument makers.  They also sell some crappy low-end junk, more fit for decoration 
than serious music-making.  It all depends on what you want to spend.

If you are considering buying a *low-end* instrument or a kit, I would recommend attempting to locate someone who has purchased the same 
item, and ask them how satisfied they were. 

Just my opinion, for what it's worth.


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