What is the GEFAM?

The GEFAM was founded in 1951 in Zurich, Switzerland, by a number of music lovers and collectors of historical musical instruments. It is still the only society in the German speaking part of Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Lichtenstein) that is concerned mainly with old instruments of music. Thanks to its base in Switzerland it has a multicultural and multilanguage profile, visual in its international list of members. Today there are around 200 members (individuals and institutions), mainly in Europe, but also on other parts of the globe. The spectrum includes specialised museums and collections of old musical instruments, researchers and instrument makers as well as private collectors and enthusiasts. We should greatly esteem being able to welcome you as a new member. If you are interested, please contact us.

What does the GEFAM do?

The GEFAM is a forum in which public and private collections of musical instruments are visited and aspects of conservation are discussed, whereby the history of the musical instruments is given special consideration. Occasionally extra-European instruments are regarded as well. In addition to these aspects the GEFAM also contributes to discussions between museum "specialists", instrument makers, universities and conservatories on the one hand and private collectors and others interested in old musical instruments on the other.

What does the GEFAM do in public?

The GEFAM publishes the biannual bulletin Glareana with society news and articles on subjects pertaining to instruments. There is a one or two day long annual Spring meeting on different locations in Switzerland and across the border. A guided tour to the collection at the gathering site, a talk and a concert make up the "public" parts of these meetings.

The library of the GEFAM

The society owns a specialist library that is continually being expanded and which includes a collection of photographs . It is deposited in the Zentralbibliothek Luzern (Lucerne Central Library). The catalogue is printed in Glareana 38 (1989), No. 1. A supplement was made in 1994.

Special projects

In 1995 an inventory project was begun, which is going to comprise all musical instruments in Swiss public collections as well as a selection of objects from private collections.

GEFAM prospectus (in German and French)