The History of Case Notes
Brant Bean – Creator of Case Notes
Stories are important to me, particularly when they involve family and stringed musical instruments. Growing up in the South, I spent countless hours listening to my uncles and other family members playing the music they loved on instruments they loved even more. One of those uncles taught me to play the guitar and mandolin, instilling in me a great love for both music and the instruments that brought us both so much happiness.
When my uncle H. H. Smith departed this earth, he left me five of the beloved instruments I’d heard him play for so many years: his guitar, banjo, two mandolins, and a fiddle. His gift went far beyond just the instruments, though: As I opened each case, I discovered handwritten notes about the places he’d been and played, song lists from as far back as the 1930’s, and notes about his life as a musician. As I read, my uncle’s instruments seemed to come alive. They had been key players in the life he had led and the adventures he had had. Those notes were as much a treasure to me as the instruments themselves, and through them, the instruments became infinitely more valuable.
It occurred to me then that every instrument has a story to tell, and we are all merely temporary caretakers of the instruments we play. I wanted to create an easy way to leave notes about my own experiences, so my children and others will know the history of the instruments I will one day leave behind. Importantly, too, I wanted to design something that could easily fit into an instrument case, as an instrument and its story should remain together.
The result is Case Notes, a place to gather, keep, and pass on the stories of our musical lives and the adventures we’ve had with the instruments we hold so dear.