Pitch Pipe


My artifact is a pitch pipe from South Africa. It was my grandfather’s and he used it to conduct the choir in church. You see I have always known that Church is important to our family, in this case my father’s side. This pitch pipe was one of the few things that my father brought with him when he left South Africa and came to America. My father came to America at age twenty-seven. He left his beloved Cape town to further his studies in finances. He works in financial risk management.    This pitch pipe is fifty to sixty years old and my grandfather has been playing this pitch pipe since he was in his thirties, and he is seventy now. My grandfather gave it to my dad to remember home and his entire family he left behind. This pitch pipe is made of wood and metal. The metal is all scuffed up because of the heat in South Africa, and the wear and tear of all the music it has played. If instruments had a memory, then this pitch pipe would hold all the musical memories of my family. When I play the French horn, I feel protected from everything, like a part of me has broken away from the world, and its only me and the beautiful sound coming from the instrument in my hands. In learning about my grandfather’s pitch pipe, I started to think about my father’s love of music. You see my father plays the flute, and often performs at church. Ancestors not only give you the features of your appearance and character traits, but they give you what they loved too. I believe my love of music comes from generations before me, and that makes me feel connected to my father and grandfather. 

Place(s): South Africa

– X

Relationship:  Grandchild of im/migrant Grandchild of im/migrant