As a junior high school music student, one of the first things I learned was to get to the orchestra room early enough to get one of the few good music stands. Almost all of the stands wobbled, wouldn’t stay at the height you set them, or simply dumped your music with no warning. However, the small handful of Manhasset stands had taken just as much abuse as the others, yet worked perfectly.
The standard Manhasset #48 Symphony music stand is the backbone of ensembles and school music programs across the country. It has no clamps or adjusting knobs; the height and angle of the music table holds through friction. Somehow, it’s easy to adjust, but stays exactly where you put it, even as you load it with stacks of music. The height of the standard model adjusts from 26″ to 48″ (measured from the floor to the bottom of the table), allowing you to use it both sitting down and standing up.
The table is aluminum, powder-coated black. The base is steel, with the lower section also powder-coated and the upper chromed. The base has three arched legs. Despite its stability, it’s light and nicely balanced, making it easy to carry in one hand. The simplicity of its design gives it a kind of unobtrusive elegance, and makes it one of the few pieces of gear used by both students in a classroom and virtuoso performers on stage.
I was still a teenager when I was given my own Manhasset music stand. After thirty years it is slightly (but only slightly) beat up, but it functions perfectly.