Los Angeles Appraisal Expert Consultation



When it comes to music history, a professional appraiser can ensure the value and authenticity of artifacts and possessions. An appraiser accredited by a professional organization, such as the American Society of Appraisers (ASA), is reliable and credible because they follows the methodology of the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (“USPAP”) as required by the I.R.S. and most legal forums. Appraisal services cover different areas, such as insurance replacement, legal settlement of damages, IRS charitable donation values, and consulting expertise for archives and institutions.

An appraiser who is specifically qualified in the area of music memorabilia – whether it be record albums, posters, sheet music, or any other related item – has the added expertise needed to properly identify and value the material.

Music Appraisal for Insurance Companies
Insurance companies can rely on a music appraiser’s objective comparative values to insure property, adjust for a loss, settle disputes, and to assist in litigation if necessary. If the GRAMMY Museum (http://www.grammymuseum.org/) (213) 765-6800, 800 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015) needed consultation for insurance issues, a music appraisal service would be a great help.

The GRAMMY Museum explores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music; the creative process; the art and technology of the recording process; and the history of the GRAMMY Awards, the premier recognition of recorded music accomplishment.

Their current exhibits can be seen here: http://www.grammymuseum.org/exhibits/current-exhibits

Music Appraisal for Donations
A common need for music appraisal services is evaluation for a charitable contribution credit with the I.R.S. For example, if one were to donate an album collection to the UCLA Music Library (http://www.library.ucla.edu/music/collections) or the UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive (https://www.ethnomusic.ucla.edu/archive/) a music appraiser can help determine its Fair Market Value and provide the required documentation. Both archives are located in the Schoenberg Music Building, University of California, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1490.

The UCLA Music Library provides access to one of the largest academic music collections in North America and the largest in Southern California. They support the Herb Alpert School of Music, any class at UCLA with a music or audio component, and the general music community at UCLA and in Southern California.

With approximately 80,000 books, 115,000 scores, over 100 journal subscriptions, more than 200,000 sound recordings, as well as visual media and an exhaustive collection of facsimiles of music scores, the resources for music research and study span all genres of music from ancient times to today: all the musics of the world.

Here is an overview of the recordings at the Library: http://guides.library.ucla.edu/friendly.php?s=recordings

The UCLA Ethnomusicology Archive has published the following Mission Statement:

* To acquire significant collections in the field of ethnomusicology.
* To preserve sound and audiovisual recordings in the field of ethnomusicology for future generations.
* To provide access to and delivery of information resources to UCLA faculty, students, and staff in support of the research and instructional mission of the University, the Herb Alpert School of Music and the Department of Ethnomusicology.
* To provide access to and delivery of information resources to researchers and community members.
* To develop, organize, and preserve collections for optimal use and provide links to remote information sources.
* To serve as the official repository for UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology audiovisual materials.
* To provide services to enable its users to fulfill their academic and intellectual needs. The Archive provides resources and services to non-UCLA users to the extent possible.

Similarly, appraisal can benefit a donation to the Gospel Music History Archive (http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/landingpage/collection/p15799coll9, 434 South Grand Avenue, CAL 207 MC 2810, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2810).

The GMHA is an effort to preserve the legacy of gospel music in a state-of-the-art digital archive. The GMHA digitizes and catalogues important documents and makes them available in a searchable database to scholars, gospel artists, librarians, church historians, teachers, and anyone with Internet access. The archive contains original audio and visual video interviews, music files, publicity materials, photographs, film, scholarly articles, and analysis from academic and gospel-community-based experts. When complete, the GMHA will be the largest and most advanced digital repository for these collections in the world.

Evaluating Music Collections
Suppose an institution needs affirmation of certain archives, a music appraisal service would be the best inquiry for a variety of operations. A music appraiser can help you understand the strengths and weakness of the archive while providing a thorough review of the formats, editions, and condition of any recording media as well as printed memorabilia. An example of an institution that would contact a music appraisal service would be the Ray Charles Memorial Library and Museum (http://www.theraycharlesfoundation.org/, 2107 West Washington Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90006).

This library is the first of its kind to be built and created for an artist. It is a unique and historic tribute that has ordinarily been awarded to Presidents of this country. The Library is a commemorative venue to preserve and promote Ray Charles’s triumph in overcoming challenge and culminating his life. Moreover, The Library is designed to inspire the lives of young students intellectually and artistically. It is our hope that Mr. Charles’s life-story of adversity and success will ignite the hope and inspiration of countless youth of all races and economic backgrounds.

Many specialty archives can benefit from appraisal services, from donation appraisal to collection evaluation. An excellent historical music archive is the Los Angeles Philharmonic Archives (http://www.laphil.com/philpedia/archives, Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012).

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Archives is the institutional memory of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, providing continuity between its past and its future. The Archives serves Philharmonic staff and outside researchers through collecting, preserving, and making available materials that document the full spectrum of activities throughout the history of the Los Angeles Philharmonic dating to its founding in 1919. Taken as a whole, the collection provides a unique and richly detailed perspective on the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s impact on 20th and 21st century music and society, its contributions to the cultural heritage of Los Angeles and Southern California, and its performance history in associated venues including the Hollywood Bowl and Walt Disney Concert Hall.

About Stephen M. H. Braitman
If you or your institution needs professional music appraisal services, Stephen M. H. Braitman is an Accredited Senior Appraiser with the American Society of Appraisers. He is the ONLY accredited appraiser in the country with a specialty in Recorded Media (LPs, 45s, CDs, all formats) and Music Memorabilia (Posters, Photos, Signed Instruments, Promotional Items, Artist-Owned Objects, Sheet Music & Scores). His services consist of:

● Insurance Replacement Cost Coverage
● IRS Charitable Donations
● Equitable Division of Property in an Estate or Divorce
● Estate Planning
● Expert Witness
● IRS Federal Estate Tax
● Loss of Value Claims
● Opinions of Value
● Settlement of Damage
● Valuation and Settlement

Stephen M. H. Braitman can be contacted at 415-897-6999 or email at braitman@musicappraisals.com.