Darryl Martin was born and initially educated in Perth, Western Australia, before moving to Britain (to become a full-time instrument maker) in 1986. Since 1989 he has been based in Edinburgh. Initially trained as a musical instrument maker, specialising in early keyboard instruments, he then pursued a more academic approach to instrument research and commenced a PhD on the subject of English virginals – a thesis which looked at all aspects of the instrument from a design, construction and decorative point-of-view. He was awarded his PhD by the University of Edinburgh in 2003.  

Since 1990 Darryl has been involved with the Edinburgh University Collection of Historic Musical Instruments (EUCHMI), initially making technical drawings of a number of instruments and then writing catalogues, which has now amounted to all of the plucked and bowed Western instruments in the Collection. In 2004 he was appointed to the position of Curator of the Musical Instrument Collections.  The Collections include the non-keyboard Donaldson Collection housed (mostly) at the Reid Concert Hall, and the keyboard collections at St Cecilia’s Hall, including the Russell and Mirrey Collections.  Darryl regularly gives papers at international conferences and has been widely published in British and foreign journals. Present research work includes a transcription and edition of the “Talbot Manuscript” – a seventeenth century source which discusses musical instruments that were known and used in England.  

He is also still active as an instrument maker, specialising in clavichords and early English keyboard instruments.  His instruments can be found in Britain, Europe, the United States and Japan, for customers such as academic institutions, professional musicians, museums, up-and-coming players, collectors and private individuals.  

Darryl’s work in the museum world has enabled him close access to many of the finest collections.  He is a member, and on the Board, of CIMCIM – the musical instrument branch of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), and was one of the “expert group” involved in drafting the 1995 British Museums and Galleries Commission publication “Standards in the Museum Care of Musical Instruments”