Musical Instrument Museum

This is a really cool place. It has a vast collection of musical instruments, both modern and traditional, from dozens of cultures all around the world, divided into geographic areas. There are also traditional dance costumes from some areas. And finally, you are issued a set of earphones which automatically play a selection of traditional music from each area.

When I arrived there were at least a dozen school groups running around, but by lunchtime they had all left and I had the whole museum to myself.

Here are some photos from my visit.

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Inside the museum

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A Martin guitar from 1893. Made in Nazareth PA, my hometown.

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The smallest violin I’ve ever seen

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John Lennon’s piano

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Alice Cooper’s stage costume, with decapitated head

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Africa and the Middle East

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An Ilu drum from the Yoruba people. The figure represents the twin spirit Ibeji.

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A Sorud lute from the Baluchi people

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A lamellaphone “thumb organ” from the Yaka people

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Homemade guitars from South Africa

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Muwhira dance costume from the Sotho people

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Asia

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Japanese Shakuhachi flute. Traditionally played by religious acolytes while seeking alms, they wear a basket over their head to symbolize their detachment from the material world.

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Cambodian dance costumes

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Vietnamese bronze drums

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Latin America

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A homemade violin from Costa Rica

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Mexican mariachi

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Aztec Tlalpanhuehuetl drum

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Caribbean steel drums

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Orchestral instruments made from recycled trash by students in Paraguay

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United States and Canada

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Native American “Pow Wow” drums

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Inuit arm rattles made from walrus tusk

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Pacific Northwest ceremonial rattles and masks

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Europe

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Scottish bagpipes

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Spanish guitar

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Swiss Alp Horn

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Russian Balalaikas

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Grand piano made for Tsar Nicholas I

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The Who’s drum set, blown up during the Smothers Brothers TV show

 

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