Museum of Musical Instruments in Phoenix (Phoenix, USA) – expositions, opening hours, address, phone numbers, official website.
According to toppharmacyschools, the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix is about as important to music as Noah’s Ark is said to be to the diversity of life. Much more than just a couple, here are collected more than 15 thousand various means for extracting sounds originating from 200 countries and regions of the planet, ranging in age from several millennia to just a couple of decades. Opened in 2010, the museum quickly became the number one tourist attraction in Phoenix and Arizona as well as one of the top 20 museums in the United States. Here you can compare the Polynesian shell-horn and the Wagnerian horn, that you have the strength to hit the gong and rustle on the Puerto Rican gueira, find out what the sousaphone is, and feel like a member of the Yoruba Indians masquerade procession (with appropriate musical accompaniment). In a word,
Beatles fans are guaranteed to fall in love with the very piano that John Lennon wrote the mega-hit “Imagine” at.
A bit of history
The Museum of Musical Instruments is a private initiative of the prosperous businessman Robert Ulrich, an avid collector of African art and museum enthusiast. The idea to open a museum in Phoenix came to him after visiting a similar meeting in Brussels. The construction of the building cost 250,000,000 USD, and specialists from the Parisian Music City were invited to consult on the collection.
The museum building really resembles an ark: an irregular cube without windows and doors, the sides of which, like facets, are lined with pinkish-yellow limestone with moire patterns resembling wood.
What to watch
The exposition of the museum is located on two floors of a futuristic building and occupies a gigantic area of 1.8 hectares. The main collection occupies the halls of the 2nd floor and is distributed geographically, covering 5 major regions of the world: Africa and the Middle East, Asia and Oceania, Europe, Latin America, the United States and Canada. Musical instruments are exhibited according to their types: wind, percussion, bow, etc. The instruments themselves are presented in the showcases, a video recording of the performance can be seen on TV screens, and their authentic sound can be heard in stereo headphones that are activated when approaching the exhibit.
The exposition is complemented by accompanying items: national and festive costumes, puppets and puppets of carnival processions, ritual masks, idols of the Pacific Islands, incense and natural colors. Thanks to this, the visitor is completely immersed in the environment in which this music was once born and the instruments that create it were invented.
On the 1st floor of the museum there are thematic expositions. The Mechanical Gallery presents musical instruments of the 19th-20th centuries that play without human intervention – from mechanical organ and harpsichord to an incredible “orchestral box”. In the Practical Gallery, on the contrary, you can try to play a variety of instruments from around the world. The STEM Gallery is dedicated to the interaction of music and science: here you can study the characteristics of sound – pitch and timbre, their effect on the human body and even the hearing organs. And through the glass of the Restoration Laboratory, you can watch in real time the work of the curators and restorers of the museum.
Perhaps the most favorite part of the collection is the Gallery of Artists. Among its most interesting exhibits:
- guitar and statuette “Grammy” Roy Orbison,
- handwritten lyrics of the song “Oh, Pretty Woman”,
- Johnny Cash’s signature black suit and guitars,
- unique Yamaha guitar by Carlos Santana, inlaid with mother-of-pearl,
- percussion set by Tito Puente,
- a custom-made electric guitar and wireless microphone set especially for Taylor Swift – in romantic hearts.
Well, all fans of the Beatles’ work are guaranteed to be delighted with the very piano at which John Lennon wrote the mega hit of all times and peoples – “Imagine”.
Of course, there were exhibits associated with the name of Elvis Presley. In the museum you can see the early stage costumes of the future king of rock and roll, a guitar, posters and vinyl records with the first recordings.
Consider yourself lucky if the museum hosts any kind of temporary exhibition during your visit – they are very interesting here! “Portraits of the Golden Age of Jazz”, “Rocker Girls: Passion and Power”, “Follow the Beat: Drums of the World”, “The Stradivari Legacy” are just some of their themes.
In the chamber hall of the museum for 230 seats, concerts are regularly held by performers of a wide variety of musical genres – from baroque to folklore, from classical to rap. And every weekend, music lovers are expected to attend lectures on the history of music and musical instruments, styles, trends and outstanding performers.
Address: Arizona, Phoenix, 4725 E. Mayo Blvd. Website (in English).
Opening hours: daily from 9:00 to 17:00.
Buy a ticket to the museum online.
- for adults – 20 USD- a ticket for one day, 30 USD – for two days (valid for a week from the day of the first visit);
- up to 19 years old – 15 USDand 50 USD, respectively,
- children under 12 years old – 10 USDand 15 USD,
- children under 3 years old enter free of charge.
The cost of visiting temporary exhibitions is 7 USD if you have a ticket for the main exhibition and 10 USD separately, for all categories. Prices on the page are for April 2021.