Saturday, April 30, 2011

SATurday Show And Tell

If you live in the Phoenix area or plan to visit, you really should not miss going to the MIM--Musical Instrument Museum. You don't have to be a history buff or a music lover to enjoy this experience. Even if you don't like museums--go to this one. It is amazing!

The museum opened its doors last year--a  bright, open and dramatic building filled with a collection of musical instruments from over 200 countries and territories. The Orientation Gallery on the first floor gives you a taste of the instruments by themes. This impressive gong such as those used in Buddhist temple rituals in Thailand stands at the bottom of the stairs which takes you to the second floor.


With the wireless headset that you have been given on your way in, you head to the second floor where the galleries are organized by geographical locations--10 major regions of the world.


As you stand in fromt of each display, you hear and see the instruments being played on the flat panel screen. More often than not, the music is also accompanied by people of that country dancing to the music.
That in itself is just as interesting as the instruments. 

Signage with information about the instruments is there as well,
along with maps for orientation.
May of the locations are very remote!


You can take all the pictures you want, just not with a flash.
Here's a few I took----I was particularly intrigued by the
inventive recycling ideas--


New Zealand



Africa

Bhutan


Bolivia


Burma








Tanbura (lyre)-- Bahrain


Trinidad and Tobago


Mongolia


South Korea


The museum has aacquired 10,000 instruments so far and all of them go through 
the lab for cleaning, repair, and labeling.



So far 5,500 are on display.
The goal is to acquire instruments that have actually been used.
Most of them are purchased, rather than loaned or donated.

There is an Interactive Room where you are free to play many different types of instruments.
There is also an auditorium where numerous musical programs are
being held throughout the year.

Because there is much too much to absorb in one visit,  
I can see that I will have to go back to see the rooms I missed. 

Oh, and by the way, even the cafeteria is great!
Kid you not---

Did I mention--
Free admission
Such a deal!

I came away from this experience reminded that:
  • Music is the universal language of the world.
  • Beautiful and interesting sounds can be made with anything from bones, to jade, tin cans to ivory.
  • Music plays a huge role in all civilizations.






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