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Musical Instrument Museum: Enriching World Culture Through Music Preservation


Opening its doors in 2010, the Musical Instrument Museum (MIM) celebrates music as a sustaining human gift and enriches world culture by collecting, preserving, and exhibiting a wide variety of musical instruments and performance videos from every country of the world.

MIM fosters an appreciation of diverse cultures by showing that mankind does innovate, adapt, and learn from one other to create the universal language of music.

The 200,000 square-foot space in Phoenix, Arizona is bright and open, providing visitors with a warm and comfortable environment to learn and explore. Guests are welcomed through the Orientation Gallery on the first floor, which offers an introductory film showcasing the artistry, diversity, and progress of musical instruments from around the world.

Before heading upstairs to the main exhibits, guests are encouraged to visit the Experience Gallery where people of all ages can enjoy a fun-filled hands-on encounter with many diverse even unique instruments.

A couple of steps away, the Artist Gallery showcases numerous celebrity musicians such as Elvis, Dick Dale, Duane Eddy, Carlos Santana and even Taylor Swift, to name a few. Each artist has loaned or donated instruments to the museum, even articles of clothing that were worn during various performances.

Heading upstairs, Geographical Galleries are bursting with musical wares from Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Asia and Oceania. The overall collection includes instruments from more than two hundred countries and territories in the world, many bringing both historic and artistic significance.

The overall collection includes instruments from more than two hundred countries and territories in the world…

Wireless headsets and Wi-Fi hot spots provide loops of streamed music and immerse guests in the sounds of musical instruments throughout the expansive facility. As museum visitors approach each display, they can hear the instruments being played, either solo or as an ensemble, as well as witness it on video through high-resolution flat screens.

Signage with information about the instruments, along with maps for orientation, allows guests to tour the many displays of each country in the world. More than 350 exhibits are spaced to provide comfortable viewing and an uninterrupted wireless signal.

Whether you’re a musical aficionado, cultural enthusiast or simply appreciate the craftsmanship that goes into instruments of all types, MIM is definitely worth a visit!

By: Kelly Taggart
Photos: Allen Carrasco and
Courtesy of Musical Instrument Museum


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