Saturday, October 27, 2012

Musical Instrument Museum, Brussels

It's a wonderful museum.  They give you an audio headset that you can listen to with or without headphones.  I got the English version, which was music and no words describing the instruments.  It was "smart" and played the instruments I was standing in front of in the museum.
"In a beautifully restored complex in Brussels, of which one part is Art Nouveau and the other, neoclassical in design, the 1200 most interesting instruments are assembled in 4 galleries, enhanced by images, text panels and sounds. In addition the mim has a concert hall, a space for workshops (for groups and by reservation only), a museum shop, a library and a rooftop restaurant, from where the breathtaking view over the city gives a unique flavour to the menu. No wonder that, since its opening in 2000, the mim has become a first class cultural attraction on the Mont des Arts, with an average of 125,000 visitors per year (not including restaurant guests)."

I went through my favorite room with the tribal instruments 3 times.  From the website, it seems to be a favorite of other visitors as well:  "A favourite for many visitors is the room dedicated to traditional musical instruments. The tour starts in Belgium and passes through a whole series of European traditions to cultures from around the world. Besides the well-known Scottish version, many more countries appear to have their own type of bagpipes, Tibetan monks make musical instruments out of the bones of their deceased colleagues, and African slit drums are the local form of Twitter."

The descriptions were in French and Flemish.  I was so inspired by all of the instruments from all over the world, I kept thinking I wanted a book that described them all.  When I got to the museum shop and I asked about it, I was directed to the awesome Visitor's Guide that's in English.  I am still reading the awesome 200 page book and I'm reliving my Museum experience.

When I got home, I googled the "best musical instrument museum in the world" and it turns out there's a great one in Pheonix, AZ.  I see a trip in my future.

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