This day I’m wandering in Scottsdale, Arizona, with the destination being the Musical Instruments Museum. What an absolutely fascinating place it turned out to be, and the hubby and I stayed there for several hours. That is longer than most of our museum visits which says something about how much we enjoyed it.
From all over the world some 10,000 instruments have been collected to demonstrate how music is the language of the soul. They are displayed by country along with a screen version of their rhythms that are played through earphones.
In some cultures it seems that people are born with music in their souls and have skills acquired not through training but by doing.
Their music may tell stories, share joy or celebrate a festive occasion.
For sure, instruments are varied. In many Asian and African countries, they are primitive and create rhythms that that inspire motion.
Others are carefully crafted with sensuous and beautiful shapes and sounds that are more refined.
And then there are those like these from Indonesia that bear no resemblance to musical instruments. It was hard to imagine how one could ever learn to create harmonious sound with pots and gongs.
Some exhibits incorporated textiles illustrating how the ornamentation of musical instruments is often closely linked to a culture’s aesthetics.
With my love of all things textile, it was a treat to see them alongside the instruments and adding to the story of the culture.
In the area dedicated to the U.S., the emphasis was more on costume rather than textile.
Whether rock and roll or country and western, there was a lot of flash. It struck me that today’s performers are not always so well turned out!
So much of what was in this area was familiar, and it was fun listening to sounds of Buddy Holly, Otis Redding, Waylon Jennings, Ella Fitzgerald and so many others.
It was also interesting to think about how that music is both unique and an outgrowth influenced by other cultures.
There is more to show and say about the Museum Of Musical Instruments, but I hope this is enough to give you an idea how very interesting it is. Should you have opportunity to visit Scottsdale, it is not a place you want to miss. If your visit happens to last into lunch time, the cafe is good, too!