After visiting a couple of museums in Rome during the last week of April, Cart and I were looking forward to visiting more museums. By chance, I got to know about the La Notte Dei Musei event through a friend.
La Notte Dei Musei is held in conjunction with the international museum day where there will be events in museums along 40 other participating countries worldwide. Cart and I were browsing through the Rome museum website, where we finally decided to visit the Musei Strumenti Musicali.
It was a dreary and cold Saturday in Rome. It has been raining the entire day and it felt really cold despite the fact that it was already the middle of May. I was amazed to see that temperature dropped down to 13 degrees celsius as if winter was back again. Nevertheless, that didn’t seem to stop the throngs of people, including us, from visiting the participating museums. When we reached the museum of musical instruments at about 10 pm, there was a healthy crowd walking around already.
There was only one floor that was being displayed, but there were loads to see anyway.
One of the first displays that I saw was the harpsichord. It was interesting to see how it evolved from a harpsichord to the modern piano that we have today. What I noticed was that all of them looked very ornate and richly decorated – probably meant for upper class society.
But what was more intriguing to me was how tiny it was. The size of an 18th century harpsichord looked as if it was meant for children instead of adults.
We then walked past the harps, the stringed instruments and others and we found ourselves in the musical box room.
This is very old. It goes back to old technology where they used parchments with holes in them to create the sound. Not sure if you could see in the picture, but there is a roll with little metal bit that looked a lot like staplers which is part of a music box too. But regardless of it being old technology, it was decorated very beautifully.
Later on, Cart and I walked over to the area where there on display were instruments from all over the world. It was interesting to me how instruments were influenced. Much like the display from the medieval times that impressed me, like Sawfish sword and the puffer fish hat, I was amazed at the use of accessible items. There was a Chinese Er Hu wrapped with snakeskin, a South America horn made of Donkey jawbone and then we saw this.
Guitars made of Armadillo. Its kind of bitter sweet that a cute armadillo ends up as an entertaining device.
There were also other segments such as the military musical instruments, hunting musical instruments and art based on musical instruments but the highlight of the night was the concert.
I thought that we could be smart and head there about 10 minutes before it started so that we’d have seats. But when we reached the performance room, it was almost full house and we realised that only those pre-registered with a blue sticker had priority.
Fortunately for us, the caretaker looked at our pitiful faces and found two empty seats for us at the back.
It was impressive how beautiful and full the group sounded like, even with just three instruments – There was a pianist, a violinist and a horn player. And they were so good! It was so lovely to see how expressive they were.
Here is recording of one of the pieces that the played. I hope you stay till the end of the video, it’s worth listening to 🙂
Don’t they sound lovely? It didn’t seem too long after that the concert was over. Nevertheless Cart and I were thrilled to have been able to have the opportunity to watch it and we are looking forward to visiting another event such as this.
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