Culture, connections, community – The Music Museum of Barcelona presents the musical diversity of the world


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Music is an intensely personal and social experience, reflecting similarities as well as variations in cultures around the world. Located in the L’Auditori concert hall building, the Music Museum in Barcelona takes viewers on a fascinating journey through the world of music, through history and cultures.

In this photographic essay, we present some exhibitions of the 500 musical instruments from the largest collection of 2,200 instruments. The illustrations cover English, Catalan and Spanish, as well as audiovisual samples of instruments like the cello and sarangi, and excerpts from works by renowned composers.

“The museum helps musical heritage become valuable and relevant for modern times,” explained Jordi Alomar, Director of the Museum, during a round table at the Montreal-Barcelona Mosaic program.

The museum belongs to Barcelona City Council, and aims to stimulate community awareness and connections about the role and evolution of music. The objective is also to ensure that the people of Barcelona cultivate a sense of belonging to the place. Museum curators play both a managerial and artistic role, explains Jordi.

Instruments ranging from harpsichord and claviorgan to tabla and trumpet are displayed in display cases arranged by category. An exceptional section displays a spectrum of guitars by Antonio de Torresthe first Spanish luthier.

Thematic headings of the museum are designed to reflect elements such as melody, rhythm and timbre. Other sections present instruments from the Middle Ages to the present day, as well as the impact of waves of technological innovations for recording and distribution.

Displays include handwritten sheet music and personal items of 19th and 20th century musicians, such as Isaac Albéniz, Enric Granados, Joaquim Malats, Joan Manén and Miquel Llobet.

There is a interactive gallery where the public can play several musical instruments. The Auditori, designed by architect Rafael Moneo, houses the OBC-Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya.

The museum site also offers great views of the Tower Glories (formerly known as the Agbar Tower) and the long term Enchantment Market flea market.

The museum team associates creativity, culture and education offer services such as research, musical lectures, group activities and performances on historical instruments.

Now what have you done today to take a break from your busy schedule and find new ways to explore your connection to art and music?

(All photographs were taken by Madanmohan Rao on site at the museum.)

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