Music is something all humans share, a source of beauty and comfort in our daily lives, a means to give voice to our joy in times of celebration and a powerful force that brings us all together. Music is the lifelong friend that we all have in common.Sounds like something we at Cityfolk would say, doesn't it? But it wasn't us, this is the first part of the Vision Statement of the Musical Instrument Museum, which opened in Phoenix in April 2010. Their collection is comprised of about 10,000 instruments from 200 countries.
Visitors don headphones which react with the displays: stand in front of a kora, for example, and listen while you watch a video it being played in its native setting. On display are 'famous' instruments, such as the Steinway piano on which John Lennon composed "Imagine." In one gallery, visitors are invited to play instruments from around the world; you can also watch through a window as craftsmen maintain and repair the collection. Rotating special exhibits focus on musical styles or regions, such as the "American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music" exhibit which is currently on display.
And of course, a museum like this would not be complete without a performance space. True to the nature of their collection, they are bringing in a diversity of musicians--Irish, surf guitar, Cajun, Indian, classical music and more--as well as films about music and musicians.
Here's the NPR interview that turned me on to this museum in the first place. Once you hear it, more than the climate will give you a reason to visit the desert southwest.