MIM offers a shared experience of the history of musical instruments throughout the world. The 200,000 square-foot space is bright and open, providing guests with a warm and comfortable environment.
Click here to watch extended version “MIM Virtual Tour” (9:49)
Guests are introduced to MIM through the Orientation Gallery on the first floor which showcases the artistry, diversity, and movement of musical instruments from around the world. On the second floor, guests can venture into different regions of the world to discover the complete orchestra of a Chinese opera, a big-band jazz ensemble, or all the instruments of a mariachi band, among other things.
MIM’s collection includes instruments from around two hundred countries and territories in the world. Some larger countries such as India, China, Russia, the United States, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and others have multiple displays with subsections for different types of ethnic, folk, and tribal music. The instruments have both historic and artistic merit and many are more than fifty years old. MIM’s goal is to acquire instruments that have been used for folk and tribal occasions wherever possible.
Wireless “hot spots” around MIM provide loops of streamed music, immersing guests in the sounds of musical instruments.
Guests are given wireless headsets to wear throughout the museum. As they approach each display, they can hear the instruments being played, either solo or as an ensemble. Audio and video clips familiarize guests with the unique sounds of each musical culture, allowing them to share a common experience. The wireless audio system is user-friendly for guests of all ages.
Videos playing on high-resolution flat screens give guests an opportunity to see instruments performed. Watching a Japanese taiko drummer or a hurdy-gurdy man is an experience not soon to be forgotten.
Signage with information about the instruments, along with maps for orientation, allows guests to tour the many displays of each country in the world. More than three hundred fifty exhibits are spaced to provide comfortable viewing and an uninterrupted wireless signal.