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Exhibits

 

Please join us for a tour of the Berlin »Musikinstrumenten-Museum«!

Highlights
Focal Points of the Collection
Curiosities


Highlights



This modest virtual exhibition would like to present to you some of the most beautiful and distinctive objects of our collection, which encompasses more than 3,300 instruments.

  The Mighty Wurlitzer Theatre Organ
Rolling thunder and bird’s twittering, siren’s wailing and chimes - the sound effects of one of the biggest European theatre and cinema organs is quite impressive.

  Wind Instruments from Naumburg
A unique collection of rare Early Baroque wind instruments from the Stadtkirche St. Wenzel in Naumburg.

  The »Bach-Harpsichord«
An instrument with showcase qualities: Did Johann Sebastian Bach himself play on this harpsichord?

  Transverse Flutes once owned by Friedrich II
Truly royal instruments: Music enthusiast Friedrich II of Prussia adored his transverse flutes.

  The Clavecin brisé
To fold up and to take away - a rarity at the Prussian court.

  The Glass Harmonica
Benjamin Franklin, the famous physicist and politician, not only invented the lightning conductor but also the glass harmonica.

  The »Weber-Fortepiano«
Carl Maria von Weber composed his »Freischütz« on this fortepiano from the Vienna workshop of Joseph Brodmann.

  The Gray-Organ
For organ enthusiasts: an English master instrument from the early 19th century.


Focal Points of the Collection


The museum collects instruments of the European classical music tradition from the 16th to the 20th century. Here we would like to present to you some focal points of this prestigious collection!

  Harpsichords of the Flemish instrument-making family Ruckers
With their vigorous and flexible sound and their rich painting the Ruckers harpsichords from the first half of the 17th century are a special attraction for both the ears and the eyes.

  Quilled Keyboard Instruments and Clavichords
Prior to the invention of the fortepiano, harpsichords and clavichords were the main stringed keyboard instruments from the 16th to the 18th century - even though their sound generation differed fundamentally.

  Baroque Wind Instruments
Oboes instead of shawms - at the end of the 17th century a sound ideal for woodwind instruments was established that remains valid to this day.

  Italian Master Violins
The most resounding names of violin making come from Cremona: Amati, Guarneri and, last but not least, Antonio Stradivari.

  Master Violins from Workshops in the Northern Alps
Stradivari's violins haven't always been considered the ne plus ultra: Until around 1800 some violins from the Northern Alps were even more popular.

  Instruments of the Viennese Classical Period
In Haydn's and Mozart's times instruments like the fortepiano or the clarinet had their final breakthrough, thereby influencing the music of Viennese Classicism.

  Instrument Making in Berlin
Bechstein's pianos and grand pianos, Möckel's violins, Moritz’ brass instruments - instrument making in Berlin has a rich and multifaceted tradition.

  The Revival of Harpsichord Making
While the crowds were admiring the Eiffel Tower at the world's fair in 1889, musical experts were amazed at the three newly constructed harpsichords from Parisian workshops.

  From Musical Box to Orchestrion
Their information memory are pins and holes which makes mechanical musical instruments a true forerunner of the digital age.

  Electronic instruments
Instruments like the Hammond organ or the trautonium are immediately associated with film music and jazz. Electronic instruments dominate popular music and are inherent parts of our life.

Curiosities


The history of instrument making is full of rarities and oddities. Please visit our virtual cabinet of curiosities!

  Wurstfagott (sausage bassoon) and Büchsentrompete (box trumpet)
Where to put the often extensive tubes of wind instruments? Simply to put them in a box was a common solution throughout the 17th century!

  Nähtischklavier (sewing table pianos) and Walking Stick Instruments
The walking stick becomes a violin and the sewing table transforms into a piano – instruments symbolise the lifestyle of the Biedermeier period.

  The Aeolian Harp
»My song, to faint Aeolian murmurs turning, Sways like a harp-string by the breezes fanned.«
While Goethe wrote these lines, he did not have an imaginary sound in his ear, but a real instrument.

  The Arpeggione
An experiment in instrument making probably long forgotten, had Franz Schubert not composed a sonata for arpeggione.