Musical Instrument Museum opens in Phoenix

Posted on: May 20, 2010

In Thursday’s (5/20) Wall Street Journal, Stuart Isacoff writes, “Music has been a ubiquitous presence for millennia: Recently dug-up fragments of flutes made from the bones of red-crowned cranes were dated as 45,000 years old. And the beat goes on. … How can one capture the vastness of this subject in a single gesture? Bob Ulrich, the retired CEO and chairman emeritus of Target Corp., decided the best way was to build a Musical Instrument Museum on a global scale: a collection of musical implements representing every single country in the world—from the gargantuan U.S. to the tiny island of Comoros—featuring both ancient artifacts and contemporary inventions … The result, a 190,000-square-foot building created by Richard Varda and the firm RSP Architects—with an interior designed to convey the graceful lines of a piano, and containing multiple themed galleries and an intimate concert hall—opened [in Phoenix] last month. … The museum houses 10,000 instruments in all (3,000 are on display). … It has all been organized through a set of five ‘Geo-Galleries’ devoted to the regions of the world, where videos of musicians performing the instruments are linked through a wireless system to the headphones worn by visitors.”

Posted May 20, 2010