NATIONAL MUSEUM OF MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
(MUSEO NAZIONALE DEGLI STRUMENTI MUSICALI )
The Museum was inaugurated in 1974 and is housed in one of the halls of the former “Principe di Piemonte” barracks built in 1903.
The museum’s entrance is located on the left side of the garden next to the church of S. Croce in Gerusalemme.
The main nucleus of the collection originated from an agreement stipulated in 1949 between the Italian Stateand the tenor Evangelista Gorga (1865-1957), who after a very brief career full of important achievements (on the explicit wish of Puccini, he played the role of Rodolfo in the first performance of La Soheme directed byArturo Toscanini) abandoned his profession and devoted himself to collecting and creating an extraordinarycollection of musical instruments; under the quoted agreement, the Italian State, by confiscating the whole collection, committed itself to paying the artists debts who was in a difficult financial position and the Stateoffered him an income for the rest of his life.
Further acquisitions were added to the original nucleus of the Museum, including the collection of Benedetto Marcello with the piano built in 1722 by the inventor of the piano Bartolomeo Cristofori, the Barberini harp built with three rows of strings between the second and third decade of the XVII century for the family of Pope Urban VIII and given for use to the great composer Marco Marazzoli from the Roman school, this is why he was called “Marco of the harp” and the instruments from the collection of Marcello Giusti del Giardino like the twisted bagpipes made in 1524 by the Bavarian Joerg Weier and the harpsichord by Hans Muller, which was made in 1537 and is the oldest.
The exhibition tour is organised in 18 rooms on the first floor of the building and follows an assorted form: some instruments are displayed by typology (archaeological, non-European, popular, military, mechanical,instruments etc.) others, however, are presented according to a chronological order (from the XI to the XVIII century).
Among the instruments of particular interest are those from the Greek and Roman eras such as sistrums,crotalas and bells accompanied by a wealth of iconographic documentation composed of bas-reliefs, Oil-lamps, small statues, etc. which portray scenes of musical activity.
Information and Addresses
Address Piazza Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, 9/A
Visiting Hours Every day from 8.30 am to no pm (the ticket office closes half an hour before the scheduled closing time)
Closed Monday, Dec. 25, Jan. 1
Telephone 06 7014796; Fax 06 7029862
Price € 4,00; concessions € 2,00
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