Museum of Musical Instruments
Stary Rynek 45
Opening hours: Closed Mondays; Tuesdays-Saturdays 10am-5pm, Sundays 11am-3pm.
The Museum of Musical Instruments is located on Poznan's Stary Rynek (Old Square), in three fifteenth-century buildings, which were reconstructed during the years 1948-1955. The Museum, which was at that time a division of the Wielkopolskie Museum, inaugurated its activity in 1949 with a major exhibition of musical instruments and another of items related to the life and work of Chopin in commemoration of the centenary of the composer's death.
The Museum's collection of musical instruments from virtually every corner of the world is the only one of its kind in Poland, and its collection of professional musical instruments ranks among the best of its kind in Europe. The latter includes masterpieces by Polish and Italian luthiers of the sixteenth through the eighteenth centuries; sixteenth and seventeenth century musical boxes; eighteenth and nineteenth century harps; Polish and European pianos from the eighteenth through twentieth centuries; a unique collection of eighteenth century trombones; an extensive collection of brass instruments by Polish makers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, as well as a large group of playing mechanisms.
Among the European instruments, there are quite a few from Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Herzegovina and Bosnia. There is a variety of regional types and forms in the collection of Polish instruments, which includes nearly complete sets of instruments from the regions of Wielkopolska, the Beskidy Mountains, Podhale, Mazowsze and Malopolska, as well as reconstructions of old instruments that are no longer played, which have been salvaged thanks to archeological work.
Non-European instruments include specimens from India, Tibet, China, Japan and Vietnam, as well as North and South Korea. Unusually shaped and rich in symbolic meanings, they are related to religious cults and mythology. America is represented by instruments still played by the Irokeze, Apache and Cree tribes today. There are some priceless Mexican ritual ayacachtlis dating back to pre-Columbian times. From Australia, there are Aborigine instruments whose eye-catching ornamentation has its origins in that continent's oldest native art. Africa is represented by percussion instruments, including the famous tam-tam. The instruments of the Arab countries of northern Africa include, among others, a set of arghul fifes, a reed harp and a beautifully sculpted ivory horn.
The Museum has also some priceless objects related to the life and work of Fryderyk Chopin, including some from his stay in Wielkopolska in 1827-1829.
Since 1957, the Museum has been the co-organiser of the International Luthier Competition.
Permanent exhibitions: "Professional European Instruments"; "Polish Folk Instruments"; "European and Non-European Folk Instruments"; "Chopin's Sojourn in Wielkopolska".
Muzeum Instrumentów Muzycznych
Oddział Muzeum Narodowego w Poznaniu
Stary Rynek 45
Phone: (+48 61) 852 08 57, 851 58 82
Fax: (+48 61) 856 81 77
Stary Rynek 45