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Virtual Tours

•  Interactive NMM Maps

•  The NMM Building, Townsley Courtyard, and Tuma Fountain Sculptures

•  Abell GalleryEuropean and American Keyboard Instruments from the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries

•  Bates Virtual GalleryTreasures from the Alan Bates Harmonica Collection

•  Beede GalleryMusical Instruments from the Great Civilizations of Africa, Asia, and the Pacific Islands

•  Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna: Musical Treasures from the Age of Revolution & Romance 1789-1848:  Highlights of a major exhibition designed by the NMM for the Washington Pavilion, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, September 1-November 2, 2003

•  Cutler GalleryMusical Innovations of the Industrial Revolution and European Folk Instruments

•  Everist GalleryThe American Music Industry

•  Exhibits in Lobby, Hallways, Concert Hall, and Tea Room

•  Graese GalleryIndigenous Peoples of the Americas, The American Civil War, The Golden Age of Bands 1865-1915®, a Violin Maker's Workshop, and Banjo & Mandolin Clubs

•  Lewison GalleryNineteenth-century American Reed Organs, Pianos, and a Grand Harmonicon

•  Lillibridge GalleryGreat American Guitars

•  The Music Man ExhibitionYa Gotta Know the Territory: The Musical Journey of Meredith Willson, a permanent exhibition designed and installed in 2002 by the NMM at the Meredith Willson Museum in Mason City, Iowa

•  Muzika! A Celebration of Czech and Slovak Music:  Highlights from a collaborative exhibition at the National Czech & Slovak Museum, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, April 17-October 17, 2004

•  Pressler GalleryMusical Treasures from the Age of Louis XIV

•  Rawlins GalleryThe Genius of North Italian Stringed Instrument Making 1540-1793

•  Sound Samplings:  An Index of Sound Clips of Selected Musical Instruments at the NMM

•  Study-Storage Collections:  A selection of instruments from the NMM's encyclopedic research collections

•  Utley Virtual GalleryTreasures from the Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Brass Instrument Collection

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Interactive Maps 

The NMM's nine galleries, which feature more than 1,125 musical instruments, are designed to help visitors discover the wonder of musical instruments as examples of inventive workmanship, objects of refined beauty, and artifacts representative of the central position that music has played in all of the world's cultures. Click on maps to take a virtual tour of each NMM gallery.

  • Interactive Map of First Floor Galleries
  • Interactive Map of Second Floor Galleries
  • Return to Virtual Gallery Tour Index

    The NMM Building, Townsley Courtyard, and Tuma Fountain Sculptures

    Visitors to the NMM are welcomed to the NMM's Townsley Courtyard by four bronze figures sculpted by Michael R. Tuma: a turn-of-the-century immigrant violinst and three children. The grace and charm of the sculpture are accompanied by the peaceful music of the fountain's cascading water.  Includes historic photos of the former USD Carnegie Library building.

    Townsley Courtyard

    Click on image to explore the Townsley Courtyard

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    The Abell Gallery

    Keyboard instruments from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries are displayed in the Abell Gallery, including the earliest surviving piano by a Portuguese maker (Manuel Antunes, Lisbon, 1767) and the earliest French grand piano (Louis Bas, Villeneuve les Avignon, 1781), both with Cristofori-style actions.   A pipe organ by Christian Dieffenbach (Berks County, Pennsylvania, 1808) is exhibited so that its mechanism can be viewed while it is being played.

    Abell Gallery

    Click on image to start exploring the Abell Gallery

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    The Bates Virtual Gallery

    The Alan G. Bates Harmonica Collection's Virtual Gallery explores representative examples from the donor's encyclopedic collection of more than 2,500 harmonicas!

    Bates Exhibit

    Click on image to see the Bates Exhibit

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    The Beede Gallery

    The Beede Gallery explores the vast world of non-Western music with exhibits that include exotic instruments from the great civilizations of Africa, the Middle East, East Asia, India, the Pacific Islands, Tibet, and Western Asia.  Visitors to the NMM will be able to view more than 240 instruments from these diverse cultures.  A sampling of these may be viewed below.

    Beede Gallery

    Click on image to start exploring the Beede Gallery

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    Beethoven & Berlioz Exhibition 

    The exhibition, Beethoven & Berlioz, Paris & Vienna: Musical Treasures From the Age of Revolution & Romance 1789-1848, offers a unique opportunity to view more than seventy representative instruments and bows from this age of revolution and romance, some of which may have been heard by the great composers themselves. In keeping with the cosmopolitan nature of the age, superb examples by the greatest makers of the period were chosen for the exhibition, regardless of where those makers might have lived - Brno (Brünn), Brussels, Cremona, Dresden, London, Mainz, Markneukirchen, Milan, Mirecourt, Naples, Nürnberg, Paris, Stuttgart, and Vienna - in order to illustrate the equally revolutionary changes in musical instrument construction, including both new inventions and the modification of great surviving instruments to meet the new demands of the future, that took place on the Continent during the first half of the 19th century. More than half of the instruments chosen for this special exhibition can be viewed on this Virtual Tour.

    The exhibition catalog and poster are both available from the NMM's Gift Shop.

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    The Cutler Gallery

    The Cutler Gallery presents Musical Innovations of the Industrial Revolution, as well as instruments used by the folk musicians of northern Europe, central and eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean countries.  More than 190 musical instruments representative of these themes are on display.

    Cutler Gallery

    Click on image to start exploring the Cutler Gallery

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    The Everist Gallery

    The Everist Gallery introduces The American Music Industry, as it grew from humble, 19th-century beginnings to the large factories of the 20th century.  NMM visitors will enjoy seeing more than 150 examples of American ingenuity on display in the Everist Gallery.

    Everist Gallery

    Click on image to start exploring the Everist Gallery

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    Exhibits in Lobby, Hallways, Concert Hall, and Tea Room

    Visitors entering the NMM lobby will be greeted by a gigantic long drum from Thailand.  Nearby, a magnificent Seeburg Orchestrion can be seen in the Jeanne F. Larson Tea Room, which also houses the NMM's Alphorn.  The outstanding French harpsichord by Jacques Germain (1785), featured on several recordings available from the Gift Shop, is located in the Arne B. Larson Concert Hall, along with the Italian harpsichord (ca. 1662-1682) by Ridolfi.  Numerous instruments are featured in hallway exhibits, including treasures from the Joe R. & Joella F. Utley Collection of Brass Instruments, the Alan G. Bates Harmonica Collection, and Early 20th-century New Orleans Jazz.

    Lobby Exhibit
    Concert Hall Exhibit
    First Floor Hallway Exhibit

    Click on images to start exploring the Lobby, Concert Hall, and First Floor Hallway Exhibits

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    The Graese Gallery

    The Graese Gallery is devoted to American music and musical instruments exhibited within the context of American social and cultural life, ranging from the instruments of the indigenous peoples of North and South America to those played by Civil War bandsmen.  These American musical expressions are represented by a display of more than 140 instruments.

    Graese Gallery

    Click on image to start exploring the Graese Gallery

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    The Lewison Gallery

    The nineteen instruments on display in the Lewison Gallery spotlight 19th-century American reed organs, pianos, melodeons, and electronic organs for home and church use.

    Lewison Gallery

    Click on image to start exploring the Lewison Gallery

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    The Lillibridge Gallery

    More than thirty-five superb guitars, banjos, and mandolins are featured in the permanent exhibition, Great American Guitars, which also includes a recreation of the legendary D'Angelico/D'Aquisto/Gudelsky Guitar Workshop.

    Lillibridge Gallery

    Click on image to start exploring the Lillibridge Gallery

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    The Music Man Exhibition

    More than 180 instruments are featured in the permanent exhibition, Ya Gotta Know the Territory: The Musical Journey of Meredith Willson, designed and installed in 2002 by the NMM at the Meredith Willson Museum in Mason City, Iowa, hometown of the composer of the popular Broadway musical, The Music Man.

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    Muzika! A Celebration of Czech and Slovak Music

    View eleven of some thirty musical instruments and bows from the collections of the NMM featured in this multi-sensory exhibition exploring the history of Czech and Slovak musical expression from medieval Gregorian chants through contemporary jazz. Muzika! was a featured exhibition at the National Czech and Slovak Museum (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) in 2004.

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    The Pressler Gallery

    The Pressler Gallery features Musical Treasures from the Age of Louis XIV, including more than 100 superb Austrian, Bohemian, Dutch, English, Flemish, French, German, Irish, Italian, Polish, Spanish, and Swiss instruments from the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.

    Pressler Gallery

    Click on image to start exploring the Pressler Gallery

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    The Rawlins Gallery

    The Rawlins Gallery is the home of a permanent exhibition, The Genius of North Italian Stringed Instrument Making 1540-1793, featuring more than 60 famous instruments and bows by Antonio Stradivari, Andrea Guarneri, three generations of the Amati family, and others.

    Rawlins Gallery

    Click on image to start exploring the Rawlins Gallery

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    Sound Samplings

    An Index of Sound Clips of Selected Musical Instruments at the NMM

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    Study-Storage Collections

    Only 7% of the NMM's encyclopedic collections of more than 14,500 musical instruments are on public view at any one time. The remainder of the collections, which include many of the earliest, best preserved, and historically most important instruments known to survive, are available in the Study-Storage areas where broad-based comparative research, of a kind that can be undertaken only at this institution, is conducted. Click here to read the NMM's Guidelines for Access to Musical Instruments.

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    The Utley Virtual Gallery

    The Utley Virtual Gallery explores representative examples from the Joe R. and Joella F. Utley Collection of more than 500 brass instruments.

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    Most recent update:   April 4, 2014

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