Discover why music is the language of the soul.

The instruments on display in the Orientation Gallery and the stories they tell set the stage for the incredible variety of items and diverse cultures you’ll experience in MIM’s galleries. From ancient cymbals to modern guitars, miniature flutes to a massive octobasse, every instrument serves as a global medium for expression and communicates so much more than the music we hear.

As windows into human life, musical instruments help us create individual and shared group experiences. They can be emblems of our identities as individuals, as families, as neighbors, and as nations. By giving sound to who we are, instruments enable us to amplify the human emotions that connect us all. Instruments also reveal the ingenuity of the planet’s peoples. Inventive designs and impeccable craftsmanship make instruments tangible works of art that illustrate how we innovate, adapt, and learn from each other to create music.

Throughout the museum, you can explore how music has shaped cultures, defined geographic identities, and marked milestones throughout history while holding the unique ability to unify people from every corner of the globe. There truly is nothing else like music. Without it, the soul would have no language.

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