Only the sound of the photo cameras broke the overwhelming silence at the Museum of Musical Instruments. A Tuesday afternoon, on a very hot day, there were many people visiting the relatively small place gathering instruments from all over the ages and countries. But, somehow, even the little children wandering through the glass boxes were extremely silent. Many were enjoying the audio guided tours, but not few of them, including me, preferred to go from a place to another, have a look at the instruments and set up their own musical stories.
Situated a couple of minutes away from the Berliner Philharmoniker and the busy Potsdamer Platz, the Museum also hosts a research institute and a music library. Almost 4,000 instruments are hosted in the exhibition space. Every Saturday, there are tours and concerts taking place, for children and adults. After almost one hour of visit at the museum, I felt the need of a serious guidance, as the instruments presented - many of them former properties of famous historical personalities such as the flutes from the collection of Frederick the Great or Benjamin Franklin glass harmonica - also had a very important social and historical side that are largely unknown to the non-specialist. The children were enjoying the exhibition as any instrument was like a little world of surprises in itself. So bad that it was not anyone able to play something for them - like it happened at a similar, but smaller museum in Estoril, Portugal, when the guide put out of the glass boxes some of the instruments and showed us how does they work.
At the first floor, more modern instruments are presented, as well as a very complicated article about models of music perception. I must recognized that I was already a bit tired after many other museums and cultural encounters and did not have the proper mental set-up for such a difficult exploration. At the same level, there are many guitars - the ground flour is apparently dedicated to pianos and organs, as well as flutes and harps - but also a simple explanation about how the instruments are made.
The visit at the museum is a very relaxing experience. I only need to find a day when I can also be part of a full guided tour.