Thursday, September 6, 2012

The National Music Museum -- Part 2

 The Music Museum at the University of South Dakota has two full floors of exhibits and we were delighted with what we found upstairs, beginning with this original foot pump organ.

 Upstairs, there is a wide variety of instruments, including a number of horns and brass instruments.

 There was also this harp guitar which was something we had never seen before. Apparently, this allowed (a skilled player!) to play harp music at the same time as they strummed the guitar. Apparently, it did not catch on.

 The harp guitar was not the only harp-related item. The harp zither is from 1920 and was made for a professional musician. I will bet it sounded great and wished we could have heard it.

 At the other end of the size spectrum is this square grand piano from 1891. This piano was given to a 14 year old girl who kept it in pristine condition her entire life and finally gifted it to the museum. The woodworking on this piano was amazing.

 Here is a very unique item - a double harp. Built in 1890, this is one of two known to exist with the other being in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. I will bet this was quite a challenge to play.

 Here is an early electrified keyboard from about 1900. This forerunner of today's electronic organ used electric motors, relays, and more. The components are huge and really gives one an idea as to the great progress that has been made.

 Here is another remarkable grand piano from 1864. As with the other instruments, this one is in spectacular condition.

 Of course, the brass instruments are well represented as this display from the famous Conn Instrument firm. In fact, we realized that our son learned to play on a Conn trombone. Pretty cool.

 The museum offers a wide variety of instruments -- including this "Sargent Pepper" trumpet from the Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club movie featuring the Bee Gees and many others.

 Finally, we saw these saxophones and thought back to when our daughter played the Sax. However, we did not know then that the Sax was developed by Adolphe Sax back in 1857. These original saxophones are the ones that created this popular instrument in the future.

We learned quite a bit during our visit to the museum and really enjoyed seeing the wide variety of rare instruments. This is well worth a trip.

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