An Instrumental History Lesson

The recently opened Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix) comprises a 190,000-square-foot building with two floors of galleries and a collection of more than 10,000 instruments and associated objects from around the world.
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Here and below: Some of the exhibits at the Musical Instrument Museum

The recently opened Musical Instrument Museum (Phoenix) comprises a 190,000-square-foot building with two floors of galleries and a collection of more than 10,000 instruments and associated objects from around the world. The galleries feature advanced wireless technology and high-resolution video screens that allow patrons to see the instruments, hear their sounds and observe them being played in their original settings. Each exhibit was assembled by five expert curators with consultation by ethnomusicologists, organologists and other field experts.

MIM’s Artist Gallery features musical instruments linked to musicians and music innovators, as well as video of concert footage, photographs, costumes and other special items. Highlights include the Steinway piano on which John Lennon composed “Imagine”; Carlos Santana’s custom Yamaha guitar with Buddhist inlay motifs; Eric Clapton’s “Brownie” Fender Stratocaster guitar played on the Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs album; George Benson’s Gibson Johnny Smith model; and more.

Spanning the two floors of the museum is a 299-seat music theater that will host performances, films and seminars about musical traditions from around the world. An adjacent recording studio allows MIM to capture live recordings of those performances.