The Dis-playing of Musical Instruments

Free tickets available from the Academy’s Box Office.

The physical characteristics of musical instruments are often conceived as secondary to the music they make, mentioned only insofar as they are ‘ornate’. But what might the decorations, carvings and other ornamental details reveal about the visual, material and non-auditory dimensions of European music cultures? Through a series of examples from the Academy’s collection, Dr Emanuela Vai explores the tension between the ‘playing’ and ‘dis-playing’ of musical instruments, paying particular attention to ‘silenced instruments’ that were designed less for music making and more for display in a variety of viewing contexts, from private collections to public performances. Hosted by the Museum’s Curator of Instruments, Barbara Meyer

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