The National Museum of Musical Instruments in Rome

Rome’s National Museum of Musical Instruments was born out of a great passion for collecting – a trait that, according to Nietzsche, belongs only to the noblest minds, because it speaks of a search for absolutely unique things that no one else can have.

The majority of the 3,000 specimens showcased today in the very interesting museum comes from the collection of tenor Evan Gorga (1865-1957), who spent four successful years performing in theaters throughout Italy, from Genoa’s Politeama to the San Carlo in Naples, from La Fenice in Venice to the Regio in Turin (where, in 1896, he played Rodolfo in the premiere of Puccini’s “La Bohème”).

After this brilliant beginning, Gorga mysteriously abandoned the stage and devoted his life to collecting “unique” items: he accumulated about 150,000 objects divided into thirty specific collections. One of them gathered musical instruments of the most varied origin – from the Far East to Latin America, from Europe to Africa – spanning 2,000 years from the late Hellenistic Age to the 20th century.

Gorga put together a magnificent collection that, along with more recent acquisitions, includes valuable pieces such as Bartolomeo Cristofori’s piano (1723), the Barberini Harp (1605-1620), Hans Müller’s harpsichord (1537), and a terracotta model of Michele Todini’s Harpsichord (17th century).

The headquarters of the National Museum of Musical Instruments is next to Rome’s beautiful Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem, located within an archaeological site of great interest, where buildings of the 3rd and 4th centuries AD are preserved.

Roma, Arpa Barberini, Museo nazionale strumenti musicali - Rome, Barberini Harp, National Museum of Musical Instruments

The Barberini Harp, datail of the "three bee" family emblem

Roma, Arpa Barberini, Museo nazionale strumenti musicali - Barberini Harp, National Museum of Musical Instruments

The Barberini Harp

Roma, Arpa Barberini, Museo nazionale strumenti musicali - Barberini Harp, National Museum of Musical Instruments

The Barberini Harp

Roma, clavicembalo, Museo nazionale strumenti musicali - Rome, harpsichord, National Museum of Musical Instruments

Two keyboard harpsichord (18th century)

Roma, Cembalo di Hans Müller, Museo degli strumenti Musicali - Rome, Hans Müller harpsichord, National Museum of Musical Instruments

Hans Müller's harpsichord (1537)

Roma, Museo degli strumenti Musicali - Rome, National Museum of Musical Instruments

Brass horn (19th century)

Roma, Museo degli strumenti Musicali - Rome, National Museum of Musical InstrumentsRoma, Museo degli strumenti Musicali - Rome, National Museum of Musical InstrumentsRoma, Museo degli strumenti Musicali - Rome, National Museum of Musical Instruments

Mute violin (1893)

Roma, Museo degli strumenti Musicali - Rome, National Museum of Musical Instruments

Ghirinda (16th-17th century)

Roma, Museo degli strumenti Musicali - Rome, National Museum of Musical InstrumentsRoma, Museo degli strumenti Musicali - Rome, National Museum of Musical Instruments

Cimbasso (19th century)

Spinet (1692)

Roma, Museo degli strumenti Musicali - Rome, National Museum of Musical Instruments

Carlo Bugatti Psalterium (20th century)

Roma, Museo degli strumenti Musicali - Rome, National Museum of Musical Instruments

Oboe (1775)

Roma, Museo degli strumenti Musicali - Rome, National Museum of Musical Instruments

Positive organ by the Neapolitan school (18th century)

Roma, Museo degli strumenti Musicali - Rome, National Museum of Musical Instruments

Bartolomeo Cristofori's piano (1722)

Roma, Museo degli strumenti Musicali - Rome, National Museum of Musical Instruments

Hammered dulcimer (17th century)

Roma, Museo degli strumenti Musicali - Rome, National Museum of Musical Instruments

Small Birger spinet (1759)

Roma, palazzina Samoggia, sede del Museo nazionale degli Strumenti musicali - Rome, headquarters of the National Museum of Musical Instruments

Palazzina Samoggia, headquarters of the National Museum of Musical Instruments

The National Museum of Musical Instruments in Rome

Rome
Piazza Santa Croce in Gerusalemme, 9/A
+39 06 7014796
+39 06 7029862

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