Sounds from all around
September 25, 2006 8:45 AM   Subscribe

If you're interested in musical instruments from all over the world, Wesleyan University's Virtual Instrument Museum should not be missed. Instruments are searchable by type (idiophones, aerophones, etc.), by materials (wood, bamboo, etc.), or by geographic region. The photos are very good, and many instruments are represented by excellent MP3 audio clips. And the exhibits (QTVR movies: drag your mouse to see the instrument from all angles) are wonderful.
posted by flapjax at midnite (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Or walk, fly, drive, ride (in an order appropriate to the location you begin from) to The Horniman Museum up the South Circular Road from me No clever site but why not come see a real Sackbut and a real Serpent?
posted by terrymiles at 9:14 AM on September 25, 2006

Well, they don't list the Angklung, so what good are they?

Actually, I think I'll bookmark that. Thanks.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:56 AM on September 25, 2006

This is great, f.a.midnight. It ties right in with something I’m researching for a book project. Thanks very much for posting it. For another online music museum, in this case percussive in nature, check this out.

p.s. Speaking of percussion, and an incredible list of instruments one person can learn to play, go to Emil Richards's main page and click on Instruments.
posted by LeLiLo at 11:27 AM on September 25, 2006

Very nice site. Informative and beautifully designed.
posted by CF at 11:38 AM on September 25, 2006

Weirdly, I read this post on the campus of Wesleyan University, and I have several friends in the music department who get to play those crazy instruments.
posted by Dr. Wu at 1:03 PM on September 25, 2006

Wicked - so nice that they have sample sounds, too. This is so much more interesting to music than the dorky masters thesis on my bloody valentine. I've always wondered what the hell a gender was.
posted by DenOfSizer at 2:26 PM on September 25, 2006

To fill in the gaps: The Grinnell College Music Instrument Collection (includes Early, Western, and World: pictures and audio). I've also had fun digging around the Atlas of Plucked Instruments, but the site is down at the moment (it was still there a couple of days ago.)

Echoes of Africa from the BBC also has pictures and audio of instruments organized by region.
posted by imposster at 3:04 PM on September 25, 2006

Bummer, no mbira either.

I'm actually looking to buy one (mbira, or gourd piano, or finger piano), if anyone has any advice ... there are a lot out there.
posted by mrgrimm at 4:57 PM on September 25, 2006

Thanks to all of you who posted links to related sites. I was hoping for that! And, yes, there are big gaps in the Wesleyan collection, unfortunately. It's such a handsome, well done site that you really wish it were a lot more complete. And mrgrimm, good luck locating your mbira!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:53 PM on September 25, 2006

ya, that's the one. gonna find one one day ... gotta have that hemispheric gourd resonator!
posted by mrgrimm at 11:17 PM on September 25, 2006

As Duke Ellington might've said, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that hemispheric gourd resonator!

But if you find a good, solid mbira that you like but which lacks the resonator, I'd advise going ahead and buying it, as you could always fashion a resonator out of a gourd yourself and attach it to the instrument.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:45 AM on September 26, 2006

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