Visitors to the Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, California, can now experience its newly renovated galleries, featuring interactive displays and new exhibits that incorporate the latest instrument innovations. The museum documents the evolution of musical instruments from the late 19th century to the present day, and future visitors can enjoy hands-on experiences with instruments at the museum’s five galleries.
The earliest years of musical innovation are featured in the museum’s first gallery, “America’s Music Industry Comes of Age,” where a Gibson F-4 mandolin is the era’s breakthrough instrument. Visitors can play a similar mandolin. The next gallery, “A Long Boom,” covers music innovations of the early 1900s, and the breakthrough instrument is the Ludwig drum pedal. At this gallery, visitors can try a modern Ddrum DD1 electronic drum set.
At gallery three, “We’ll Try Anything,” the first commercially available electric guitar, the Rickenbacker Fry Pan, is the breakthrough instrument from the era. It is displayed alongside a playable Custom Rickenbacker Lap Steel Guitar. At the fourth gallery, “The Baby Boom Era,” the period’s breakthrough instrument is the Fender Telecaster, and visitors have a chance to play that same instrument.
The museum’s fifth gallery, “Tradition, Innovation, and a Virtual World,” presents the latest innovations in instruments. It received the most complete remake, and now includes nearly 1,100 square feet of state-of-the-art interactive displays and highlights the Yamaha DX7 digital synthesizer as its breakthrough instrument. Visitors can sample music from around the world and play a variety of instruments independently or with friends and family.
The Museum of Making Music was founded in 1998 by the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) to showcase and celebrate the music products industry. This is the museum’s first major revamp since opening to the public in 2000. The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and closed Mondays. General admission is $8, with a discounted admission of $5 for students over age five, seniors, and active duty military. Children five and under are free.
For more information on the museum and its exhibits, visit the Museum of Making Music website.