The National Music Museum is located in Vermillion, South Dakota. It is one of the most prominent organizations of it’s type in the world, with 1,200 instruments displayed in its halls and over 15,000 in it’s possession. The National Music Museum was established in 1973 on the University of South Dakota’s campus in Vermillion.
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It is one of the most prominent music museum’s in the world. The Museum boasts an extensive collection of musical instruments, includes pieces from Non-Western, European, and American historical eras and cultures.
The collection of the National Music Museum spans five hundred years of culture and ranges from invaluable Italian violins to guitars used by celebrities. It includes a large variety of different musical instruments. The museum has an extensive archive of materials related to it’s instruments and is the only institution in North America to offer a musical instrument graduate degree. It is also a center for research on musical instruments.
The National Music Museum was established in collaboration with the University of South Dakota. The University provides facilities and staff for teaching, research, and preservation to the museum. The National Music Council has recognized the National Music Museum as “A Landmark of American Music.”
The National Music Museum offers an extensive collection of instruments for visitor to view, though only a small portion of them are on display. The collection includes over 15,000 non-Western, European, and American instruments. All cultures, and time periods are represented. The collection also includes some of the best-preserved and most important instruments in history.
· Bowed Stringed Instruments- The Non-Western instruments in this collection includes instruments from East Asia, India, North Africa, Western/Central Asia, Oceania, instruments North America’s indigenous population, and instruments used in the piece Kyai Rengga Manis Everist. The Europe and United States instruments in this collection include those created before 1800, instruments designed by Andrea Amati, instruments that were produced in Brescia, those made in Paris and Italy, instruments designed by Carleen Maley Hutchins, and the Meisel Family, and sixteenth and seventeenth century instruments.
· Brass Instruments- Non-Western instruments in this collection include those from East Asia, India, North Africa, Western/Central Asia, Oceania, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Nepal. Instruments in this part of the collection from North American and Europe include those produced before 1800, sixteenth and seventeenth century instruments, instruments made by Graves & Company, and instruments from the Utley collection.
· Electric and Electronic Instruments- Instruments in this part of the collection come from Europe, Japan, and the United States. They include Epiphone Guitars, Fender Guitars, Electric Guitars made by Gibson, instruments made by Lloyd Loar and include their speakers and amplifiers, guitars designed by Semie Moseley, and Vivi-Tone, instruments.
· Free Reed Instruments- This part of the collection includes non-Western instruments from East Asia, India and Oceania, Instruments from Europe, Japan, and the United States include those from the Alan G. Bates Harmonica collection.
· Keyboard Instruments- This part of the collection includes instruments from the United States and Europe such as keyboards, clavichords, clavier, experimental keyboards, harpsichords, mechanical keyboards, orphica, pianos, and pipe organs.
· Percussion Instruments- Non-Western instruments in this part of the collection include pieces from East Asia, India, North Africa, Western/Central Asia, Oceania, Sub-Saharan Africa Tibet and Nepal, and America’s indigenous people. The instruments from America and Europe include pieces from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, drums from the William F. Ludwig II Drum Collection, brass drums, snare drums, and timpani.
· Plucked String Instruments- Non-Western instruments in this part of the collection include pieces from East Asia, India, North Africa, Oceania, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Tibet and Nepal. European instruments and United States instruments include those produced before 1800, sixteenth and seventeenth century instruments, instruments designed by Carl and August Larson, Lloyd Loar, Mario Maccaferri, Anastasios Stathopoulo, Stromberg, Gibson, Ludwig and Ludwig, and Franz Schwarzer.
· Woodwind Instruments- Non-Western instruments in this collection include pieces from East Asia, India, North Africa, Western/Central Asia, Oceania, Sub-Saharan Africa, Tibet and Nepal, and instruments from North American’s indigenous people. Instruments from United the United States, and Europe include pieces from the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, bagpipes, bassoons, clarinets fifes, flutes, oboes, piccolos, recorders, saxophones, and veltschamalmey
The National Music museum offers two types of internships for those wishing to pursue them.
Curatorial Internship- The curatorial intern helps with routine curatorial tasks such as inventory management, archival management, accessioning, marketing and social media, gallery development, loans, special exhibitions, and cataloging,
Arne B Larson Internship- This internship restricts it’s focus to studying American bands, band music, musical instruments, and music. It gives interns a practical opportunity to get hands on experience in developing, designing, and producing, instruments, and the history of the industry.
The museum offers a gift shop for visitors who wish to purchase mementos of their visit.
414 E. Clark St Vermillion, South Dakota 57069, Phone: 605-677-5306