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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Arizona Week—The Impressive Musical Instrument Museum

When Lisa mentioned to me that there was a museum devoted to music in the northern outskirts of Phoenix, I initially scoffed at the idea, having already been to Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Jimi Hendrix Experience in Seattle. Thankfully, she persuaded me to visit the Musical Instrument Museum since it ended up being one of the highlights of the trip. Unfortunately, we didn’t have nearly enough time to view the entire collection in this large building (give yourself at least 2 hours, preferably 3 hours). We went upstairs first to see the exhibitions devoted to music around the world. In the European galleries, display cases are arranged by country. Simply walk up to the Belarus video and your headset will automatically play the indigenous folk music of that country. In fact, the headset was amazing, immediately picking up the music in front of you without having to input numbers. In the United States/Canada gallery, I loved seeing the old clips of Coltrane and Miles in the jazz section, Natalie MacMaster work her fiddle in the Cape Breton display, and Lalo Guerrero singing about his native Barrio Viejo in Tucson, which we had just visited the day prior. Downstairs in the Artist Gallery, you’ll find the piano John Lennon used to write “Imagine,” Stevie Ray Vaughn’s signature guitar which he jams on in a video clip, and wardrobes worn by Johnny Cash, Elvis, and Taylor Swift. Nearby is the Experience Gallery, where you can pound the drums, try the xylophone, and other bizarre metal instruments that seemed better suited for Tibetan monks. A whole lot of fun that’s highly recommended when you’re next in Phoenix. 


Posted by Steve Jermanok on 01/24/17 at 06:00 AM
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Longtime Boston Globe travel writer, Steve Jermanok, dishes out his favorite travel locales and provides topical travel information that comes across his desk. is an Austin-Lehman Adventure's Top 125 Best Travel Blog Semi-Finalist

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