The Art of Harmony

Martin Cullingford23rd Mar 2011

Horniman Museum exhibition showcases historic instruments

Harpsichord, Jerome of Bologna, Italy, 1521
Pedal harp, Dizi,London, 1813-1831
English guitar, F. Hintz, London, circa 1760, V&A
Hurdy gurdy, French, 2nd half of the 18th century
Violin, Antonio Stradivari, Cremona, 1699
Kit, Dimanche Drouyn, Paris, 3rd quarter of the 17th century
Oboe, maker unknown, Dutch, c.1690 - 1700
Guitar, Matteo Sellas, Venice, 1623
Treble recorder, Giovanni Maria Anciuti, Milan, 1740
Octave spinet, Italy, c.1600
Viola d’amore, Sth German or Austrian, 1719
Musette, French, c.1730-1740 - an indoor cousin of the pastoral bagpipe, popular
Horn, cor-solo, Marcel Auguste Raoux, Paris, c. 1826
Baryton, Joachim Tielke, Hamburg, 1686, V&A
Positive organ, German, c.1627, Unsigned, attr. Gottfried Fritzsche

A new exhibition at the Horniman Museum, in collaboration with the V&A, draws together some of the most exquisite examples of musical instruments from the two London-based collections.

Some of the 44 instruments have links to prominent historical figures (whether Rossini's oboe or Louis, le Grand Daupin's compact violin), while others are prized for their ornate craftsmanship.

The exhibition highlights changing performing traditions in European classical music from the 16th to 19th centuries, and will also tell the story of the collectors and collections themselves, looking at themes such as the shifting balance between conservation and access, and the hi-tech, sometimes medically-derived techniques used for examining the instruments. The 35 V&A instruments join the already rich musical heritage held at the Horniman Museum, including the Adam Carse Collection of wind instruments, the Boosey & Hawkes collection and the Dolmetsch Collection of early music instruments.

The Art of Harmony opens at the Horniman Museum on Saturday March 26; entry is free.

You can view and learn more about some of the instruments featured in the Art of Harmony by launching the gallery - simply click on any picture to begin.
You can also listen to two instruments from the exhibition being played by clicking here.

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