Find The Delights Of Paris' Music Museum

Find The Delights Of Paris' Music Museum
Audrey
Audrey 
Updated

Paris is home to some of the world’s best music venues including hundreds of concert halls, dozens of theaters, and two operas. Music lovers will certainly feel at home in the French capital. For those looking to learn more about music, Le Musée de la Musique (Music Museum) invites visitors to explore over 7,000 musical instruments from a variety of time periods, styles, and countries. There are also free daily concerts and interactive displays to further draw visitors into the museum. Whether you’re a maestro or an amateur, Paris’ music museum is an ideal outing.

A modern architectural gem inhabited by the Muses

Philharmonie de Paris @ La Villette (28341515943)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Guilhem Vellut used under CC BY 2.0

The Musée de la Musique (Music Museum) is located in the Philharmonie de Paris (Paris Philharmonic Orchestra). There are actually two buildings in the complex, each designed by two of the greatest French architects of modern time, Christian de Portzamparc and Jean Nouvel. Nouvel was responsible for the design of Philharmonie 1, while de Portzamparc envisaged Philharmonie 2 (where the museum is located). The result is a streamlined, modern complex capable not only of holding concerts, but also of providing workspace for musicians, and of welcoming the public.

Examine an enormous collection of instruments

12-foot tall octobass

The museum’s collection is organized by century, ranging from the 17th to the 20th centuries. In each section, examine the instruments, watch 40 informative videos, and listen to the free comprehensive audio guide to learn about how and why instruments changed over the years.

And while there is no shortage of well-known instruments like guitars, pianos, and violins, the museum also hosts an impressive collection of lesser-known pieces. For example, there is an enormous octobass measuring 12 feet tall that requires a stand in order to be played. Another unique piece is a horn fitted with a dragon’s head that was used during state ceremonies just after the French Revolution. The museum owns 7,000 instruments making for an informative and detailed visit.

Take a trip around the world through musical instruments

find the delights of paris' music museum | take a trip around the world through musical instruments

The majority of the museum’s collection is made up of European instruments, but there is one section dedicated entirely to instruments from Asia, Oceania, and the Caribbean. Some of the most impressive displays are the steel drums originating from the Caribbean and the didgeridoo originating from Australia. This section is particularly interesting because you can learn about how local materials are used to produce instruments economically and what role certain instruments play in each culture’s history.

Enjoy a free concert

Kraftwerk 2019-07-11 - Paris (2)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user ΛΦΠ used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Every day the museum hosts one or more musicians who play for a few hours. The musicians play a variety of instruments and styles, meaning that each visit presents the opportunity for a unique concert. There are couches around the stage, creating an intimate and comfortable atmosphere. It’s a great place to rest before continuing your visit. Visitors are also invited to speak with the musicians, further enhancing the richness of the experience.

Become a musician yourself!

Interactive trumpet display

While most of the instruments are safely stored in glass cases, there are several which can be played with. Examples include: a trumpet, an organ, and a violin. These displays enable visitors to explore the materials used in the fabrication, to understand how sounds are produced, and to learn about how the instruments’ design changed over the years. This interactive feature is great for drawing in all visitors, especially children.

Be swept away at Paris' music museum

If you’re a musician or just like listening to music, the music museum should be on your Paris itinerary. You’ll learn more about how your favorite genre of music originated, you’ll benefit from a free concert, and maybe even pick up some new skills!

The Music museum is open Tuesday- Friday 12.00 PM to 6.00 PM and Saturday and Sunday 10.00 AM to 6.00 PM. It can be reached via subway line 5, stop Porte de Pantin. Tickets are 7 EUR (8 USD) for those over 28 they are 5 EUR (6 USD) for those 26-27, and free for those less than 26.

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Audrey is a 25-year-old American living in South Korea and teaching English. She lived in Paris for two years as a French language student and au pair. During that time she also mastered the art...Read more

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