Did you know?

Find out some amazing facts about musical instruments.


The history of musical instruments may be traced back in Europe for some 25,000 years. As far back as the early Stone Age man learned…


The Oliphant was an instrument made of an elephants tusk, and were often richly decorated. In England the Oliphant was also a symbol of dignity…


Metal strings were often used in Ireland in the thirteenth century and were played with ‘nayles scharpe’, a method that continued for several hundred years…


The infant god Hermes on an expedition to steal 50 of Apollo’s cows, picked up a tortoise shell, stretched ox hide over it, and attached to…


This bizarre-looking instrument is called a Stroh violin, named after  its German designer, Johannes Matthias Augustus Stroh, who patented it in 1899. The stroh violin…


The white glove treatment

Why is the player wearing a white glove in this video?  Many instruments in museums are very old and delicate.  We have to be careful…

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The trumpets of war

Trumpet players were used as signallers on battle fields.  This was a very dangerous job, as the enemy would usually try to aim at the…

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It’s not easy being a minstrel!

Musicians who played in the courts in medieval times were called minstrels.  But being a minstrel wasn’t always an easy job.  They were expected to…

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Here’s a few activity sheets for kids – to be used in and out of the museum! Making Music Making Art – decorate instruments Making…


Playing a string instrument during the Baroque period was not a pastime for vegetarians! Unlike modern strings, which are made from wire, strings for instruments…