Shrine to Music Museum
Center for Study of the History of Musical Instruments
The University of South Dakota, 414 East Clark Street, Vermillion
SD 57069-2390, USA
Phone: (605) 677-5306 Fax: (605) 677-5073
Email: email@example.com WebSite: http://www.usd.edu/smm
The Shrine to Music
Museum was founded on July 1, 1973 as an academic support unit
of The University of South Dakota.
The Museum's renowned
collections, which include more than 7,000 American, European
and non-Western instrument from all cultures and historical
periods, are the most inclusive anywhere. They include many
of the earliest, best preserved, and historically most important
instruments known to survive. Self-guided audio tours allow
visitors to hear them as well as to see them.
The Musuem's meteoric
rise to world-class status has attracted international attention.
Today, its holdings are rivaled only by museums in such cultrual
centers as Berlin, Brussels, Paris and Vienna.
The Museum is the
only place in the world where one can find two 18th-century
grand pianos with the specific type of action conceived by the
piano's inventor, Bartolomeo Christofori. One of these,
built in 1767 by Manuel Antunes of Lisbon, is the earliest
signed and dated piano by a maker native to Portugal; the other,
built by Louis Bas in Villaneuve lès Avignon in
1781, is the earliest extant French grand piano.
The Museum's holdings
of brass, woodwind, and stringed instruments by 17th and 18-century
Nürnberg craftsmen, including members of the Denner,
Haas and Oberlender families, Ernst Busch,
Paul Hainlein, Johann Benedikt Gahn, Johann
Carl Kodisch, Leonhard Maussiel, Michael Nagel,
Paulus Schmidt, and Georg Friedrich Steinmez,
is unique outside of Germany.
The Museum's holdings
of 17- and 18th-century Dutch woodwind instruments by such makers
as Richard Haka, Hendrik Richters, Philip Borkens,
Abraham van Aardenberg, Jan Juriaensz van Heerde
and Jan Steenbergen, is unique outside of The Netherlands.
Collection of early Italian stringed instruments crafted
by Andrea Guarneri, Antonio Stradivari, three
generations of the Amati family, and others, by far surpasses
any in Italy. Included are two of only three 17th century Cremonese
stringed instruments preserved in the world today in unaltered
condition, one of only two Strad guitars to be seen in a museum
setting, and one of only two Strad mandolins known to survive.
A group of 450 instruments
made in the late 19th/early 20th centuries by the C.G. Conn
Company of Elkhart, Indiana is a resource unparalleled anywhere
for historical research about a major American industry and
the American band movement.
The recent addition
of the John Powers Saxophone Collection (Aspen, Colorado)
and the Cecil Leeson Saxophone Collection and Archives,
transferred from Ball State University, makes the Museum
the preeminent center for studying the history of the saxophone.
The sum of these
groups of American, Dutch, German, and Italian instruments (not
to mention the many other such important groupings in the Museum's
collections) is to be found nowhere else in the world.
The Museum also
has rich holdings of related objects and archival materials,
such as the unequaled Salabue-Fiorini-DeWitt-Hermann-Witten-Rawlins
Collection of 650 violin makers' labels.
There are violin-making
tools and Baroque fittings, early harpsichord and forepiano
tuning hammers, and 1,000 brass instrument mouthpieces from
virtually every turn-of-the-century manifacturer. The American
Musical Instrument Manufacturers archives has no rival.
The Museum is in
a 20,000 square-foot, climate-controlled building, where more
than 700 representative instruments are exhibited in eight beautiful
The Arne B. Larson
Concert Hall has superb acoustics and provides a perfect
setting for performing and recording music played on original
instruments of various historical periods and cultural milieu.
There is a specialized library, extensice study-storage areas,
and a modern conservation laboratory.