Front Page Chronology Works Influences Life & Times In His Own Words Musical Instruments Discs Quiz

America's Shrine to Music Museum
and
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: smm@sundance.usd.edu WebSite: http://www.usd.edu/smm

FACT SHEET

  1. The Shrine to Music Museum was founded on July 1, 1973 as an academic support unit of The University of South Dakota.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. The Witten-Rawlins 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. The Museum is in a 20,000 square-foot, climate-controlled building, where more than 700 representative instruments are exhibited in eight beautiful galleries.

  14. 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.
Information provided by the Philharmonic Society of Orange County.





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