Current and Upcoming Exhibitions

"Musikk på boks" – on Mechanical Musical Instruments

Exhibition 2. February 2019 – 10. January 2021

In the nursery room the ballerina dances in her jewel-case and the sandman glides calming up in the air. Both sprinkle sweet candies of sound into our ears and out of our memories. However, inside they hide an oiled machine with teeth, pins and moving cogwheels. A mechanical instrument contains both magic and mechanics, both music and technology.

In the exhibition “Musikk på boks” we follow some phenomena in the culture of mechanical instruments. The setting is Norway in the time of the emergence of modernity, democracy and industrialization. We meet the eighteenth century musical clock and serinette as well as the nineteenth century barrel organs, especially the Norwegian Steinkjerpositiv. Furthermore we explore the player piano and reproducing piano as well as the musical boxes in the burgher salon at the turn of the century. Finally, we stroll along some public arenas for the automata and the fully automatic electric instrument in the early 1900s.

The exhibition touches questions on reception conflicts from musical, aesthetical, economical and ideological perspectives. The multitude of repertories in various social arenas, is shown and also demonstrated on guided tours. Certainly, the visitor also can explore the technology of the instruments and the principles of the media: music rolls, barrels and discs.

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The Main House

Winter season: closed

Since the opening of the Museum of Music History at Ringve in 1952, the manor building on the estate has housed guided tours. In June 2018, the Main Building reopened with renovated splendour and now features a new, exciting exhibition: On the backdrop of life at Ringve Estate between 1875 and the First World War, the exhibition will convey the social role of music and the development of citizens’ musical socialization during a period that was crucial in the formation of Norway as an independent nation. 

Join us on a journey to Norway in the 1880s!​

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    Herman Wedel Anker ca. 1880

Exhibition in the Barn

Explore a multitude of instruments from all around the world, and use the audio guide to hear exciting stories and musical treats of your choice. The exhibition in the Barn presents various phenomena in music history such as the development of musical societies, music in the homes of the middle- and upper classes in the 1800s, the introduction of the new era with the invention of the piano 300 years ago, the growth of jazz in the 1920s and -30s and the first decades of rock- and pop music. Further, the exhibition demonstrates how sound is made, even up to the electronic instruments of today. Open all year.

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