In Dutch, this museum is called Museum speelklok*.
It advertises itself as the most cheery museum in the country. Which I think is true, because during the guided visit, they play the instruments and I really smiled and sometimes there was dancing and singing along!
From the website: "The museum collection consists of automatically playing musical instruments from the 15th century to the present day, together with their music programmes and documentation. An automatic musical instrument is a musical instrument that comes with a programme enabling it to play music without the aid of a human performer.*
The museum gives great examples of Dutch culture. It is still a very normal sight to have street organs playing in Dutch cities. It's a long tradition of keeping Dutch songs and especially tearjerkers (smartlappen) alive.
It's also a lovely museum for (young) children. You see them react so intensely to the musical instruments when they play! The museum has developed special things for children to do while they visit the museum. So, by all means take your children!
Entrance fee is 9 euro per adult and 5 euro per child.
The guided visit is free (after paying the entrance fee of course). It definitely pays to join the guided tour because that's when the instruments are put to play. It lasts about 45-50 minutes and you can join in halfway if necessary. Guided tours start each whole hour, the last one being at 16 hrs.
UNIQUE MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS
The collection of the National Museum from Musical Clock to Street Organ comprises musical clocks, music boxes, pianolas, orchestrions, street organs, fairground organs and dance hall organs. The instruments are demonstrated during guided tours. These start each hour on the hour. The repertoire ranges from classical tunes to tearjerkers and from Vienna waltzes to modern house music. In the ‘pling-plong’ room children can compose their own musical box
Organ museum - Van Speelklok tot Pierement
This museum shows every imagineable piece of automatic music playing device that was ever built. Everything from small music boxes to massive dance organs. Don't miss out on this museum, I loved it.
The NATIONAAL MUSEUM : FROM MUSIC CLOCK TO STREET ORGAN
In this museum you can see and hear carillion clocks, music boxes, belly organs, orchestrations like the Hupveld Phonoliszt Violina, street-, fairy ground-, and dance hall organs.
Here I tell the story of the development of automatic musical instruments through the ages, ( from the 15th - 20th century ) and the important role the Low Countries have played in it.
All day long the instruments are demonstrated during guided tours.
The address is Buurkerkhof 10, 3511 KC in Utrecht.
The museum is housed in the beautifully restored medieval Buurkerk , right in the centre of the old city of Utrecht.
CELEBRATE your BIRTHDAY in the museum's CafZ. There will be an enormous cream cake complete with cake candles and the name of the hero of the feast, lemonade and a presentation with a rousing 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY' on one of the great organs.
You can compose and play your own music with the 'plingplong' and on leaving there is a surprise for everyone.
So celebrate a merry, festive and musical birthday in this museum.
The museum SECRETARIAAT will be happy to inform and advise you on this special arrangement and reservations etc..
N.B. : THERE are guided tours every hour (also in English) with DEMONSTRATIONS of the instruments and I myself enjoyed it very much!
It was quite some time ago when I visited the museum, but I have to say that all aspects are impressive. The range of automatic instruments from small musical boxes to huge dance organs, the way the musium is laid out in themed rooms and the linguistic versatility of the young guides. There is a strong air of pride and enthusiasm in what is exhibited in the museum and the standard of restoration in some very old instruments, makes them look new and sound as they would have done when they left the workshops of the original builders.
The marvel of it all is that though there are plenty of exhibits, the rooms are in no way intrusive in what is a working church. It was also a pleasant surprise to see an old organ on the balcony, built by a long-dead relative of mine (Walkers of Manchester, England). I was unable to hear it demonstated so I don`t know if has been restored or not, but it was nice to see.
The entrance fee when you consider the quality of the machines and the humans, is worth every Euro you pay. Go on an official guided tour and do not be afraid to ask questions - the guides enjoy sharing their enthusiasm with others.
The "Museum from Musical Clock to Street Organ" is a museum in Utrecht.
The collection consists of automatically playing musical instruments from the 15th century to the present day.
An automatic musical instrument is a musical instrument that comes with a programme enabling it to play music without the aid of a human performer.
Over the years the museum has become popular nationwide and also internationally. The museum's reparation workshop is a leader in its field.
The museum was founded in 1956.
Since 1984, it is housed in the central medieval parish church of Utrecht, the Buurkerk.
VIDEO of my visit:
Great collection of musical boxes and fairground organs, well worth looking round. As everywhere in Holland they also do the tour in English. There's a room where you can experiment with sound making machines.
NATIONAAL MUSEUM VAN SPEELKLOK TOT PIEREMENT
This museum is in the middel-age ”Buurkerk” at the center of Utrecht. The collection of “the happiest museum of Utrecht” has a large number automatic and playing musical instruments like, carillon bells, musical boxes and “Flötenuhren”.
You can see lovely orchestrions, street-organs and a reproduction of a Steinway grand piano. During the guided tour there will be some demonstrations of the instruments.
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