Experience Music Project - EMP, Seattle

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  • JIMMY HENDRIX'S  FENDER STRAT FROM
    JIMMY HENDRIX'S FENDER STRAT FROM...
    by DennyP
  • SUCH AN AMAZING COLLECTION OF GUITARS
    SUCH AN AMAZING COLLECTION OF GUITARS
    by DennyP
  • THE MOUNTAIN OF 500 GUITARS AND OTHER...AMAZING
    THE MOUNTAIN OF 500 GUITARS AND...
    by DennyP
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    THE AMAZING EMP MUSIC MUSEUM

    by DennyP Updated Aug 26, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    THE AMAZING EMP MUSIC MUSEUM BUILDING AND MONORAIL
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    THE EMP MUSEUM
    Firstly You will be taken by the fantastic architecture of this building which houses this unbeleivable Museum. Located right beside the famous Seattle landmark of the Space Needle this wonderful music museum contains the most amazing and significant collection of guitars and Rock music and Rock legend memorabilia and pop culture that is possible to see anywhere. there are many floors featuring various themes .
    on Level one is a jaw dropping mountain of some 500 guitars and various stringed instruments must be seen to be beleived..also on level one is the JBL Theatre..here you can see some wonderful movies and listen to some wonderful Rock music..The day I was here the movie was .'Elvis on Tour" and in front and below the screen was one of Elvis's cars with its monogrammed uphoulstery..
    A really awesome collection of Jimmy Hendrix music memorabilia including his guitar from "Woodstock" and just so many of his personal items and his famous jackets also another collection is of Curt Cobain's NIRVANA and of his many smashed guitars How these were located heaven knows.....both of these artists being local music legends are to be seen along with just so much more on level two...
    A better collection of guitars I beleive would be hard to find anywhere on earth.and these are also to be seen on Level TWO in the "Guitar Gallery" There is really so much to see here allow yourself at least four hours.
    Level Three is " Women Who Rock" and here is another amazing collection .of memorabilia of just so many of the famous women of Rock and Blues.along with their manyiconic artifacts instruments and stage costumes...along with there much and varied memorabilia.also on this level is a "Sound Lab" where one can explore their own musical talent and a sound stage if your up for it..

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  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo

    The EMP

    by Jim_Eliason Updated Jul 14, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    EMP

    The Experience Music Project is by far better than Cleveland's Rock and Roll hall fo fame in my humble opinion. What sets it apart are the hands on exhibits that allow one to learn how to create the music you hear and read about in the museum.

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    So much fun!

    by mingomatic Written Jun 6, 2012
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    This was probably one of the coolest things I did in Seattle. The exhibits were really cool! They had the Nirvana exhibit while I was there. I'm sure Kurt Cobain is rolling in his grave that his art is encased in such a proper manner but it was interesting for me as a fan. They also had really nerdy exhibits like the horror exhibit and the Battleship Galactica exhibit as well. Both of those exhibits had a great deal of props from the shows and movies. This is in addition to the music exhibits they had. Really really awesome!

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  • iam1wthee's Profile Photo

    EMP/Science Fiction

    by iam1wthee Written May 1, 2012

    I love this place. It is two museums in one. They have many interactive exhibits to participate in. It also takes a day to get through just the exhibits that you are interested in so plan to come when it opens and leave when the place closes. Plan your time because one exhibit can take up a lot of time.

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  • glabah's Profile Photo

    Experience Music Project & Science Fiction Museum

    by glabah Updated Oct 19, 2011

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Museum Building Shape inspired by a Smashed Guitar
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    Rock On! Live Long!

    Combined into one gleaming hulk of a fantastic tangled building (one of the most eccentrically shaped structures you can imagine), the combined Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum combines two of the interests of wealthy Microsoft magnate Paul Allen. The slogan of the place ("Rock On! Live Long!") combines both a greetings segment of a certain famous science fiction character's alien race with that of the common salutation of more than a generation of garage bands.

    The museum is not hard to find at all: it is located at Seattle Center, which is the same old World's Fair grounds on which the Space Needle, monorail, and a dozen other civic attractions now call home. In fact, the monorail clips through part of the edge of the building just outside its Seattle Center station.

    The odd shape of the structure is supposed to be inspired by a smashed guitar that Jimi Hendrix was so infamous for producing during his short but creative and productive music career.

    Entering the structure presents two odd images: one is a full size science fiction move prop vehicle hovering above the ticket counter, with the music of various rock bands of ages past and present issuing from the hall upstairs, beyond it. What can only be described as a huge, three floor tall tornado of electric guitars (with a few dozen other instruments thrown in for good measure) is the centerpiece artwork for the main lobby of the museum.

    The Science Fiction Museum is actually fairly small, and really only occupies one relatively small section of the 2nd floor. This is the permanent exhibit hall of the Science Fiction Museum. The 3rd floor gallery is also used for rotating and temporary display of traveling exhibits, which usually belong to the Science Fiction Museum as well. Most of the displays on the 2nd floor are static items and a few movie props and costumes from various landmark (and not necessarily famous) science fiction TV shows and movies, and to a lesser extent popular literature. It covers the entire history of science fiction, starting with collector's item "fantasy" novels of the very late 19th century - before the term "Science Fiction" was developed to describe space flight and other such futuristic literature.

    A significant section of the 2nd floor is also taken up with a display of certain parts of music history. While the subject matter of 20th Century Music is a very broad subject, the timeline displayed there concentrates mostly on what was going on in the local Seattle area and region, and some of the very unique developments and famous musicians. People may think of popular Pacific Northwest music starting with grunge bands in the 1990s. Thankfully, the Experience Music Project puts that in perspective, and starts with such Pacific Northwest music legends as Bing Crosby (born in Tacoma in 1903) upon whose shoulders artists of the middle and late 20th Century stand.

    Near the center of the 2nd floor is a hallowed hall of guitars, with the history of the instrument shown in dozens of rare and historic examples, including one of a kind early experiments that led to the development of the modern electric guitar.

    The 2nd floor is also where you will find a room of tribute to Seattle legend Jimi Hendrix, whose career was cut tragically short by an overdose of sleeping pills, but whose influence in popular music was still very strong.

    A much less visited room on the 2nd floor, but one that may be very interesting to those researching certain artists is a room with a number of computer terminals, each of which contains a collection of rare interviews and other archival information. If you want to dig down deep into the details of particular artists and their affiliates, this is the place to go.

    But what about that name, Experience Music?

    The western room of the 2nd and 3rd floors is a huge chamber known as the Church of Music, and is basically a large screen concert hall, where various musicians performances are projected with surround sound. This does allow the visitor to experience music in a larger than life situation, that is for sure. You will typically find several engaged music experiencers sprawled out on the very few benches in this place experiencing music here in that very way.

    The third floor also features interactive "experience" music displays: this is where each instrument in a band has its own small studio, and visitors to the museum can try their own hand at composing music for and playing instruments. The exhibits are designed to be self-teaching, but lets face reality: it takes years to really become proficient at some of these instruments. 20 minutes in a museum display isn't going to prove too much - but the opportunity to try is here, should you want to.

    I can't really do too much with the Science Fiction Museum temporary exhibit gallery on the 3rd floor, because there is going to be different stuff in there, with the exhibits changing fairly regularly. Starting October 2010 it was devoted to Battlestar Galactica, and contains several full size props from the original movie and TV series as well as the most recent rendition for cable TV. There are costumes, full size "space ships" (made of wood and epoxy, though they look like metal) and even a few costume details on display. Future displays after the Battlestar Galactica display is over will most likely be similar, but with different subject matter. I've been told that some of the displays that have been here have been reasonably hands-on, but there's only so much that can be done with movie props that must not be touched except by expert hands.

    A display inspired by the movie Avatar opened in 2011 and will continue through 2012, with some rearrangement of the exhibits to continue showing the Battlestar Galactica exhibits through March of 2012.

    The $20 price of admission seems a bit on the steep side compared to what is in the museum, and I would really suggest looking for an entrance deal of some sort. There are various discount entrance fee options at a number of attractions, and after some looking my friend found a two for one coupon available on one of the popular Seattle discount local guide entities. So, you may have to search a bit to find such a deal, but they are available.

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  • Onedragon's Profile Photo

    ROCK N ROLL MUSEUM

    by Onedragon Updated Apr 4, 2011

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    %S4%B EMP BUILDING///CLICK PICTURE FOR PANARAMA VI
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    THE EMP, EXPERIENCE MUSIC PROJECT WAS REALLY SWEET. A HUGE BUILDING WITH 3 FLOORS OF COOL THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN CONNECTION WITH EXPERIENCING MUSIC !!!!!!
    Seattle being the place that jimi hendrix grew up, there was a lot of films and gear that jimi used during his performances on and off stage
    ALSO A GREAT FILM CLIP OF THE BEATLES PLAYING WASHINGTON DC IN 1964~~~!!!!!!
    FILMS OF JANIS JOPLIN AND A GROUP OF MUSICIANS FROM THE 60'S
    THERE ARE ALSO ROOMS PEOPLE CAN GO TO LEARN AND JAM ON INSTRUMENTS........
    THE PLACE IS GREAT FOR EXPLORING THE IDEAS OF MUSIC...........

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    A good enough experience!

    by Jefie Updated Nov 11, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Guitars smashed by Jimi Hendrix at EMP
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    I'd read a lot of negative reviews about the Experience Music Project (EMP), but since my teenage years were spent listening to Pearl Jam, Nirvana, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains, I just had to see what this museum had to offer. In the end, I thought it was fairly interesting. They probably could have done a lot more with it, so I understand how people might be disappointed, but there was enough to keep us busy for a few hours - and the fact that it allowed us to stay warm and dry was just a bonus!

    The "Northwest Passage" permanent exhibit was the most interesting part of the museum for me, I'd never realized that so many bands came from Seattle and that the city had been a music hotbed for so long. The guitar gallery was also pretty cool since it allowed us to see the evolution of the instrument from its humble beginnings to the craziest electric guitars ever designed. We also enjoyed visiting the Jimi Hendrix gallery, which featured fragments of some of the guitars he smashed and paper sheets with hand-written lyrics on them, among other things. Oh, and we also had fun in the section upstairs that teaches you how to play real instruments!

    Before leaving we took a quick look at the Science Fiction Museum, which is included in the price of admission. I'm not a big Sci-Fi fan so I didn't find that part very interesting, but there were some cool props from Sci-Fi movies. But I guess even if you don't plan on visiting EMP, it's still worth making the short trip to Seattle Center if only to see the completely over-the-top building designed by architect Frank Ghery. Some say it's made to look like a smashed guitar and that the colour theme was inspired by Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" - whatever his inspiration was, the result is truly rock n' roll!

    EMP is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm and tickets cost $15.

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Rock On

    by goodfish Updated Jun 23, 2010

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Fun with Sky Church videos
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    I'm not sure what to do with this one. It's definitely for die-hard popular music fans and not for the casual listener as there aren't as many exhibits of memorabilia and such that might appeal to the masses. But if you are a musician, are serious about becoming one, or have a love for the art then this is for you. The complex consists of a floor of exhibits and another floor of interactive labs where you can mess around with instruments, record a CD and other "hands-on" activities.

    Here are the highlights:
    • The Project building was designed by Frank Gehry and exhibits his unmistakable fluid style

    • "Sound and Vision - Artists tell their Story" - very definitely worth the ticket. Watch/listen to videos of well-known musicians talk about their craft.

    • Catch current, special exhibits that range from photographs to special memorabilia

    • Rock out to music videos on the mega-screen in Sky Church - an large warehouse-sized space sometimes used for live shows and private events. This one also made for some fun photo-ops.

    Other attractions were a gallery of different makes and eras of guitars, a Jimi Hendrix shrine of sorts, and a walkthrough of the History of Northwest Music. In the two-story atrium is a monster, cyclone-shaped centerpiece made of 600 guitars plus other musical instruments. The music lab upstairs was too busy to get onto most of the interactive stuff and, well, it was 80's and gorgeous outside so we did a quick spin and headed for the sunshine.

    There's a cafe, the ever-present gift shop, and the whole shootin' match is connected to the Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame (see my tip on tourist traps). There ya go.

    Ticket run $15 for grownup and $12 for kids over age 4. My advice? Skip it if not really into contemporary rock/blues/jazz, don't waste the ticket price on small children, and pick a rainy day. Oh, and make SURE to check the website for possible gallery closings during exhibit changeovers.

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  • goodfish's Profile Photo

    Make some Funky Psychedelia

    by goodfish Written Feb 12, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Groovy - what is it?
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    One exterior wall of the Gehry's undulating complex is covered in mirrored, purple tile that distorts reflection - making for some VERY trippy images. Great for screen savers and much cheaper and safer than the alternative, if ya know what I mean. Far out, man.

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    Experience Music Project

    by SteveOSF Written Oct 18, 2008

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    Musical Instrument Sculpture

    The Experience Music Project is basically a museum of music, if you can imagine that. It primarily focuses on American rock and roll. They have a few galleries and numerous hands on displays.

    One gallery revealed the history and development of the guitar. This interesting and informative exhibit displayed guitars from the early instruments from which they originated to the electric ones used by contemporary musicians. The text accompanying the displays was excellent.

    Another exhibit detailed the short life of Jimi Hendrix. His family, personal life, and career were described. His development as a musician was well illustrated. Jimi Hendrix’s contribution to the expansion of the art of the guitar was well covered. I understand that this is a rotating exhibit that will be replaced in about two years.

    Many hands on displays were available. However, there seemed to be fewer displays than people who wanted to experiment with them. Mini sound stages were among the numerous hands on exhibits.

    The Experience Music Project had a variety of displays and activities. The complex attempts to present a history of music by using both static and interactive formats. Admission to the Experience Music Project also includes entrance to the adjacent Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame.

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    Music Lovers Playground

    by 932john Written Dec 21, 2007

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    The creativity and uniqueness of the building itself is unmistakable and gets your attention right off the bat. Inside, the funnest attraction is an interactive lab where you can learn the basics of how to play every type of instrument. It's also a great introduction to how sounds from different instruments are mixed down to the final track you hear on the CD. It's very fun and you can spend hours upon hours in there just playing with the instruments. There's a history of the guitar self tour that was fascinating. There was a tribute to Jimi Hendrix that was awesome. There is also an interactive lounge with banks of computers where you can learn the history and hear the stories of every band you've ever heard of. There is so much to do it's hard not to spend an entire day here. If you have an ipod, you better make a stop here.

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  • UKDaisy's Profile Photo

    Interesting colourful structure

    by UKDaisy Updated Mar 5, 2007
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    As recommended by other VT members, I didn't go inside the Experience Music Project (EMP) so only admired the building from the outside. This tip entry is an excuse for me to post my photos. Hehe! Next to the music centre is a small fairground.

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  • Etoile2B's Profile Photo

    Rock Star for a Day

    by Etoile2B Written Feb 5, 2007

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    EMP

    Become a rockstar for the day at the Experience Music Project. This Rock-and-Roll museum's collection was amassed by Paul Allen the building unique structure was designed by Frank Gehry. Music fans flock to the exhibits featuring memorabilia spanning from Jimi Hendrix to Nirvana, Run DMC to Paul Revere and the Raiders. Probably the most unique feature is the interactive exhibit on the top floor. It features individual sound-proof booths in which patrons can learn to sing, play the guitar or drums, sound mix, etc. Sessions are limited to ten minutes each, allowing for everyone to give it a try. Be prepared to wait for you chance to jam in this exhibit as it is highly popular. Here you can eve record your own song for a small fee. Equally popular (and longer in wait time) is the stage in which you and your group can discover first-hand how it feels to play for a packed audience. EMP is connected to the Sci-Fi museum and you can buy discounted tickets to both. There is also a full bar and restaurant located in the lobby next to the gift shop. Beware: Tickets are expensive.

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  • easterntrekker's Profile Photo

    experience music project

    by easterntrekker Written Oct 27, 2006
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    We both loved the exhibits and the production labs. The Jimi Hendrix gallery and Bob Dylan exhibit were both excellent. We spent about 5 hours there and thought it was fabulous . Highly recommend it for anyone interested in music.

    Price $20.00

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  • PinkFloydActuary's Profile Photo

    Almost didn't go - Glad we did

    by PinkFloydActuary Written Apr 20, 2006

    You will definitely take notice of the funky building that houses this music museum. You may be shocked by the price - $20 per adult and start to walk away. You will miss out on one of the neatest museums in the country if you do (assuming you enjoy music). You are given a headset with a keypad, and then you walk the museum looking at various exhibits. Some will have a number next to them, which you can punch into your keypad, and you then are treated to commentary and music regarding what you are viewing. Some exhibits include Hendrix and Bob Dylan, guitars, and local bands such as Nirvana and Heart. You will easily spend several hours looking and listening to everything EMP has to offer.

    Also, check your hotel in the brochure rack - we found $4 off coupons, which help mitigate the cost to some degree.

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