Museum of Music
Boasting a national collection of more than 7000 pieces, the Museum of Music combines instrument conservation, scientific research, interaction with musicians, and engagement with the public. With a wide variety of activities for every audience, it also actively contributes to the everyday goings-on at the Philharmonie de Paris.
An exhaustive historical overview
Through the instruments, paintings and models on exhibit, the Museum retraces the history of music from the 17th century to today. In the first section, visitors encounter lutes, guitars and viols, as well as cornetts, flutes and other wind instruments. Further along, the claviers and harps present the music of the 18th century salons, an era when the ideas of the French Enlightenment brought about a new conception of the world and music. From the 1830s, new instruments gradually came to the forefront, including violins modelled on the Stradivarius, and Pleyel and Érard pianos. Electricity and increasingly globalised exchanges helped create the new sounds of the 20th century, and the final section of the museum shows the musical traditions of the five continents in dialogue, all driven by the quest for expression.
Live performances are put on every day in the Museum, providing constant opportunities for dialogue between musicians and the public.
For adults, a free audio guide in French immerses visitors in the musical worlds of different eras and contains the sound for the more than 40 films documenting the perspectives of performers, composers, instrument crafters and scholars.
For families with children ages 7 and up, the Museum also offers a shorter, entertaining and educational audio guide, leading them on their adventure with the likes of Stradivarius, Bach and Wagner.
Concert-walks take place in all the rooms of the Museum on certain Sundays, and historic instruments in the collection make guest appearances in the Philharmonie's musical season.
A museum for groups and families
The Museum warmly welcomes children and school groups! Storytelling tours, workshop tours, inter-museum tour activities and more offer children ages 4 and up a fun, hands-on way to discover the Museum collection. Most visits also include a short live performance somewhere in the Museum.
Adult groups are also welcome. The Museum offers self-guided visits or guided tours of the permanent collection and the temporary exhibitions for pre-arranged adult groups.
A museum accessible to all
In the permanent collection space, the Museum offers an interactive visit featuring five ‘tactile instruments’. This multisensory visit is accessible to all disabled groups.
For blind and partially-sighted visitors, the Museum offers an audio-touch itinerary with tactile gallery maps, Braille information sheets for each room and an audio description, providing access to most of the content. Guide dogs are welcome in all areas of the Philharmonie.
For deaf and hard of hearing visitors, hearing loops for our sound tour are available free of charge for hearing-aid users, and all Museum videos are sub-titled in French and English.
The Museum is accessible to reduced-mobility visitors. Wheelchairs and stick-seats can be borrowed at the cloakroom.
The Museum of Music receives funding from the Fondation Orange, the Fondation France Télévisions and the Fonds Handicap et Sociétié for its disability accessibility initiatives.