Brussels: Museum of Musical Instruments

I had just checked into my hotel in Brussels, at the tail end of my summer abroad. The last time I was in Brussels was over five years ago, on a day tour with my aunt. I remember the peeing statue, mussels, rain, and chocolate.

The owner of the hotel didn’t even wait for any questions to highly recommend I stop by the Museum of Musical Instruments.

I ended up spending the entire afternoon there until closing time. Given the relatively narrow streets, from the ground level, I wouldn’t have noticed the museum building. It was embedded in a row of old buildings, the dark glass walls making me think it was a corporate building.

It was just an year old when I went. And what an amazing place. A lot of exhibits were crammed into a relatively small space. The halls were dimly lit, giving a sense of endlessness. The lights were well placed to literally put a spotlight on the instruments. I did not encounter any other visitors.. and as I entered each segment of a hallways, the music correlated to the instruments features started playing. Talk about fantastic interior design and integration of modern technology into exhibitions.

Perhaps my having learnt to play musical instruments made me nerdy enough to enjoy the museum. I certainly spent a long time in the string section, seeing all the historical evolutions of the modern string instruments. Yet, I don’t believe one has to have musical background to appreciate the museum. What appealed to me when I heard about it besides a sincere rave report from a local was the fact that it was different. And the excellent design was a bonus.

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