National Music Museum

National Music Museum


The National Music Museum & Center for Study of the History of Musical Instruments, located on the University of South Dakota campus, houses outstanding collections of historic instruments, including over 14,500 American, European, and non-Western instruments. This collection, renowned for its breadth and depth, is the most inclusive anywhere.


The renowned collections of the National Music Museum include some of the earliest, best preserved, and historically significant musical instruments known to man.  The museum is home to two of the world’s only Bartolomeo Cristofori pianos.  Cristofori is generally accepted as the inventor of the piano.

A trio of stringed instruments by Cerin (1792), Gragnani (1788), and Mantegazza (1793), are one of the highlights of the Witten-Rawlins stringed instrument collection.  Also specimens of outstanding craftsmanship, the collection also boasts a Guarneri tenor viola (1664), the Brothers’ Amati violino piccolo (1613), and Andrea Amati’s King cello (after 1538).

American, Dutch, German, and Italian instruments found nowhere else can be found at the National Music Museum, as can a whimsical harmonica collection.  Musical novices as well as experts will be impressed by the museum’s endless collections of unique instruments.


What better place to listen to live music, than the National Music Museum?  Special events are held throughout the year, including the Brown Bag Lunch Program.  The Brown Bag Lunch program is free and open to the public, and visitors are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch to eat while listening to the day’s musical offerings.  Additional events are held throughout the year, and are sure to be music to your ears!


The National Music Museum is open daily to the public, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.  There no fee to visit, although donations are encouraged.

Categories: Attractions, Eastern SD

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