Bologna Museum of Music Tour

Instrument Collections - Photo by Palickap
Enjoy a tour of Bologna’s famed International Music Museum and Library, established in 2004. Set in the historical center of Bologna inside the prestigious Palazzo Sanguinetti, the museum houses an extremely varied exhibition. Enjoy the exquisitely frescoed rooms and browse one of the most prestigious music collections (in terms of printed music repertoire) ranging from the 16th to 18th century. 

As you stroll through the museum, you’ll observe incunabula, precious manuscripts, opera librettos, and the special collection of autographs and letters. You can thank the correspondence between Father Martini (the spiritual father of the museum) and prominent characters, scholars, and musicians for this impressive collection. Next, visit the library inside the convent of San Giacomo Maggiore, which is also home to the G.B. Martini music conservatory. It safeguards extraordinary and rare incunables, manuscripts, librettos, autographs, and letters dating back to the 1500s.

Another highlight is thanks to the heirs of the famous Bolognese luthier Otello Bignami. They donated a faithful reconstruction of his workshop, plus a vast collection of musical instruments. You’ll peruse an 1844 Pleyel grand piano, once the property of Gioachino Rossini, harpsichords, spinets, oboes, English horns, flutes, and vertical and grand pianos all made between the 17th and 20th centuries. 

To complete your tour, you can choose from three different themes:
  • The first option is a guided visit to the halls of the Museum of Music, where you’ll explore six centuries of music history by reviewing books, paintings, and musical instruments from the beautiful historic Palazzo Sanguinetti.
  • The second option questions why an armchair, a dressing gown, and a wig are in the museum. You’ll learn about historical documents, scores, musical instruments, images, and private anecdotes of the history of Gioachino Rossini!
  • The final option is the Grand Tour, which explores the history of Bologna and its importance in the music world. Learn why musicians and composers came from Europe to study with Padre Martini and enter the city Philharmonic.
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