The Listening Gallery: integrating music with exhibitions and gallery displays

Nuti, G. and Solomon, A. and Williamon, A. (2009) The Listening Gallery: integrating music with exhibitions and gallery displays. In: International Symposium on Performance Science 2009, 15-18 December 2009, New Zealand.


The Listening Gallery is a collaboration between the Royal College of Music (RCM) and the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), the UK’s National Museum of Art and Design. Stemming from recent research in music, art, design, and technology, the project connects objects in the V&A’s collections with music that shares their rich and distinctive pasts. Specifically, new and existing recordings of music have been integrated into the V&A’s spring 2009 exhibition, Baroque 1620-1800: Style in the Age of Magnificence, and into the museum’s newly renovated Medieval and Renaissance Galleries. The impact of the project has been far reaching, as a novel approach to music in museums is achieved: the choice of pieces is underpinned by musicological research, performance follows the practices of the time, the instruments used are originals or faithful copies, and the provenance of the pieces is described. This article focuses on four new recordings that were made for the project. The objects with which the music is associated are briefly described, the connection with the music is explained, and details of the recorded pieces are given.

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