The public, which has long frequented the La Villette site, will discover the museum through thematic visits and events proposed by its cultural department. Frequent visitors to the Cité constitute a novel public unused to instrument museums. Even non-music-lovers feel at home in this place : the instruments of the collection, reflecting the history of erudite Western music, but also that of popular and traditional musics, are beautiful objects born of the knowhow of instrument-makers, the symbols of a wide variety of cultures.
The Cité de la Musique is a place of teaching and learning, musical practice and listening. With the museum, it has become a place of heritage discovery, in which a broad range of artistic and cultural activities take place.
The Cité’s national and international status will thus be reinforced. With its entirely computerized research and documentation center and its technical restoration laboratory, the museum is a key partner of major institutions, professional musicians, researchers and music-lovers in France and abroad. The museum’s role is first and foremost to enrich, conserve and exhibit its collection of reference instruments yet it must also reflect a different approach to music.
A museum with national and international aims
Like any important museum, the Musee de la Musique is equipped with an active cultural department under the direction of a musicologist. The means of access to music are several, bookings can be single or seasonal: concerts in the museum’s amphitheater (where instruments from the collections are played with optimal acoustics and respect for the heritage of the instruments), musical forums, discovery concerts, shows for the young public, museum classes, thematic cinema projections.
The cultural department is closely involved with all the Cité’s activities – it is no mere isolated unit but a key element in this complex devoted to all the facets of music. It is in permanent dialogue with the Paris Conservatoire, particularly with weekly concerts known as “points d’orgue” (interludes), in the course of which students play the amphitheater’s Baroque organ.
The museum is not only unique in the wealth of its instrument collections (4.500 instruments ranging from the Renaissance to the present day) it also possesses an important body of iconography (paintings, sculptures, engravings) which will greatly entrance permanent and temporary exhibitions concerning the evolution of instrument-making through changing cultural and economic contexts.
221 Av. Jean Jaurès
Tel : 01 44 84 44 84
How to get there
Metro line 5 : Porte de Pantin
Bus : 75, 151, PC
Tuesday to Saturday : 12-6 p.m., until 8pm nights of concerts
Sunday : 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
Closed on Monday and bank holidays
Groups visits with appointment on mornings only