For those who haven’t visited MIM, it goes a little something like this: Walk in to the massive two-story building, head to the front desk, pay admission, grab your headset, and you’re off. Now it’s time to choose your worldwide journey. MIM showcases an expansive collection of instruments from every country, with its Geographical Galleries split into five major global regions: Africa and the Middle East, the United States and Canada, Europe, Asia and Oceania, and Latin American and the Caribbean.
At each gallery, you’ll find the room divided into individual displays presenting the instruments found at each country located in its respective region. (Fun fact: MIM’s instruments and artifacts have been acquired from more than 200 countries and territories around the world.) At each country, monitors play videos on a loop of the instruments in action; your headset will automatically begin playing the soundtrack to the video. It’s incredible, and it was fascinating learning the history behind each instrument and the purpose(s) it/they served.I cannot stress enough the immensity of this museum. Taking notes here and there, I spent three or four hours at MIM and feel as though I barely made a dent. I can’t wait to go back, but until then, I want to share with you the many reasons I found (at the museum) for the instruments and the music — how and why they were used, their purpose, how it affected society and what it meant to the indigenous people at the time.