Whether your music preference is country, rock n' roll, soul or classical, there's a museum for every genre. Learn all about your favorite style's artists, instruments and history at music museums around the country:
In 1967, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum "yee-hawed" its way to Nashville. Read biographies and fun facts of inductees and visit a special For Students section, which includes descriptions of commonly used instruments in country music and specific genres within the genre. Another feature of the Web site is the 360-degree tour of Hatch Show Print, one of the country's oldest working letterpress print shops, where many country music posters were made. You can also read the history of country music and listen, watch or view archived files in the Multimedia Center.
Rock and Roll
Located in Cleveland, Ohio, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum was born to rock in 1995. The museum houses artifacts from artists' personal collections, like Little Richard's black jacket and David Bowie's red vinyl platform boots. Read about and view objects from rock legends like Janis Joplin and The Who, and get up to date on the Hall of Fame's public programs, such as the American Music Masters and Hall of Fame Series. You can also view biographies and timelines of all past inductees. Make sure to check out the Today in Rock and Roll History feature and recent rock news. The Web site also has a webcam of the in-house radio station, SIRIUS.
If you can't get enough: Rock - Check out Hollywood's RockWalk for even more rock legends and artifacts.
The Stax Museum of American Soul Music is located at the original site of Stax Records, which recorded soul music stars like Isaac Hayes, Booker T. and the MG's and Otis Redding. The museum honors great musicians in the genre and has a collection of more than 2,000 interactive items on display in exhibitions and galleries. The museum's Hall of Records houses an impressive 800 single 45-records and 300 LPs. On the website, click on the virtual gallery tour to listen to some soul music while checking out exhibitions such as the museum's authentic Mississippi Delta church and Studio A. Make sure to view the interactive Soul Learning section to listen to featured songs and read about differences within the soul music category, or watch videos of artists receiving awards.
If you're a Bach or Mozart aficionado, explore the American Classical Music Hall of Fame. It offers a detailed history of the ACMHF, as well as interactive biographies for each past inductee dating back to its starting year of 1998. Past inductees include Arnold Schoenberg and the most recent 2006 inductee, Martin Bookspan. While reading the biographies, enjoy a song selection of the featured artist.
The Experience Music Project in Seattle covers all categories of music, from hip-hop to blues to punk. The website lets you look more in-depth into current, past and upcoming exhibitions, with selected artifacts, interactive timelines, sound clips and more. On the site for the exhibition Disney: The Music Behind the Magic, for example, you can listen to exclusive audio clips, and you can check out a detailed timeline for the Yes Yes Y'all: The First Decade of Hip-Hop exhibition. The special Online Features section also includes a Guitar Gallery Timeline, The Life of Quincy Jones feature and a fun harmony lesson video.
The National Music Museum on the campus of the University of South Dakota is home to approximately 13,500 instruments from America, Europe and non-Western countries. The site includes an extensive collection section, where you can search for a specific instrument or browse the many categories for descriptions and images. You can also take virtual tours of the galleries and exhibition rooms, and look through the alphabetical list of instrument makers from around the world.
If you can't get enough: Musical Instruments - Check out the Museum of Musical Instruments for online exhibitions, sound clips and image galleries of instruments made in the 19th and 20th centuries, or the Museum of Making Music, if you're interested in reading about rare instruments like the ukulele or the singing saw.
Other Music Collections
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York contains an entire Music section of the acclaimed museum. On its website, you can view 50 featured pieces that can be seen as instruments and works of art and read more in-depth about the collection.