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Music National Museum

One of Europe’s richest collections of musical instruments (about 1000 mostly of European origin).

The Music National Museum houses one of Europe’s richest collections of musical instruments (about 1000 mostly of European origin). Of erudite and popular tradition, some of these exhibits are National Treasures dating from the 16th to the 20th century. The Museum is particularly remarkable for the quantity and quality of instruments manufactured in Portugal. These are the harpsichord by Joaquim José Antunes (1758), the violins and cellos by Joaquim J. Galrão, the guitars by D. J. Araújo and the flutes by the Haupt family. Owing to their value and rarity, other instruments are noteworthy such as the harpshichord by Pascal Taskin, built in 1782 for King Louis 16th of France, the piano (Boisselot & Fils) that Franz Liszt brought from France in 1845, the oboe by Eichentopf, the English horns by Grenser and Grunman & Floth or the cello by António Stradivari that belonged to and was played by King D. Luís. Apart from the instruments mentioned, the Museum also houses a number of documentary holdings, as well as sound and image collections.

The project for setting up a Music National Museum dates from 1911 when the musicologist Michel’Angelo Lambertini, on his own initiative, started collecting musical instruments, scores and iconographies from different provenances. However, following his death, the project failed to materialise and was later taken up by the Conservatório Nacional when the State purchased the collection. The Museum had no other choice than to leave the Conservatório building in the 1970s. It went through an unstable stage during which its holdings were successively housed in the Pimenta Palace, National Library and Mafra National Palace. Finally, a protocol was signed between Lisboa 94 - Capital Europeia da Cultura, the Metropolitano de Lisboa and the former Portuguese Museums Institute (current DGPC), within the Sponsorship legislation, for establishing the Music Museum in the Alto dos Moinhos metro station for a period of 20 years (1994-2014). 


Source: DGPC (