Thursday, December 22, 2016

Hamamatsu Instrument Museum

On Wednesday 12/21, our travel day had us hopping two trains to get from Kochi to our hotel in Hamamatsu.

Arriving in the late afternoon, several of us found that the local instrument museum still had an hour left before closing.  Quickly, we hustled on foot through the city, discovering that Hamamatsu is quite a musical hub.  In the short distance, we passed businesses like Kawai Pianos, Yamaha Instruments, and a large complex hosting the musical theatre and concert halls (yes - plural).

Wow!  The first room hosted instruments from Asia, and it was jam packed with highly decorated gongs, drums, gamelan, plus things you blow and things with strings.

Other rooms hosted instruments from other origins.  This is a Yamaha alto saxophone, exploded to showcase all of its parts separately.

I really wanted to play everything I saw in every room.  However, this was not allowed UNTIL we found the children's room.  There, everything could be banged, blown, shaken, and bowed.

Jan stands next to a row of instruments actually made by Adolph Sax himself.  This is just the saxophones, but there were more of his creations too.

Jan enjoyed all the variety of clarinets in all sizes and with unusual names.

He really REALLY wanted to try this little bitty clarinet!

So much to see in only an hour!  As we raced through the museum, I kept snapping pictures so I could study them later.  Here are some of the recorder-type instruments, plus an ocarina.

In the brass aisle, many instruments surprised me.  The front one with many bells was on a rotating pedestal.  It appeared that each tube had its own bell.

Also notice the unusual trombone (and euphonium on the left).  I wish I had time to ask questions!

This trombone would alternately scare and fascinate small children.  In the lower left, you can see the top of a double-belled euphonium.

Here came the bassoon group.

I've heard of serpents before, which are an early double-reed instrument.  Since it had no keys, I'm supposing that its finger holes meant that its range was smaller.  Still impressive, though!

I barely got to see the early and creative forms of the string family before the museum closed.  But I did capture a picture of this early attempt to amplify the violin sound using metal megaphones, instead of the traditional wooden violin body.

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