The Museum of Musical Instruments of the National Institute for Music Research (Musikinstrumenten-Museum des Staatlichen Instituts für Musikforschung) collects and displays instruments of European art music (“Kunstmusik”) from the 16th century to the present and allows visitors to hear them played in concerts and tours. Roughly 800 of the 3,000 or so instruments drawn from the collection founded in 1888 are on display.
One unique highlight is the Naumburger wind instrument collection, a nearly complete range of instruments originating from a central German city pipers group from 1600. Included in this collection are early harpsichords and spinets, some from the Ruckers family workshop, and the famous Bach cembalo and its replica. Visitors can see a number of delightful items, including stringed instruments from European masters such as Stradivarius, Gagliano, Stainer and Krouchdaler, woodwind instruments from Hotteterre, Denner, Quantz and others, a portable harpsichord belonging to Queen Sophie-Charlotte of Prussia, transverse flutes belonging to Friedrich II, Carl Maria von Weber’s pianoforte, an English church organ from John Gray’s workshop and Europe’s largest cinema and theatre organ, the four-manual “Mighty Wurlitzer”, which is played regularly in concerts.