28 July 2012

Royal Academy of Music Museum

I had no intention of going to the Royal Academy of Music at the start of the day and I am not even sure that I knew that there was one.

What changed was finding myself near Regent's Park with an hour to spare and a helpful iPhone app that revealed the museum to me.

It just about deserves the title "museum" though "collection" might be more honest as there is very little to it.

The museum is spread over three floors. On the second is an exhibition space about the size of a decent front room which has about a dozen pianos (OK, so my idea of a decent front room may be larger than most people's), on the first is a similar room with violins and on the ground floor, next to the obligatory shop, is a small area (smaller that most front rooms) used for temporary displays.

At the moment the temporary display looks at music in the world of Dickens. This includes the music of his time, music in his books and how his stories and characters have been used to inspire music, such as the musical Oliver.

Like all good museums, the Royal Academy of Music makes use of all the space that it has and so as we walk the white corridors to the stairs we pass historical cartoons that feature music in some way.

I had hoped to see guitars and crumhorms but the narrow range of musical instruments on display was more than compensated for by the other materials on display.

Besides, I am not actually that interested in musical instruments anyway so the museum did very well to keep me amused for half an hour or so.

It helped that I could sit and listen to a Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto for a few minutes. I had hoped to add a Rachmaninov Piano Concerto too but that was not one of the choices on the piano floor.

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