From the smallest violin to the largest accordion: More than 3,200 musical instruments from around the world are shown the Museum of Musical Instruments. With over 3100 musical instruments from all over the world, the Museum houses resources unequaled on its scale, of interest to both amateurs and specialists. The many forms of the musical instruments, the richness of ideas, and the craftsmanship of the instrument makers fascinate the beholder.
There are numerous instruments which document the development of instrument making in the region of Vogtland as well as all over the world. Some interesting curiosities illustrate the bountiful skills of the instrument makers. Thus, one can see a tuba with a1.02 m daiameter bell an overall length of 4.65 m.
Notes on accessibility / deviations from the pictograms:
- The cashier is not accessible, please register by telephone
- An accompanying person is necessary for the ascent to the museum
- Entrance (109 cm) via 1 outer step of 12 cm and 1 inner step of 5 cm
- The ground floor is accessible
- Guided tours for the blind on request
In a restaurant in Markneukirchen the sky really is full of violins. But this is not surprising, because in the late 19th century, musical instruments had made the small town in the Vogtland into one of the richest places in Saxony. In some sectors, companies on both sides of the Saxon-Bohemian border dominated more than 50% of the world market until World War II. It all began in 1677, when during the Counter Reformation twelve Bohemian violin-makers settled in Markneukirchen and with approval from the Elector established the first violin-makers’ guild. Bow making and string production soon followed, and at the end of the 18th century, the whole range of traditional orchestral instruments was being made in the Vogtland. The production of harmonicas started in nearby Klingenthal. Even today, the still diverse instrument production is embedded into a living music culture ranging from music competitions and festivals to house music, from choirs and orchestras to brass bands.
Since 1883, a Museum of Musical Instruments in Markneukirchen has told the story of instrument production from the 17th century to the present. Among the numerous other museums in the region, the Framus Museum in Markneukirchen and the Zwota Accordeon Museum in Klingenthal must be mentioned. Musicians and music lovers can also look behind the scenes in the “world of musical instruments” and be present at the birth of “their” musical instrument.
After the Battle of White Mountain, the defeated Protestants in Bohemia and Moravia were mercilessly persecuted and banished. Most of them were allowed to settle in Saxony, where they gave new impetus to the country. In 1654, religious refugees from Graslitz (now Kraslice in the Czech Republic) started making musical instruments in Markneukirchen and Klingenthal in the Vogtland area of Saxony. The area was the world market leader until the World War II, and even today musical instruments are made by hand in these and neighboring towns.
The Markneukirchen Musical Instrument Museum has more than three thousand exhibits including many stringed, plucked and wind instruments from the region. Instruments like the largest violin and largest tuba in the world are occasionally also played to visitors.
In “Musicon Valley”, musicians, music clubs and music enthusiasts can look behind the scenes of the traditional crafts in Saxony’s “Music Corner”. Martin Luther himself knew how to appreciate music: “It is the best balm for a troubled heart”.