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About this event

Join us in the Music Gallery to hear performances and talks based on our musical instrument collection, including our 1772 Kirckman harpsichord. 

26 March - I’m a One Man Band

The idea of jewellery and body adornment changes when you know it can make sound. Sound connects us in extraordinary, exciting and fresh ways, so what unique sounds can objects make that adorn the body? What is the relationship between musical instruments and jewellery and how can musical instruments inspire jewellers and object makers?

Eleven MA students from the Jewellery and Metal Programme of the Royal College of Art, London are exploring these themes in a project inspired by looking at objects from the Musical Instruments Collection. The final outcomes that will take many forms will be presented as part of this Hear It Live! 

Participating students: Vito Cinquemani, Isabel Distassi, Adam Henderson, Emmie Hubbard, Hellena Hueck, Ran Li, Hadar Lioz, Chuanyu Qi, Bronte Schwier, Yu Tan, Haojun Zhou.

30 April - Performance by Jan Zahourek, violone plus lutenist 

The audience will have the opportunity to see one of our instruments that is normally in storage: a rare 16th- or early 17th-century violone (double bass-like instrument) (M41-1983) thought to be by the famous Brescian maker, Gio Paolo Maggini, and to hear a copy of it being played by Jan Zahourek.

28 May - Harmonica histories with Roger Trobridge and friends

This performance-demonstration heralds the generous donation of a collection of harmonicas to the Horniman Museum. The harmonica was developed in the 1820s as a diatonic instrument, and a chromatic design became available around 1925. Harmonica bands became popular for both children and adults. Chord and bass instruments were developed in the 1930s. A versatile instrument, the harmonica lends itself to traditional music, blues, rock, popular, film, classical, and jazz. Its history, various types of the instrument, and some of the musical genres in which it has featured will be explored during this event.

Please note: This event will be held in the Hands on Base.

25 June - Performance of The Shona mbira of Zimbabwe by an mbira duo

An mbira duo formed by Chartwell Dutiro and Jori Buchel will give a performance-demonstration of the Shona mbira.  Chartwell Dutiro is a Zimbabwean musician, singer, songwriter, composer, author and teacher. He is a master mbira player with a story that begins in the sacred musical rituals of his home village. Since 1994, Chartwell has been based in England, performing, recording, teaching and building bridges between cultures through his music. Jori Buchel is an experienced musician, mbira player and singer from the Netherlands. The mbira dzinoera [sacred mbira], an instrument of the Shona people of Zimbabwe, has hand forged iron keys on a gwariva [piece of hardwood] base.