“The first thing you may notice, inside a glass case filled with musical instruments, is the eighth-century koto, a long, low instrument with strings,” writes Anita Gates in Tuesday’s (3/12) New York Times. “Just beyond … are lutes, lyres, gongs, drums, horns, harps, whistles, Italian violins, Indonesian gamelans, lamellaphones from sub-Saharan Africa, a golden harpsichord seemingly supported by mythical creatures, and keyboard instruments … This is Gallery 681, ‘Mapping the Art of Music,’ an intimate second-floor space at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, which opened last month after a makeover…. ‘We still have a lot of questions about the origins of music,’ said Bradley Strauchen-Scherer, an associate curator who oversaw the new gallery’s creation—and a French horn player since her middle school days.… The new gallery, she said, … ‘sets up these really wonderful juxtapositions, how these different places have talked to each other, traded with each other.’… The research that went into the new gallery’s development did not reveal one single geographic origin of all music. What it demonstrated was to what extent people all over the planet were discovering a lot of the same things simultaneously…. The exhibition includes some 80 audio clips.”

Posted March 15, 2019