• West African drums and dance
  • Taiko drummers Freer|Sackler
  • Smithsonian Receives Brian Setzer’s Gretsch Guitar
  • Latino Center: Concert
  • Boombox used by Public Enemy

Smithsonian Music

Smithsonian Music brings our vast music-related collections and expertise together to form the world's largest music museum with stories from our experts, performances, videos, collections spotlights, and more.

Music infuses every society the world over and is deeply rooted in our traditions. It invites us to dance and sing, unites communities, and can help rally a nation. It preserves memory, tells stories, and is a powerful avenue of communication across diverse cultures, languages, and perspectives. Whether we are celebrating life’s triumphs or memorializing its tragedies, few things move us the way music can.

Smithsonian Year of Music 2019 | 365 Days of Music

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Musical Treasures at the Smithsonian

From “Dizzy” Gillespie’s trumpet to Grandmaster Flash’s turntable and from a Central African harp to an Apache violin, these objects represent just a sampling of music-related items at the Smithsonian.


Leonard Bernstein, Carnegie Hall The Night I Met Lenny
National Portrait Gallery
Alidé Sans playing guitar Alidé Sans: “Eth Riu (Henerècla)”
Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
Secret Trio performs The Secret Trio: “Slide Dance”
Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage