Musical Instruments

Darcy Kuronen

Musical instruments are among the most meaningful artifacts produced by humankind, a marriage of technology, artistry, symbolism, religion and entertainment. "Musical Instruments" presents over 100 examples from the MFA's world-renowned collection, spanning a breadth of centuries and cultures, offering a brilliant array of instruments as producers of both aural and visual delight. The pieces shown here—which range from an ancient Greek trumpet to a modern lap steel guitar, from earthenware panpipes to the phenomenally complex Indonesian gamelan—are remarkable not only for the myriad sounds they produce, but also for their attractive, at times breathtaking, extraordinarily varied physical aspects. As objects of both cultural expression and sculptural craft, these are among the most exquisite and intriguing instruments ever created. More than a mere picture book, however, this latest title in the "MFA Highlights" series offers, as do its companion volumes, an accessible introduction to the genre, bringing to the fore the full richness, artistry and significance of musical instruments around the world.

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