The Musical Museum shows music and culture from a different, unknown side. I hadn't known and seen automatic musical instruments before, so it was a completely new experience for me. The exhibition introduces to the magical world of organ grinders performing in small, old-school lanes and a climate of tea dances with inimitable sounds of organ music coming out of mighty Wurlitzer. Strongly recommended for all who miss that special atmosphere and want to spend their free time in a distinctive and original way!
Time Out says
Posted: Tue Jul 24 2012
The Musical Museum's collection in a converted church contains one of the world's foremost collections of automatic musical instruments, the legacy of the desire to record and reproduce music before the invention of the microphone. Here you'll find tiny clockwork music boxes, reproducing pianos and spooky orchestrions, as well as 30,000 historic musical rolls. There is an impressive array of sophisticated pianolas, cranky barrel organs, violin players and the self-playing Mighty Wurlitzer, as well as a 230-seat concert hall and orchestra pit from which a Wurlitzer console rises as they used to in 1930s cinemas.
The museum's coffee shop overlooks the river, making a nice location for a cuppa at the weekend, and there are fun dance, film and music events, as well as temporary exhibitions.
Under-16s must be accompanied by an adult, and residents of Hounslow (proof of residence required) get tickets for the day at half-price.
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Musical Museum 399 High Street
- Venue phone:
020 8560 8108
- Venue website:
- Opening hours:
11am-5pm (last admission 4pm) Fri-Sun. Tour & musical demonstration 11.30am, 1.30pm, 3.30pm Fri-Sun.
Tube: Gunnersbury tube; Bus: 237, 267, 65; Rail: Kew Bridge rail
£10, £7.50 concs, £4 5-16s, £25 family (2 adults & up to 3 children). Tickets allow unlimited entry for 12 months from the date of issue.
- 399 High Street
- 020 8560 8108
- 399 High Street
- Musical Museum
Average User Rating
4.1 / 5
- 5 star:12
- 4 star:0
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:3
A large number of instruments on display, and the staff appeared to be very knowledgeable about them and were happy to answer any questions. A little pricey, but you are paying for unlimited visits for a year after that.
What a fascinating place! We spent a couple of hours in this lovely museum . Not to be missed. What a gem.
Such a lovely day out to visit the Musical Museum. The tour of the museum was fascinating and fun. We had also booked the afternoon tea dance so had lunch in the cafe and staying in the building all day.
I adored this place! The machines are extraordinary - I had no idea what a range there was. The very knowledgeable guide clearly loved turning things on to play - I suspect he could have gone on longer than the 90 minutes scheduled.
It's great that the ticket lasts for a year. I'll definitely be back, probably on film days, or perhaps to combine it with the Water and Steam Museum nearby.
Great tour guide, the admission lets you come in for a whole year for free which is great, cafe is nice, and of course the Worlitzer is just something you have to listen to :D a visit here, walk in the Kew Gardens with a cup of tea makes for a great day out!
The museum was fascinating and it was lovely to be able to hear so many different instruments played, thanks to a very informative guide.
The tour round the exhibits was most informative and even captured our youngest member who was only 6, our volunteer guide for the afternoon was informative and lively, I think I can say everyone was very impressed with the afternoon.
Have The Mighty Wurlitzer not only played but also explained to us was really the icing on the cake. I only wish I had arranged for us to have been there longer.
I would like to say how much we enjoyed our visit to the Museum. I have looked at the tour with City and Village for some years now and always thought it looked good, but I am so glad that we have now experienced it.
I first visited the Musical Museum some years ago and I find that one learns (or remembers) something new on each visit. I have always been amazed that the guides can always answer (or find the answer to) the most obscure question about the exhibits. The general aura about the place shows the passion and dedication that all of the volunteers and staff have in their determination to prevent mechanical musical instruments from disappearing into the abyss of forgotten times. I would also urge any visitors to make a point of attending a Wurlitzer Concert. Someone once said 'playing a Wurlitzer is like playing an orchestra'. Even if the only reason for the museum to exist was to preserve the Mighty Wurlitzer it would be reason enough. As well as the concerts I have enjoyed many a film from bygone eras.
A really bad museum, easy to see why there is never a queue or anythng positive said about it. I'd like to say avoid, but looks like everyone does!
And I thought Time Out knew what they were talking about. That museum is a waste of space. I live beside Brentford (up the Bees) and no musical instrument plays itself. To be accomplished on any instrument requires hours of practice, which can be as boring as hell. No one is born a musician. No one has green fingers. A watering can is useful. Music requires hours of practice. Boring for anyone who has to listen to it. I thought London was the Capital of the World once. It doesn't have a clue. My Mum could wire a plug. London cannot even use a simple calculator. You are all being had, big time. The Government has to protect us from idiots, not treat us like one. Plumbers charge £90 per hour. That is scandalous even for London. Tourists are charged £5 for an ice cream (I can get 10 in my local shop for £1). And taxi drivers take you via Stonehenge. They are robbing us, and you are all being had. I am from outside London, and it has taken me 50 years (10 lustrums) to tumble this. There are people in London who do not even know the Thames is tidal. All the way up to Teddington. Your City fathers know these things and they cannot do a thing about it. I understand it costs £2.50 for a cup of tea at a footy match. And £2000 for a season ticket. I thought you were all intelligent. Maybe you all just overpaid. God help you all. x
This page is a waste of space and my time. I submitted a comment yesterday and have yet to see it. It was to the effect that you are all being robbed by your own folk. The city fathers know about it but will not do anything about it. I hoped Time Out might do something about it but it's not the magazine it was 40 years ago. In those days it got things done.
A museum devoid of class, style and visitors! Run by someone who claims to "have worked in museums all my life" but really once had a junior job in a museum over 30 years ago and boy does it show! Such a shame musical heritage is allowed to be in the control of people way beyong their "best before" date!