Musical instruments

Gemeentemuseum Den Haag has in its collection more than 3800 musical instruments, as well as a musical iconography collection comprising 3000 prints and drawings. Both collections were founded by Hague banker D.F. Scheurleer (1855-1927), who in 1880 began collecting musical instruments, music (manuscripts and early editions of sheet music), prints, drawings, paintings and a large music library containing literature on music and musical instruments. Over the years, significant additions have been made to Scheurleer’s original collection, and certain focal points have emerged, including a group of non-Western musical instruments, a fine collection of Japanese woodcuts and a collection of electronic musical instruments. As such, the music collection offers a good impression of musical culture both in the Netherlands and in other parts of the world.

The music collection was one of the highlights at the opening of the Haags Gemeentemuseum in 1935, but is no longer displayed today. Nowadays, the museum’s exhibitions focus on fine art, decorative art and fashion. The music collection is however of a high standard and uniquely valuable in terms of the history of music. It is kept under controlled climate conditions, and musicians, students and other researchers may view the instruments in the reading room on request.

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