Who doesn’t love these old-fashioned music hall instruments? How nice it is to see an old barrel organ passing by every now and then or to see it playing on the corner of the street. Truly, how grateful we are that these magical music machines still deliver their full musical sounds. It is almost impossible to imagine that in days gone by our ancestors danced to this music. Barrel organs are great, so never walk past a mechanical music maker, the operator of the barrel organ who stands there proud with his little money basket without putting a cent in it. The money collected is used to maintain the barrel organ. For all these lovely old-fashioned musical instruments is a museum. you will find this in the center of Utrecht and it is called the Museum “Speelklok tot Pierement. It is highly recommended to visit this world of beautiful historical dancing musical instruments. So do visit the wonderful world of self-playing musical instruments.
Barrel Organs, Music Boxes, and Chime Clockworks
The collection of the Speelklok Museum consists of several types of mechanical music machines such as music clocks, music boxes, and barrel organs. It is difficult to translate the word “Speelklok’. The literal translation of “speelklok” is play clock, but that is not what it means. The definition of a play clock is a clock with music. The music in this type of clock is made with an automatic playing mechanism. These music machines are called barrel organs but are also known as Hurdy Gurdy and Street organs. These mechanical musical machines, sometimes with a clock and sometimes sometimes clocks, were invented and made from the knowledge, love, and craftsmanship of talented clockmakers. They are all true wonderful pieces of engineering,
The Museum Speelklok, located in Utrecht, Netherlands, is a unique and fascinating museum that is dedicated to self-playing musical instruments. “Speelklok” in Dutch roughly translates to “musical clock,” which is indicative of the museum’s primary focus on mechanical musical instruments, such as music boxes, mechanical pianos, and of course, musical clocks.
Here are some key points about the Museum Speelklok:
- History: The museum is housed in a former medieval church, the Buurkerk, which provides a beautiful and historic backdrop to the collection. The museum opened in 1956.
- Collection: The Museum Speelklok has an extensive and diverse collection of self-playing musical instruments, spanning several centuries. Visitors can see and hear various music boxes, street organs, orchestrion, and other mechanical musical instruments.
- Demonstrations: One of the highlights of the museum is the regular demonstrations of the musical instruments. During these demonstrations, visitors can experience the instruments in action, creating a delightful and immersive musical experience.
- Interactive Experience: The museum provides an interactive experience, allowing visitors to interact with some of the exhibits and even play some of the instruments themselves. This hands-on approach makes it an engaging and educational attraction for all ages.
- Exhibits and Exhibitions: The museum regularly hosts special exhibitions and events related to mechanical music, musical clocks, and related themes. These exhibits can provide a fresh perspective and additional depth to the museum’s collection.
- Education: The museum also serves as an educational institution, offering programs and workshops related to mechanical music and the history of self-playing instruments.
- Shop and Café: There is a museum shop and a very nice cafe where visitors can purchase souvenirs and enjoy a relaxing break.
- Location: The Museum Speelklok is located in the heart of Utrecht, making it easily accessible to tourists and locals alike.
Overall, the Museum Speelklok offers a delightful and unique experience for music enthusiasts, history buffs, and anyone interested in the intersection of technology, music, and art. It’s a place where the past comes alive through the sounds of these beautiful, self-playing musical instruments.