The National Museum Of Musical Instruments
The National Museum of Musical Instruments is part of the network of the Directorate of State Museums of the city of Rome, a territorial division of the Ministry of Culture. With more than 3500 works of great historical, artistic and musical importance, the Museum has been housed since 1974 in the Samoggia building, one of the three buildings that once housed the Barracks of the "Prince of Piedmont", built in the early 1900s. in the area adjacent to the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme. In 1964, the vast collection of musical instruments arrived in this place, which belonged to Gennaro Evangelista Gorga (1865-1957), an established tenor, with a short and dazzling career, chosen by Puccini to take on the role of Rodolfo in the first performance of Bohème. Passionate collector of various objects (paintings, sculptures, archaeological finds, ancient volumes, surgical instruments, ancient weapons) he came to own 150,000 pieces in the utopian intent of creating an Encyclopedic Museum of human knowledge. The original nucleus of musical instruments of the Gorga collection was subsequently enriched by exceptional acquisitions that reinforce the uniqueness of the state collection which includes objects for about 2000 years of history, with many absolute rarities among which the Barberini Harp ( 1633-34), the oldest surviving German harpsichord (1534) by Hans Mueller, the very rare piano by Bartolomeo Cristofori (1722), inventor of the instrument which, by supplanting the harpsichord, radically changed the history of music. The museum is being refurbished and only part of the itinerary can be visited.