National Museum of Musical Instruments
The National Museum of Musical Instruments of Rome is part of the network of the city's State Museums Directorate, a territorial branch of the Ministry of Culture.
With more than 3500 works of great historical, artistic and musical importance , the National Museum of Musical Instruments has been housed since 1974 in the Palazzina Samoggia , one of the three buildings that once housed the barracks of the "Prince of Piedmont", built in the early of the 20th century, in the area adjacent to the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.
In 1964, the vast collection of musical instruments that belonged to Gennaro Evangelista Gorga (1865-1957), an established tenor with a short and dazzling career, was chosen by Puccini to take on the role of Rodolfo in the first performance of the Bohemian.
Passionate collector of different objects ( paintings, sculptures, archaeological finds, ancient volumes, surgical instruments, ancient weapons ) he came to own 150,000 pieces with the utopian aim of creating an Encyclopedic Museum of human knowledge.
The original nucleus of musical instruments of the Gorga collection was subsequently enriched by exceptional acquisitions which strengthen the uniqueness of the state collection which includes objects for approximately 2000 years of history, with many absolute rarities among which the Barberini Harp is mentioned ( 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.