This past Saturday we went to the University of Oxford’s Music Faculty to visit the Bate Collection of Musical Instruments. You can see a great little video about the collection here:
To get in, we followed a path around to the side of the building to what seemed like a secret door. (We love secret doors!) We rang a bell to be admitted.
Once inside, the kids were allowed to try playing several instruments, including a Theramin, which works using radio waves. You don’t have to touch it at all. It makes kind of a crazy sound! They also liked the ones you make a “raspberry” into, like the french horn.
The last event of the morning was a special trip to a room filled with a Gamelan. This is a traditional orchestra from Indonesia, especially the islands of Java and Bali. It contains xylophones and gongs, among other instruments. The sounds of the biggest gongs seemed to make the ground vibrate.