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Museum Speelklok (previously known as Museum van Speelklok tot Pierement) is a museum in Utrecht, The Netherlands. It has a collection of automatically playing musical instruments, most of which still work and therefore still can play their music. Among the instruments on display are music boxes, musical clocks, pianolas, barrel organs (including the typically Dutch large street organs) and a turret clock with carillon. The word speelklok means musical clock.
Over the years the museum has become popular nationwide and also internationally. The museum's restoration workshops are a leader in their field, and are known for their excellent standards.
History of the museum
The museum had its origins in an exhibition of mechanical organs and other musical automata in Utrecht in the summer of 1956. The great success of this led to the creation of a permanent national museum dedicated to mechanical musical instruments. In 1984 the museum's present housing in the central medieval Buurkerk (citizens' church) was officially opened by Queen Beatrix.
Royal Music Machines exhibition
For its 50-year Jubilee in 2006 the museum held a special exhibition, "Royal Music Machines". For this event, various renowned museums, including the Hermitage Museum, the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, loaned very special instruments.
Influence and coverage in media
In 2016, Swedish musician Martin Molin visited Museum Speelklok and stated that the experience inspired him to build Marble Machine, an instrument constructed with plywood that plays music through the use of falling marbles.
- Wintergatan (2017-05-10), Meet the Retired Marble Machine at Speelklok Museum, retrieved 2017-08-05
- Wintergatan (2017-08-02), Welcome back to Wintergatan Wednesdays (and Mondays!), retrieved 2017-08-05
- (in English) Official website