MIM opens unique drum history exhibit

Nov 14, 2014, 6:00 AM | Updated: 6:00 am
LISTEN: MIM opens unique drum history exhibit

PHOENIX — A unique exhibit looking into the history of drums debuts in Phoenix on Saturday.

The Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix is opening up its Beyond the Beat exhibit and curator Cullen Strawn said he and his fellow curators at the museum are responsible for putting the entire exhibit together after about a year of work.

“The exhibit has more than 100 musical instruments and associated objects on display,” he said. “About 75 percent of that has never been seen before at (the Musical Instrument Museum) because we continue to build and refine our collection.”

Inside the exhibit, Strawn said visitors will see a history of percussion instruments unlike any other.

“It’s all about drums from all over the world, the different ways they’re made and played, different shapes and sizes, the different context in which they’re used and the many meanings that they can have on people’s lives,” Strawn said.

Some of the instruments on display include contemporary drum kits, such as the 1969 drum kit used by Creedence Clearwater Revival drummer Doug Clifford, while others are thousands of years old and have very serious religious and ceremonial purposes.

“In many, many parts of the world drums take on a much deeper significance and are present at critical moments when people are transitioning from childhood into adulthood, (or) when they’re transitioning from life in this world into life in the next world,” Strawn said.

Visitors will even have a chance to play a six-foot wide communal drum inside the exhibit made by a local drum maker.

Strawn said the Beyond the Beat exhibit will be on display at the museum until June 21, 2015.

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MIM opens unique drum history exhibit