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Carlsbad museum offers look at music history

CARLSBAD — Music has always provided valuable insight into the culture and past of every country. America is no different.
The Museum of Making Music, or MoMM, located at 5790 Armada Drive, has offered the public an opportunity to explore America’s rich musical history for nearly 10 years. Interactive exhibits, educational displays and never-before-seen archived photographs provide unrivaled insight into a fascinating piece of America’s past.
“Music is very important to people at all stages of their life,” said charter volunteer Naomi Marblestone, co-coordinator of the museum’s volunteer program.
Founded by the National Association of Music Merchants, or NAMM, the museum’s exhibits and displays cover nearly 100 years of America’s musical accomplishments. Starting from the 1890s, the museum shows the progression of instruments and technology that have created music as it is known today.
“The exhibitions tell the story we’re trying to tell about the music makers, the instrument innovations and the beginning of American popular music,” said B.J. Morgan, MoMM’s marketing and promotions manager.
The museum was originally used as a resource for NAMM members, specifically music store owners. Mock store setups were provided to show owners “how you make people want to come in and buy a guitar,” Marblestone said.
Although the museum is now open to the public, the design of the exhibits still replicate music stores of decades past. Visitors are transported back in time as they step into galleries designed to match the décor of old music stores prominently featured in each exhibit.
The wide range of instruments incorporated into the museum’s displays have been donated or loaned out by musicians and collectors. In addition to musical standards like the piano and guitar, more unique instruments can also be found throughout the museum, like the ukelin — a ukele and violin hybrid — and a rolmonica.
“You’ll find things here that you’ve probably never heard of,” Marblestone said.
Aside from permanent exhibitions, the museum also brings in temporary displays that highlight different milestones in music history. “Waves of Inspiration: The Legacy of Moog” and “ON! The Beginnings of Electric Sound Generation” have recently been on display, describing the importance of the Moog synthesizer and the guitar’s journey from acoustic to electric.
“We put (the display) together with the Bob Moog Foundation,” Morgan said. “A lot of these pictures are the first time they’ve been out of the archives and shown to the public.”
After exploring the exhibits, visitors then have a chance to play instruments in the museum’s interactive room. People can test out their skills on a wide variety of instruments, including a Moog guitar, turntables and even a Theremin. For those not so musically inclined, the room also features a piano with keys that light up for users to follow.
“That’s where families usually lose themselves,” said Morgan, who often spends his down time at work in the room as well.
For more information or to learn about upcoming exhibits at the museum, visit museum