Rachel Carter

Whatever Moves You at Music Museums


Rachel Carter
Published February 01, 2018

One could make the argument that music, more than any other art form, shapes culture. Whether it’s folk, country or blues, rock, pop or grunge, music is not only a reflection of modern culture but also a force that molds it. These music museums explore various musical genres, as well as the role music plays in our lives

Museum of Pop Culture


Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen founded the Experience Music Project, or EMP Museum, in 2000, and while the museum has always been rooted in rock ’n’ roll, it has also always celebrated science fantasy and fiction. In November 2016, EMP rebranded as the Museum of Pop Culture, or MoPOP, to include sci-fi, fantasy, horror, fashion, sports and video games and, above all, support “the creative works that shape and inspire our lives.”

Interactive galleries give hands-on access to instruments and recording studios, and allow visitors to perform before a virtual audience. A towering sculpture with more than 500 musical instruments and 30 computers greets guests. The museum’s collection includes handwritten lyrics, personal instruments, original photographs, clothing and props of musicians such as Jimi Hendrix and the legendary Seattle band Nirvana.


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