23 July 2015

Finchcocks Musical Museum

Finchcocks Musical Museum in Kent (England) is a one-of-a-kind place -- visitors get to play authentic 17th, 18th and 19th-century keyboard instruments. And I don't mean being allowed a sly prod at one of the keys while none of the staff are looking, I mean actually getting to play a piece of music. The great thing is that there's nobody prowling about, vulture-like,  watching your every move with a look of profound distrust (something you'd expect since these instruments are each 300 years old at least). The atmosphere is remarkably laid back. To tell the truth my visit was in 2008, so I'm not 100% sure that the policies are the same now, but they can't have changed much since then.  The museum's got slightly awkward opening times too (they're all here) but that can be overcome with a bit of planning, obviously.

As well as being able to play, visitors can stay for talks and recitals which feature the instruments themselves, but usually the repertoire is baroque and classical music, so if that's not your thing then don't stick around and head straight to the gardens surrounding the house. They're wonderful.

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