Over three thousand percussion instruments from all over the world, collected over thirty years of research: this is the wealth of material that Luciano Bosi, a percussionist and an ethnomusicology and anthropology enthusiast, has drawn together in the “Quale percussione” Museum-Workshop. Although the institution’s current premises – the ground floor of an apartment building in the immediate outskirts of Modena – aren’t exactly what one expects of a museum, visitors will actually find them surprisingly welcoming.
The credit for this goes to Luciano Bosi himself, who will take his guests/visitors on a fascinating tour of the museum, taking in the sounds and musical customs of every continent, playing each instrument, and explaining its function and origins.
The museum’s instruments are divided by area of origin – Sub-Saharan Africa, Oceania, Asia, Europe, post-colonial America, and Amerindian music – and the itinerary for visitors also takes into account their organological characteristics and historical importance. Indeed, percussion instruments have been a part of human history for a very long time: from the first natural objects to be used as music instruments in the early Upper Palaeolithic to modern acoustic and electronic percussion sets.
Leaving classifications aside, it is well worth for visitors to embark on an acoustic journey filled with surprises, not the least of which is discovering how human genius has been able to extract sound and rhythm from practically any material in any shape or form. At the end of this journey, visitors will know what a Vietnamese “cai-cuong” and a Cameroonian “sanza” sound like, and what a Moroccan “duff” and a Brazilian “afoxè” are.