Museum of Sound – Saint Petersburg, Russia - Atlas Obscura

Museum of Sound

An unusual collection of self-made musical instruments and unique noises. 


This specialty museum is a collection of self-made musical instruments and unusual soundscapes. Visitors that stumble across this unique corner of Saint Petersburg can listen to these strange sounds and even play some of the instruments—the ones that aren’t too loud.

Among the musical creations on display is the “utyugon,” one of the first analog synthesizers in Russia. Created by experimentalist musicians in 1983, the instrument is a table with nailed guitar strings that have irons hung on them and knives stuck in the countertop. There were also guitar pickups on the top that sent signals to speakers.

There’s the “smargachka,” a metallic washboard with many bells and whistles attached, and the sperophone, an electroacoustic instrument influenced by Tibetan bowls.

Another instrument, created by a saxophonist, is the “contrabas” clarinet of sewer pipes. The mechanics of the instrument is a system of holes with wooden bungs. An ordinary mouthpiece of bass clarinet is used for playing that creates a low vibrating sound.

The “chalice/grigson” is a set of metallic goblets and bowls with springs and strings attached. The sounds it creates are limited only by the player’s imagination. 

The museum also has an interactive map of Saint Petersburg, where you can scroll around and just listen to the unique soundscapes of different places around the city.

Know Before You Go

The museum is located in the art center Pushkinskaya-10. The art center ticket does not cover the entry to the museum. You can buy a ticket from a small cafe in front of the museum.

You can enjoy concerts and lectures in the evenings after regular museum opening hours.

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August 1, 2018

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