The sound of music today, the MP3 songs, iTunes, Spotify, many of us today can be seen plugged into with our headphones/earphones, listening to music and songs while on the move or at home/office. I begun to think back in time when I have DVDs, CDs, LaserDisc, jukebox, cassette tapes, LPs, these were the types of music media that I grew up with.
What was it like before all these technological advancements came in? What was music like to people in the 18th or 19th century? How did the modern music came about? At the Singapore Musical Box Museum, I took a musical journey back in time to the 18th and 19th century, the world of musical boxes treasures. This was an amazing and beautiful sound of music journey, the history, heritage, conservation, preservation, culture, connections, evolution and education of how musical boxes came from, in a galaxy far far away, that helped to shape the music scene today.
A musical box to me is a small nicely designed box with beautiful artwork, open it and beautiful music will be played. Upon stepping into the world of treasures at the Singapore Musical Box Museum, I never realised that there were so much to learn about musical boxes, the history, evolution and influence in the music scene today. My visit to the Singapore Musical Box Museum wasn’t just an eye-opener, it was also an ear-opener, some of the most beautiful music to my ears, heart, mind and soul.
During our visit to the Singapore Musical Box Museum, we were hosted by Mr Naoto Orui, Founder, Singapore Musical Box Museum and along with this wonderful staff. My friends and myself were treated to a very enriching musical journey and education, of musical boxes. Each and every musical box, regardless of its size, style, history and significance, each has its own story to tell and share with the visitors. Mr Naoto Orui, shared with us about the mechanism, design and engineering aspects of a musical box. I strongly encourage you to visit the Singapore Musical Box Museum, have the experience to view and learn how a musical box works.
Let me share with you a video that I found on YouTube that explains how a musical box works.
The Singapore Musical Box Museum goes beyond sharing, telling and teaching the history and development of musical boxes to gramophone and musical dolls that can be viewed inside the museum. Inside this museum, we were able to learn and view a part of Singapore’s history and economic development in the early British Colonial days, when Singapore wasn’t just a trading port, she was also a leading country for technological development during that era. Hearing this story, the connections and how it managed to influence regional countries in Asia such as Japan and Hong Kong, it was simply amazing and mind blowing. We never knew Singapore played such a role, an important one, during her early days as a trading hub.
There was a very unique and special musical box, titled “China”, it was a musical box produced from one of the first collaborations between British and Singaporean craftsman. I knew that Singapore does have some significant brand names and products from her early manufacturing days, however, the musical box “China”, showed us that our Singapore’s early days as a thriving economy hub, not just as a trading port, from the British Colonial days.
The world of musical boxes, can be found in this newly opened museum in Singapore. With over 40 antique musical boxes in working conditions, visitors can be intrigued and mesmerised by the world and music of musical boxes, along with her history, influence and impacts that musical boxes had on the world, and how Singapore’s early days had benefited and rode along with it.
Take a break, visit the Singapore Musical Box Museum. Listen to the beautiful music and discover another small piece of history, fame and influence of Singapore that many of us did not know about.
I would like to thank National Heritage Board for arranging this visit and Singapore Musical Box for their warm hospitality and their in-depth sharing of musical boxes, the history, evolution and influence.
Key information and details on Singapore Musical Box Museum
Address: 168 Telok Ayer Street Singapore 068619
Monday – Friday: 10am – 6pm
Tour Schedule: Hourly tours starting from 10am, last tour at 5pm. Each tour duration is approximately 40 minutes.
Students (with valid student pass) : $6.00 (for citizens and permanent residents only)
Seniors (60 years and above with valid ID) : $6.00 (for citizens and permanent residents only)
Telephone: +65 6221 0102
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