Museum of the Rockies exhibit pays homage to the guitar


MSU/Museum of the Rockies photo

A wide variety of instruments will be on display in the Museum of the Rockies’ new exhibit: “Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World,” opening this Saturday.

BOZEMAN — The Museum of the Rockies invites visitors to take a journey through a motley crew of legendary guitars in its latest exhibit: “Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World,” opening Saturday, May 26, and running through Sept. 9.

Visitors can explore the history of the world’s most recognizable musical instrument, experience diverse genres of music and discover the science of pitch and tone. Crossing over cultural boundaries, the guitar has made a significant impact on a wide variety of groups, from cowboys to teenage rebels.

“The guitar is the most enduring icon in American history,” said H.P. Newquist, executive director and founder of the National Guitar Museum. “It has been around longer than baseball, basketball, soft drinks and sports cars.”

On display will be more than 60 guitars as part of the 100 historical artifacts aimed to immerse visitors in the heart of music with an eye toward the science and history behind the instrument. Visitors will learn how the selection of different materials and strings, fused with electromagnetism and amplification, create an elaborate device that has revolutionized music. Visitors will also be able to play a Guinness World Record-breaking 43.5-foot-long guitar.

The exhibition will include “Guitar: Music Monday” events from June 11 to Aug. 20. In the music industry, Bozeman is world-renowned for its acoustic guitars. From the Gibson Guitar factory to individual guitar craftsmen, guitars made in Bozeman are played by famous musicians around the world. This all-ages weekly event will celebrate Montana’s luthiers and local musicians. The schedule each Monday is as follows:

♦ 10 a.m.–noon — Make Your Own Recycled Guitar (included with admission).

♦ Noon–1:30 p.m. —Music on the Plaza (free to the public).

♦ 1:45–2:45 p.m. — Guided tour of  “Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World” (included with admission).

♦ 2–4 p.m. — Inside a Guitar (included with admission).

“Guitar: An Evening with an Expert” events will be presented on June 18, July 2, July 23 and Aug. 13 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. in the museum’s auditorium. Attendees can meet some of the experts, collectors and luthiers who have made Bozeman’s guitar industry what it is today; hear their stories; learn about the nuances that make each guitar unique; and listen to their handmade guitars.

Light appetizers will follow the presentations in the museum lobby. Tickets to the evening presentations cost $8 for museum members and $12 for non-members.

The “Guitar” exhibit is included with regular museum admission. Tickets cost $14.50 for adults and $9.50 for children ages 5 to 17. Children 4 and under get in free.

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