Programs & Services

Walk on the Wild Side at Wild Music

Exploring the Art and Science of Sound

The Jamming Room Exterior. The urban environment offers a colorful graffiti mural and neon lighting. Courtesy Science Museum of Minnesota.

Giving a whole new meaning to the phrase “the call of the wild,” you’ll be jamming to the art and science of sound at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (NMMNHS). Wild Music: Sounds & Songs of Life is a highly interactive new exhibition exploring evidence for the biological origins of music. This exhibition runs June 24 through January 7, 2018.

People everywhere sing and dance, but this exhibition reveals the musical aspects of the earth and other species: whales compose, bullfrogs chorus, and songbirds greet the dawn. Through environmental soundscapes, exhibits, and listening experiences, Wild Music visitors explore nature’s score and expand their understanding of what makes music.

“From trumpeting swans to singing whales, nature is filled with music,” says museum director Margie Marino. “Wild Music allows visitors of all ages and abilities to hum, drum, and play through a magical, musical world.”

Wild Music highlights:

  • Three different “soundscapes” — explore sound and music from the ocean, forest, and city. Learn to interpret spectrograms (pictures of bird songs), what whale cries reveal about life cycles, and instrument samples from around the world. Experiment with how sound travels underwater, explore how music influences memory, and more.
  • The Jamming Room — a soundproof practice studio where visitors can compose their own songs, with recorded audio soundscapes, animal voices, and percussion instruments.
  • The Bioacoustic Lab — experiment with the human voice, compare it to other animals, specifically birds. Explore a model of the human larynx and the bird syrinx, use an electrolarynx to “speak” without using your voice, feel sound with vibrating metal reeds.
  • The Power of Sound and Music Theater — sit back, relax and experience sounds from around the world. A short sound-driven video demonstrates — both visually and audibly — how animals use sound to identify themselves, communicate, and form and nurture social groups.

The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is open every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. $8 Adults (13–59), $7 Seniors (60+), $5 Children (3–12). Free Admission to NM residents with ID on the first Sunday of the month and every Wednesday to NM Seniors with ID.

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