Programs & Services

Wild Music Exploring the Science of Sound

May 24th, 2017

“Wild Music” Exploring the Art and Science of Sound

For Immediate Release: May 24, 2017 (Albuquerque, NM) —The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science (NMMNHS) welcomes Wild Music: Sounds & Songs of Life, a highly interactive new exhibition exploring evidence for the biological origins of music. Whales compose, bullfrogs chorus, songbirds greet the dawn, and people everywhere sing and dance. Through environmental soundscapes, exhibits, and listening experiences, visitors are invited to explore nature’s score and expand their understanding of what makes music. The exhibition opens on June 24, 2017 and runs through January 7, 2018.

“From trumpeting swans to singing whales, nature is filled with music,” said Margie Marino, Director of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science. “Wild Music allows visitors of all ages and abilities to hum, drum, and play through a magical, musical world.”

Three different “soundscapes” that invite visitors to explore sound and music that comes from the ocean, the forest, and the city. Visitors will learn to interpret spectrograms, or “pictures,” of bird songs, learn what whale cries tell us about the animal’s life cycle, see samples of instruments 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 use pre-recorded audio soundscapes, animal voices, percussion instruments, and live vocals to compose their own songs.

The Bioacoustic Lab, where visitors can experiment with how the human voice works and how it compares to that of other animals, specifically birds.  Here, visitors can explore a model of the human larynx and the bird syrinx, use an electrolarynx to “speak” without using their voices, and use a set of vibrating metal reeds to “feel” sound.

The Power of Sound and Music Theater, where visitors can sit back, relax, and experience sounds from around the world.  The seven-minute, sound-driven video demonstrates – both visually and audibly – how animals use sound to identify themselves, communicate, and form and nurture social groups.

Wild Music was developed in partnership with the Association of Science-Technology Centers, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Music, and a distinguished panel of scientists and musicians.


The New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science is a Division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. The Department of Cultural Affairs is New Mexico’s cultural steward and is charged with preserving and showcasing the state’s cultural riches. With its eight museums, eight historic monuments, arts, archaeology, historic preservation and library programs, the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs is the largest state cultural agency in the nation.


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