Midwest Living Review
Musicians, musical fans and historians will find much to love at this gem, located on the campus of University of South Dakota. The museum focuses specifically on instruments, and thousands are on display here. Galleries are somewhat thematic: One features musical instruments from Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands; another is devoted to harmonicas; a third explores 19th-century organs. "Great American Guitars" features examples of Fenders and Gibsons, plus a re-creation of a guitar workshop. The "Genius of North Italian Stringed Instrument Making" features several original Stradivarius instruments. The museum also displays guitars signed by famous musicians, including B.B. King and Michael Jackson. Included with admission is the rental of an audio tour, loaded on a handheld MP3 player. The recordings cover the history of each instrument, plus sound clips of many of the being played. It's a wonderful touch: The sound quality is excellent and the clips add depth to the galleries. It took us about two hours to explore the museum, just as casual visitors. Instrument aficionados could easily pass a long afternoon or day taking in the galleries. Admission charged.