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Museum of Music (HMB)

Neighbourhood: Altstadt
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Address: Im Lohnhof 9, Basel, Switzerland
Phone Number:
+41 61 205 86 00
11:00 - 17:00
Closed now
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Sun 11:00 - 17:00
Wed - Sat 14:00 - 18:00

The Museum in the PrisonThe Museum of Music is housed in the Lohnhof, a...

The Museum in the PrisonThe Museum of Music is housed in the Lohnhof, a building steeped in history. Originally part of a convent, the Lohnhof was used as a prison right up to 1995. Unlike its erstwhile inmates, today’s visitors to the Lohnhof are at liberty to roam through Switzerland’s largest collection of musical instruments. Spread over three floors, the Museum of Music boasts some 650 instruments spanning five centuries of music history. The cells serve as exhibition space, but just to make sure their former occupants are not completely forgotten, one of them has been left in its original state. The remaining twenty-four turn the history of music and musical instruments into feast for the eyes and ears alike. Interactive screens allow visitors to bring the instruments inside the display cases to life by replaying samples and listening to what they sound like when played. On your tour of the museum you will have a chance to hear all sorts of music, from the familiar to the curious.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 38 reviews
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    Very good
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A must see on a visit to Basel

I really enjoyed walking around this museum. Three floors with lots of different instruments on each It used to be a prison and they have kept one cell as it was so you can... read more

Reviewed 1 week ago
London, United Kingdom
via mobile
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38 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 19: English reviews
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
38 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 week ago via mobile

I really enjoyed walking around this museum. Three floors with lots of different instruments on each It used to be a prison and they have kept one cell as it was so you can compare it to what they have done with the other cells. Beautiful museum and the staff were very nice and friendly.

Thank AmerzHardy
Level Contributor
3 reviews
Reviewed 10 March 2017

we had a great and interesting visit to the music museum, we learnt a lot about the ancient musical instrumants

Thank רחלי ק
Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada
Level Contributor
36 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 July 2016

its was fun to see all the old and ancient instruments. Many had recordings available so you could hear the sounds they made. Its was a very easy self tour and an interesting building to boot - previously a prison.

Thank Karen W
Washington DC
Level Contributor
54 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2016

I love music museums and try to visit one in any city that has one (I play an instrument myself). This museum was very small and not curated or displayed that well, in my opinion, I thought there would be more. It is mainly several small rooms with displays of musical instruments (ie, one small room for horns, one for... More 

Thank ChristinaW
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
299 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 156 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 May 2016

In the old city and Set high on a hill next to the Huguenot church overlooking the valley below is this museum of Music created within the old City Prison. You can see one cell with scene set up as a prisoner's cell but most are created into cubicles which have cabinets holding a wonderful array of musical instruments from... More 

Thank FoodieArch
Basel, Switzerland
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 February 2016

A must for lovers of music and musical instruments having some one or two hours to spare while in Basel

Thank Andreas N
Level Contributor
133 reviews
87 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 October 2015

This museum had so much to share-a huge variety of instruments and sounds you can play off an intuitive screen. The staff were great. Don't forget to try out the Chinese "bowl" in the lobby and get the water to vibrate!

Thank Phoebebigelow
Aberdeenshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
9 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 July 2015

This museum was great to look around. The computers in each room that translated everything and gave sound clips so you could hear what each instrument sounded like were fab. I spent a good few hours here although I think it definitely made it more interesting for me as I play a few instruments and understand how they work which... More 

1 Thank pauliepocket
Leeds, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
17 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 July 2015

What a wonderful way to spend a couple of hours! My 16 year old daughter and I loved our time here. Each prison cell exhibits different types of instrument and has a different style of music to listen to. We delighted in choosing different pieces - some were familiar, others not so. Two hours soon disappeared, much to our surprise!... More 

1 Thank Debbie W
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
381 reviews
276 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 261 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 May 2015

We visited this museum on the same Sunday as the Paper museum. Like the latter, it does not have its own car park and is situated next to a church inside a cul de sac. It was formerly a prison with the cells housing the different instruments. Each cell contained a glassed in area with many different examples and ages... More 

1 Thank rondonel

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