Welcome to the Collection Catalogue
of Museum Geelvinck, Pianola Museum & Huis Midwoud
This is where you can discover instruments within our collections and learn more about them.
This online catalogue encompasses a choice of stringed keyboard instruments of the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries from the collections of the Geelvinck Music Museums. This is a collaboration of Museum Geelvinck, Pianola Museum and Huis Midwoud. The project to present our collections online is being realised with the financial support of the Mondriaan Fonds, Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the J.W. Strengers Frankfort Fonds and the Sayers Fonds.
As this catalogue is new to the public, improvements will be made over time. If while you are exploring the collection you come across any problems, please contact us so we can fix them to create the most seamless experience for you as possible.
This catalogue encompasses the stringed keyboard instrument collections of Museum Geelvinck, Pianola Museum, Huis Midwoud and the former Sweelinck Museum (today under the wings of Museum Geelvinck). It gives an overview of the development of the piano and its music since the second half of the 18th century up till and including the player piano in the early part of the 20th century.
Today, the piano is the most widespread instrument played on our globe. It is being performed on by all layers of society in nearly all parts of the world. The piano, including its electronic offsprings, is instrumental to nearly all contemporary music genres, besides being the key instrument for classical music composition up till today. To understand the musical development of the last two and a half centuries, which has lead to today’s music scene, it is essential to interpret its history, in which the technical development of the piano plays a pivotal role. In short, the period piano and the living technical and musical heritage connected to it are indispensable for interpreting classical music and, more in general, understanding the current music scene. It should be noted, that over time the piano was also symbolically instrumental in several emancipatory movements, such as gender.
With their collections, Museum Geelvinck, Pianola Museum and Huis Midwoud each cover part of this history. Museum Geelvinck currently holds a collection of over 300 stringed keyboard instruments and, in addition, related instruments. These instruments – mainly fortepianos – for most part date from the late 18th and the first half of the 19th centuries, with some earlier 18th century instruments and some later 19th and even 20th century instruments. Huis Midwoud covers the late 19th century, Pianola Museum’s collection mainly concerns the player piano: over 100 pianola’s, as well as a library with more than 30.000 pianola roles, one of the largest worldwide. Together, well over 400 historic stringed keyboard instruments, next to a major collection of pianola rolls and extensive libraries and documentation on the subject.
Collection in action
The pianos on this website are not only a piece in a collection but some of them are actually used in concerts. Besides that you can visit the location and see them in all their glory. For more information visit the separate websites of Museum Geelvinck (Heerde & Amsterdam), Pianola Museum (Amsterdam) and Huis Midwoud (Midwoud, near Amsterdam).