We came across this museum by chance, on a day exploring Malaga, a city with museums and heritage sites packed into each of its winding narrow streets. The words “interactive” and “music” drew us in, and after paying a small fee of €5 each, the staff explained how the museum’s clever coloured rooms would guide our visit. Black rooms house the permanent collections, white were for large scale installations or exhibits, and red were interactive spaces called “Please play”. From the entrance, we could see approximately five rooms and expected a short museum visit, but as we discovered, this museum is a true hidden gem with lots of surprises in store.
The concept for the museum, known as MIMMA, came about during the early 1990s, with the intention of showing music differently. Following a temporary exhibition, the museum opened permanently in 2003. There is a recent quote by their Director that I really enjoy, “Seguimos siendo un museo joven e inquieto” (We continue to be a young and restless museum). We definitely had the feeling the museum was very fresh, alive and striving to be different.
The collections encompass a huge range of musical history and cultures split into separate areas of the museum such as folklore, mechanical instruments, continents, and musical ensembles. The building itself is also part of the collection, with the medieval city walls of Malaga and Roman remains preserved in the basement. The objects are very cleanly displayed, with black backgrounds, so the whole focus is on the instrument itself. However the display is cleverly designed with the ability to hear what each instrument sounds like and video interpretations of how they are played on nearby digital touchscreens.
Most of the interpretation is in English, but the museum also utilises clever ways of engaging speakers of any language with its content. I particularly enjoyed the history of music interactive which had no language whatsoever, but told the story beautifully through huge black and white silhouettes and a varied musical soundtrack.
The ‘Please play’ areas have a variety of musical instruments for visitors to try. Most have short instructional films in front of the instrument, if you want to be serious about trying! There were plenty of these throughout the museum with a variety of instruments.
The museum is laid in a way that encourages visitors to explore rooms in a particular order, although you can walk back and forth between rooms. At the end of your visit, you exit the museum via the gift shop, which takes you out onto a street around the corner from the entrance.
The gift shop has a range of items at different prices, starting at a few euros right up to cajon drums.
The museum has two rest areas. One is an outdoor sun terrace, with seating and vending machines. The other is a small indoor space with seating, next to the terrace. There is no café.
Museum staff were located at the reception desk and in the gift shop. Otherwise we did not see any other members of staff during our visit.
The Living Lab area was closed during our visit but usually there would be more interactive events and activities available here. The museum also hosts a variety of concerts and shows. Check their website for details.
The museum is set over different floors but there are lifts between the levels.
Winter opening hours (07/09 - 24/06) Monday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday 10:00am to 7:00pm.
Summer opening hours (25/06 - 06/09) Monday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday 10:30am to 7:30pm.
You can buy online your ticket in advance. Ticket: General €5. Students, seniors and groups (Reservations are required for all group visits) €3. Children less than 6 years old free.
Conde de las Navas Palace
Calle Beatas, 15
29008 Málaga, Spain
* * *