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Klingendes Museum Bern: Exploring the Musical Heritage of Switzerland’s Capital

Last Updated on March 11, 2024 by Darla Uhl

Klingendes Museum Bern, also known as Kligende Sammlung, is a unique museum that focuses on wind instruments. Located in the Swiss federal city of Bern, the museum features a wide range of wind instruments such as flutes, clarinets, saxophones, and even the local instrument called Alphorn for you to look at and (in some cases) try.

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Overview: Klingendes Museum Bern

At Klingendes Museum Bern, visitors can delve into a remarkable assortment of vintage musical instruments carefully curated over the years. There are interactive installations and wind instruments to try so that you can experience firsthand the enchanting melodies and rhythms these instruments produce.

If you wish, they can provide you with a tablet so that you can explore an array of videos and educational resources. Getting the tablet won’t cost you extra and will unveil interesting stories behind these musical instruments.

As you wander through the exhibits, you will notice that most instruments are named and itemized. You are not allowed to touch the instruments on the walls. You may only try the instruments on the red table, and it is recommended to disinfect the instruments before and after using them.

Visiting the museum and trying out the instruments are so fun. It ignites curiosity and deepens appreciation for musicians. The museum also offers guided tours and workshops for visitors of all ages.

Overall, Klingendes Museum Bern is a fascinating destination for anyone interested in wind instruments. With its variety of instruments to try and friendly, knowledgeable staff, the museum provides a fun and educational experience for visitors of all ages.

History of Klingendes Museum Bern

The history of Klingendes Museum Bern can be traced to Karl Burri, a man who grew up in Oberhofen surrounded by music. His father ran the local music society. He began music lessons at the age of 9 and by the age of 17 started playing for the Thun Orchestra Society. With his musical background, he started an apprenticeship in instrument making at the Thuner Musikhaus Reiner in 1937.1 Subsequently, he embarked on a professional journey as a skilled artisan specializing in crafting musical instruments.

Klingendes Museum Bern is based largely on Mr. Karl Burri’s collection of wind instruments. As an instrument maker, he ran his business selling and repairing brass instruments in Bern. And because he started receiving old instruments himself, he began collecting them systematically in 1964. As such, his collection of brass instruments grew. His collection used to be displayed in his museum in Zimmerwald back in 1970.2

Mr. Burri’s collection has been taken over by the Burri Instrument Collection Foundation (Stiftung Instrumentensammlung Burri in German) since 2015. This ensures that his collection is preserved as an important cultural heritage in Bern.

The purpose of this foundation is to acquire, secure, record, conserve, research, supplement, maintain, and mediate the Burri instrument collection. The instruments are accessible to the public and may be played within the limits of the conservation concept. It is a non-commercial foundation.3

Nowadays, you can find Klingendes Museum Bern in the city of Bern near the Zytglogge clock. Currently, the museum preserves, exhibits, and collects additional musical instruments and other artifacts from different cultures and periods.

Musical Instruments at Klingendes Museum Bern

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The Klingendes Museum Bern is home to a variety of wind instruments. Here are some of the wind instruments that you can expect at Klingendes Musem Bern:

Instrument (German)Instrument (English)Description
AlphornAlphornA traditional Swiss musical instrument made of wood. It is a long, conical tube that produces a deep and resonant sound. The Alphorn is primarily played in the Alpine regions of Switzerland and is often associated with folk music and mountainous landscapes.
AlthornTenor HornA brass instrument with a conical bore and a cup-shaped mouthpiece
ClaironClarionSimilar to the trumpet, it has a cylindrical bore and a flared bell, producing a bright and piercing sound. It is normally used in military bands.
CornetCornetA transparent, cylindrical tube with finger holes and a mouthpiece. It is used in experimental music and avant-garde performances. It produces a delicate and ethereal sound.
FlöteFluteA woodwind instrument that belongs to the family of aerophones. It is a cylindrical tube with finger holes and a mouthpiece.
FlügelhornFlügelhornA brass instrument of German origin. It resembles a trumpet but with a wider and more conical bore.
GlastrompeteGlass TrumpetA transparent, cylindrical tube with finger holes and a mouthpiece. It is used in experimental music and avent-garde performances. It produces a delicate and ethereal sound.
HornHornA brass instrument with a conical bore and a flared bell known for its rich and warm sound.
JagdhornHunting HornA brass instrument used in hunting. It has a long, curved shape with a narrow bore.
KlarinetteClarinetA woodwind instrument with a cylindrical bore and a single reed mouthpiece widely used in classical music, jazz, and contemporary music.
OboeOboeA double-reed instrument with a conical bore used in orchestral and chamber music.
PosauneTromboneA brass instrument with a long, cylindrical tube and a large, flared bell.
TrompeteTrumpetA brass instrument with a cylindrical bore and three valves used prominently in orchestras, jazz bands, and more
TubaTubaThe largest and lowest-pitched brass instrument with a rich, resonant sound. The instrument has a deep conical bore and a large, flared bell.
VentilposauneValve TromboneA brass instrument similar to the trombone but with valves instead of a slide.
Musical Instruments in Klingendes Museum Bern

If you would like to discover what the instruments at Klingendes Museum Bern are, you can check out the instrument catalog on the following page: https://www.klingendes-museum-bern.ch/en/collection/catalogue/

Visiting the Museum

The Klingendes Museum Bern is a unique museum that showcases a wide range of wind instruments from different periods and different places all over the world. Visitors can explore the museum’s extensive collection of instruments, listen to or watch recordings, and participate in workshops and guided tours.

The museum also offers guided tours for visitors who want to learn more about the collection and its history. The tours are led by a knowledgeable guide who will provide insights into the different instruments and their cultural significance.

The guided tour lasts for one hour and can be done in German, English, French, or Italian. Visitors can also request a special instrument or topic. The guided tours at Klingendes Museum Bern are a great way to learn more about the museum and its collection in a structured and informative way.

The museum provides workshops tailored for groups ranging from 5 to 25 participants. These workshops begin with a guided tour and then provide a hands-on experience with different instruments based on the instruction.

Experienced musicians and educators lead the workshops with a passion for sharing their knowledge and love of music. They can also customize it to suit the group’s purpose or the participants’ age. You’ll learn more about the world of music and the museum’s collection by participating in the workshops.

The museum is open from Wednesday to Saturday, from 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM. It is also open every Sunday from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Visitors are advised to check the museum’s website for up-to-date information on opening hours and any special events or exhibitions.

How to Get to Klingendes Museum Bern

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The Klingendes Museum Bern is located in the heart of the city, at Kramgasse 66, 3011 Bern. The museum is easily accessible by public transportation, with several tram and bus stops located nearby.

It is housed in a historic building near the Zytglogge. To reach the museum, you need to access it by descending underground via a set of steps.

AddressKramgasse 66
3011 Bern
BusBern, Zytglogge (6A, 10, 12, 19)
TramBern, Zytglogge (7, 8, 9)
CarParking Casino
Kochergasse 1
3011 Bern

Final Thoughts: Klingendes Museum Bern

Nestled in the heart of Bern, the Klingendes Museum is a small yet captivating gem that holds a delightful array of musical instruments.

Despite its modest size, this museum boasts an impressive collection that beckons visitors to explore and experience the joy of playing various wind instruments. The friendly and knowledgeable staff create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, ensuring a memorable visit for music enthusiasts of all ages.

Upon stepping into the museum, visitors are greeted by a fascinating array of musical instruments from across the globe. Whether you’re a seasoned musician or simply have a passion for music, this museum offers a unique and enriching experience that will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the art of instrument-making and the power of music.

In conclusion, the Klingendes Museum Bern may be small in size, but its collection of instruments and the interactive experiences it offers make it a truly remarkable destination for music lovers.

Immerse yourself in the rich history, vibrant sounds, and friendly atmosphere, and leave with a renewed sense of wonder and admiration for the world of music at Klingendes Museum Bern.

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Darla Uhl is the owner of TouringSwitzerland.com. Her home is in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Having lived almost 20 years in Switzerland, she's traveled extensively all over the country.

Darla's favorite regions to visit in Switzerland include Engadin, Lake Geneva, Bernese Oberland, Ticino, and Valais. She loves spending time with her family, hiking, visiting museums, and reading books.

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