Music exhibit provides medley of places, people and personal preference
Minnesota melodies provide the roots of the exhibit
Sounds Good To Me: Music in Minnesota at the Minnesota History
Center in St. Paul.
The exhibit will give visitors a sampling of the state's musical events, personalities and
activities through the years, and explore the ways in which Minnesotans make music a part of their
Like food, music is a matter of taste from polka to piano, symphony to salsa, hip-hop to hard
rock and lounge to Latin. Making and enjoying music is an essential element of any culture,
and in Minnesota, it might mean playing the piano at a recital, dancing at a favorite nightspot,
singing in the church choir, attending a lakeside concert or even listening to a loon's call.
Comprised of a medley of scenes in which music is produced or appreciated, the exhibit is not
intended to be a "hall-of-fame " of well-known Minnesota musicians nor a march-through-time of
the state's musical history. Although materials, photographs, objects and sounds from
famous Minnesota artists native and transplant are included, the exhibit offers a
streetscape of venues.
Here are some examples of exhibit environments:
Music in the home included piano lessons.
Other home music
Making music at home often meant doing it yourself.
Includes a ballroom scene and interviews with band leader and patrons.
The Prom Ballroom in St. Paul provided the inspiration for the recreated ballroom.
Explores music as public performance in a backstage setting.
High school band room
Explores the changing nature of music education
Businesses of note
Featuring Minnesota businesses important to the development of Minnesota music and musicians.
Mix your own version of "Funkytown."
Disc jockey booth
See how reaches communities across the state.
Explores the ways music brings communities together.
Video documentary about community-based music-making. Features nine Minnesota groups.
This exhibit marks several milestones for the Minnesota History Center and the Minnesota
Historical Society. Covering 6,200 square feet of exhibit space, Sounds Good to Me is
the largest and most media-intensive exhibits produced at the History Center.
The exhibit includes object theater, videos, interactive kiosks,
operational jukeboxes, recording equipment and more.
For example, visitors can remix tracks and sing along with Minnesotan Steven Greenberg's
1980 disco hit, "Funkytown" in the "Studio 4U." This studio also tells the story of the
state's recording industry.
Sounds Good to Me: Music in Minnesota demonstrates that music is not just for passive
listening. Many generations of Minnesotans have enjoyed dancing, whether in nightclubs,
ballrooms, soda shops or even the mosh pits of today's hot spots.
The exhibit's "On the Town" section is sure to engage such memories and inspire new ones.
"This section is about the importance of music in people's social lives and how it is a part of
dating, fashion and going out dancing," says exhibit curator Benjamin Filene.
The elaborate setting includes booths and cabaret-style seating, jukeboxes playing hits from the
1930s to the present, historic film footage of people dancing, and a nightclub stage. This venue
also includes large cut-out figures that young visitors can enjoy dressing in fashions from the
1920s, 1950s and the 1970s.