The Horniman Museum , in London, UK, opened in 1901, three years after Victorian tea trader Frederick John Horniman had commissioned a new museum building. Horniman had collected specimens and artefacts from around the world since the 1860s, with the aim of bringing the world to Forest Hill, London. Since the beginning, the Horniman Museum, now an ASEMUS member, has boasted an important collection of musical instruments, including some from Asia.
Over 1300 instruments from the Horniman’s internationally renowned collection can be seen in the Music Gallery. Its breathtaking display spans a wide range of instruments from around the world, making up the largest number on display in the UK. 
The gallery also features short films linking instruments on display to the cultures and contexts in which they are played around the world. Interactive sound tables offer the chance to listen to the sounds of visitors’ favourite instruments, and make some new discoveries, while the Hands On Space allows everyone the chance to make some music of their own.
Over 40 instruments are currently on loan to the Horniman from the Victoria & Albert Museum , London, also an ASEMUS member.
The Music Gallery at the Horniman Museum has inspired a range of activities and groups, including Music Matters! . This group of music lovers meets weekly at the Museum to listen to music and learn about musical traditions inspired by the Horniman collections. Each week features a different theme and participants are encouraged to discuss and share their thoughts on the music.
Workshops organised by Music Matters! are free to attend and open to adults. Topics of the next few weeks include ‘The Oboe, and its Relatives’ (22 June), ‘Unusual Instruments in Contemporary Music’ (29 June) and ‘Participants’ Choice’ (6 July, final day of the season).
For additional information about the Music Gallery, please visit http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/displays/music-gallery 
Musical instruments from the Horniman Collection can be viewed at http://www.horniman.ac.uk/collections/browse-our-collections/collection/musical-instruments 
Information about Music Matters! is available at http://www.horniman.ac.uk/visit/events/music-matters-2017 
Pictured above: Thappu drum, Kerala, India; and So Panpipes, Korea, both from the Horniman Museum music collection.
This story has been published in the context of #MuseumWeek 2017 #MusicMW