Jun 10 - Dec 31
84 South Pine Street
Doylestown, PA 18901
Everyday Rhythms: Music At The Mercer
Included with general Mercer Museum admission. In almost every place and in every time human beings have organized random sounds into something more meaningful and expressive – music. In addition to expressing ourselves, and entertaining each other, we have created, played and adapted instruments to send signals, tell stories, convey power, accompany rituals, organize work, sustain culture and tradition, and give order to community life. Drums and bells, for example, have been put to virtually all of these “social” uses at different times, and in different cultures. Everyday Rhythms explores some of these common uses of music and musical instruments – shared across many regions, people and cultures. These instruments were once a part of the acoustic landscape – the soundscape – of everyday life around the globe. Instruments featured in the show include not only European-American forms, but also those from areas of Africa and Asia (acquired by museum founder Henry Mercer during collecting in the 1920s). Exhibit segments focus on the use of instruments for military purposes, for timekeeping and signaling, to accompany religious and secular rituals, and to help tell and pass on stories. For many of us, certain forms of music also have deeply personal meanings and uses – as revealed by museum founder Henry Mercer’s own love of Irish dance music.