The Instrument That Rocked The World Is About To Rock Charlotte


The Instrument That Rocked The World Is About To Rock Charlotte

Discovery Place® brings iconic guitars, technology, science, history and pop culture together in new exhibition


Rock on, Charlotte! Discovery Place takes center stage to explore the science, sound, history and cultural impact of one the most enduring American icons – the guitar — in the new exhibition Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World.


Opening May 30, Guitar explores the history of the world’s most recognized musical instrument in a fully immersive exhibition that showcases nearly 100 historical artifacts including more than 60 guitars. Trace the evolution of the guitar, from the vihuela of 16th century Spain to the electric Fender Stratocaster, and see how the instrument became the cultural icon it is today.


A highlight of the exhibition is the world’s largest playable guitar, a 2,255 pound, 16-foot wide and 43-foot long replica of a Gibson Flying V. Other iconic instruments include the Rock Ock, the world’s only playable 8-neck guitar; aPRS Dragon guitar inlaid with 238 pieces of gold, red and green abalone, mother of pearl and the ivory of a woolly mammoth; a Ztar Z7S synthesizer guitar with a button for every fret and string (204 in total); and early Fender, Gibson, Ovation and Martin guitars that date as far back as 1806.


Then tune into the science of sound with hands-on interactives, touchscreens and performance video and audio. Learn how to measure sound using decibels, test the musical memory of your brain’s hippocampus, experiment with different string materials and tension and even take an inside look at amplifier technology.


Visitors of all ages can also star in their own rock show as they jam out on our rock stage with variety of musical instruments generously provided by Howren Music & Sound.  If you don’t play an instrument, this is a great way to experiment with new sounds.


When you are ready for a set change, sit back and listen to the tale of Robert Johnson, an American singer-songwriter and musician who was so gifted, legend says he must have sold his soul in exchange for his remarkable talent. His mysterious death at the age of 27 added to the legend: on the night of August 13, 1938 something happened to Johnson in Greenwood, MS and he died three days later. Some say he was poisoned while others say the devil collected on his debt. Decide for yourself as your listen to the legend of Robert Johnson as told by a mysterious character in the dramatic interpretative retelling of Robert Johnson at the Crossroads. Performances take place Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Pick up a Visitor Guide for specific performance times.


Ready for an encore? Keep the music alive as you explore outside the exhibition with special exhibits and activities throughout the Museum floor. Guests can build their own guitar in Think It Up. You could even stumble upon a Random Act of Science that dives into the science of sound waves to discuss why length, tension and gauge are so important in music. Then make your own music with some favorite Museum exhibits. Step into Optimusic where your body movements are transformed into music and you can activate samples of guitar riffs from famous guitarists. The Reactable is a cutting edge electronic musical instrument where special objects are placed on a translucent surface to trigger sound clips and audio modulation. The sound produced by the objects is represented visually on the surface, providing feedback and guidance for the creation of new music.


Guests can also become the ultimate groupie during Six String Saturdays as local artists perform on the Tryon Street patio every Saturday at 2:00 p.m. From international inspirations of mariachi and sitar to acoustic favorites and folk music, there is a genre everyone will enjoy. For a list of specific performances, visit discoveryplace.org.


Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked The World runs Saturday, May 30 through September 7, 2015 and is free with Museum admission. Discovery Place admission is $15 for adults (14-59); $12 for children (2-13) or seniors (60+); and free for Discovery Place Members and children younger than 2, plus tax. IMAX® tickets may be added for an additional $5 per person. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Children age 13 and younger must be accompanied by a responsible adult while in Discovery Place.  Guests can purchase tickets online atdiscoveryplace.org., via phone at 704.372.6261 x300 or in person at Discovery Place.


Guitar is a touring exhibition from the National GUITAR Museum created to promote and preserve the legacy of the guitar. Special thanks to Howren Music & Sound for their instrument donations and our media partners, The Charlotte Observer and 90.7 WFAE.


About Discovery Place

One of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, Discovery Place provides ever-changing, entertaining facilities that engage people in the active exploration of science and nature. The Museum brings relevant, contemporary science to life through groundbreaking exhibitions, interactive educational programming and hands-on activities.


Discovery Place is located in uptown Charlotte at 301 N. Tryon Street. Convenient parking is available in the Museum’s parking deck – the Carol Grotnes Belk Complex – at the corner of Sixth and Church Streets. For more information about Discovery Place, call 704.372.6261, visit discoveryplace.org or connect with Discovery Place on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.


Discovery Place, Inc. owns and operates Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum, Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville and Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham and is supported, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council.


About The National GUITAR Museum

The National GUITAR Museum, LLC is the first museum in the United States dedicated to the history, evolution, and cultural impact of the guitar. Its Touring Exhibition, “GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World” will travel to roughly 15 cities in five years before becoming the basis of The National Guitar Museum in its permanent home. The Museum will utilize advanced technology to create an environment that is engaging, entertaining, and educational for visitors of all ages.


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