The Music Museum owns a collection of more than a thousand instruments from the 16th to the 20th century, mostly European, but also African and Asian, of both classical and popular traditions.
The greater part of this pile comes from the former collections of Michel’angelo Lambertini, Alfredo Keil and Carvalho Monteiro. Among them there are rare instruments of incalculable historical and organological importance, and it is particularly notable the quantity and quality of the instruments made in Portugal, items rarely found in other comparable museums.
The collection includes a number of unique items, such as the cors anglais made by Grenser, by Grundman & Floth (Leipzig, late 18th century) and by Ernesto Frederico Haupt (Lisbon, mid 19th century); extremely rare is the oboe produced by Eichentopf (Leipzig, second quarter of the 18th century); and of enormous organological importance is the harpsichord built by Pascal Taskin.
Among the instruments produced in Portugal, particularly noteworthy are the harpsichord built by Joaquim José Antunes (Lisbon, 1758), the 18th-century harpsichords from Lisbon and Oporto workshops, the violins and ’cellos made by José Galrão (active in Lisbon between 1760 and 1794), the transverse flutes of the Haupt ‘dynasty’ (middle of the 18th century to the end of the 19th), the cornets and trombones produced by Rafael Rebelo (Lisbon, 1875), the organ constructed by Joaquim Fontanes (late 18th century) and the guitars made by Domingos José Araújo (Braga, 1812).
A number of items are important as mementoes of their owners, significant personalities in Portuguese and European public and cultural life. This is the case with the piano (Boisselot & Fils) which Franz Liszt brought from France in 1845, the horn made by Marcel-Auguste Raoux for Joaquim Pedro Quintela, 1st Count of Farrobo, the Antonio Stradivari ’cello, which belonged to and was played by King Luís, and the Henry Lockey Hill ’cello, which belonged to the ’cellist Guilhermina Suggia.
Others are rather curious, such as the pocket fiddles (‘kits’, as they were known), used by dancing teachers, the crystal and silver flute, the stick flutes, the melophone which belonged to Jean Louis Olivier Cossoul and the trumpets marine.