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New Durham exhibit features the science and history of the guitar
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New Durham exhibit features the science and history of the guitar

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No matter the genre of music, the guitar typically plays a central role.

And for that reason, it’s the central focus of the latest exhibition at The Durham Museum.

“GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World” will be on display through April 25 in The Durham Museum’s art deco Union Station at 801 S. 10th St. in Omaha.

“GUITAR” allows visitors of all ages to explore the art, science, sound, history and pop culture behind the world’s most popular instrument.

The exhibition features a collection of more than 70 instruments – ranging from the rare and antique to the wildly popular and innovative – along with performance video, models and more.

Visitors can enjoy the instrument not only from the perspective of its history, evolution, and design but through the music it has created and the technology that continues to enhance it.

“GUITAR” is packed with STEAM-based elements. It introduces visitors to concepts including electromagnetism, sound waves, frequency, decibel levels, mathematical scales, engineering design and more.

Nearly 100 historical artifacts that are part of the touring exhibition produced by The National GUITAR Museum are designed to immerse visitors in the heart of music. Visitors to the “GUITAR” exhibition also will have the chance to play the world’s largest guitar as featured in the Guinness Book of Records which spans over 40 feet long.

The National GUITAR Museum was founded to promote and preserve the legacy of the guitar and is the world’s first museum dedicated to the history, science, evolution, and cultural impact of the guitar.

The NGM launched the “GUITAR” exhibit in 2011. It is booked at sites across the country for the next several years.

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At the completion of the tour, one U.S. city will be chosen to become the permanent home of The National GUITAR Museum.

Each person visiting The Durham Museum must secure a ticket (for a specific date and arrival time) in advance at or by calling 402-444-5071. “GUITAR” is included with museum admission of $11 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $7 for children 3-12. Admission is free for members and children age 2 and under.

Guests are required to wear masks and social distance while visiting the museum.

In conjunction with the “GUITAR” exhibition, The Durham has partnered with the Omaha Conservatory of Music to showcase how instruments can be made from all kinds of things.

In the interactive display, “Instrumental: Making Music with the Omaha Conservatory of Music,” guests can learn how to make their own instruments with things they have at home. This exhibit aims to provide inspiration for trying something new and history of the global story many centuries-long of people making music.

Guests can experience in-house creations like an 8-foot rain stick or play in the Cajon drum circle.

A virtual presentation, “Five Hundred Years of the Guitar,” is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Kenneth Bé will present the history and development of the guitar from the 14th to the 19th centuries. For many years, Bé has been performing music from past centuries on replicas of early stringed instruments from the Medieval through the Baroque periods.

This virtual presentation will take place alongside museum educators with a special look at “GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World.”

There is no cost to attend this virtual presentation, but registration is required. Visit to register, or call 402-444-5027.


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