Exhibit One: Time Tunnel
Have you ever felt the vibration of a drum when someone strikes it? Did you ever have the chance to play a gong? Investigate the instruments from our archives and test your musical ability by playing and learning the three basic sound properties of percussion: wood, metal and skin. Take the time to feel the vibrations of sound by striking the eight-foot gong drum. Discover the warmth and sound of metal by playing the gong. Hear the different pitches and timbres created on a log drum. Watch video footage of how these three sound concepts shaped various cultures and music.
Learn about the science of sound and the evolution of percussion instruments as you tour through an expanded presentation of the three basic sound properties of percussion. See what a sound-wave looks like when you hit a drum on the Rhythm! Drum Wall. Hear how different mallets and hand positions create a variety of sounds on wood, skin andmetal instruments in ten different interactive portals. Archival displays and rare video footage introduce a visual interpretation on the building of various percussion instruments in other societies.
Exhibit Three: DRUMset: Driving the Beat of American Music
This first-of-its kind exhibit explores the evolution of the drumset from its beginnings at the end of the 19th Century to the present-day kits of today’s music. Filled with historically significant kits from major drummers in music history and mini-exhibits detailing the creation of various instruments and accessories within the drumset, the exhibit is truly an experience. Kits on display include those played by Neil Peart (Rush), John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Glenn Kotche (Wilco, WNYC’s Radiolab), Ndugu Chancler (Michael Jackson, Kenny Rogers, Herbie Hancock) and Michael Shrieve (Santana). DRUMset places electronic kits throughout the exhibit to allow each guest an opportunity to feel like a drummer in the various styles of popular music.
Pavilion: Drums From the Circle City
As a homage to Indianapolis’ rich history, Rhythm! Discovery Center is featuring an exhibit exploring the importance of percussion and manufacturing in Indianapolis at the turn of the 20th Century. Drums From the Circle City: The Leedy Drum Company from 1895-1930 is an interactive exhibit that discusses the beginnings of the Leedy Drum Company from a small apartment, to the Cyclorama building on the Circle, and finally moving to an 80,000 square foot manufacturing facility in the Fountain Square area – becoming the “World’s Largest Drum Company.” The importance of the Leedy Drum Company extends beyond its Indianapolis roots. Ulysses G. Leedy, the founder of the company, created many innovations that still drive the percussion industry today, including the white pearl drum finish, the snare strainer and the invention of the Vibraphone.
Collection Wall Temporary Display: Musser Innovations
Stop by the Collection Wall to view some of our exciting pieces from the instrument collection, including the Musser Maestro Marimba Metron and Musser’s personal vibraphone.
A true playground for adults and kids, the Interactive Area allows everyone to live the life of a drummer. Become a master musician from India and play the tabla; beamazed at the sounds created on the ocean drum; mimic human speech through the African talking drum; or try hundreds of other percussion instruments available for all ages. Through Virtual Environment Technology, become a concert virtuoso in the two Wenger sound booths and hear what it sounds like to play a drumset, steel drum, crash cymbals or xylophone in various performing venues such as a cathedral, stadium or small concert hall.