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The Carnegie Science Center on the North Shore is truly a world-class museum in Pittsburgh. This one features an array of science-based exhibits ranging from robotics to water, the human body to sports science, and so much more.
In a recent expansion, the Carnegie Science Center added an extra venue to allow for touring shows to come for limited-time runs in the city and we love visiting these to put our Carnegie Museums membership to good use.
In the summer of 2022, The Science Center welcomes a new exhibit entitled GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World– a touring exhibit with many historical guitars and exhibits showcasing the science of music.
Whether you are a budding guitar player like me, or simply interested in music at large this one is a must-see.
GUITAR at the Carnegie Science Center
The exhibit for GUITAR has three core elements worth checking out.
The first is an array of historic guitars, ranging from classics played by rock musicians to more unusual stringed instruments like the lute, sitar, and even an air guitar display complete with a representative air guitar.
The second features brief profiles of the musicians that played the instruments arranged tactfully to highlight the instrument as much as the musician.
The final element features science-based exhibits highlighting how sound works in stringed instruments. While the first two elements are rather straightforward, the third was quite fitting for the Science Center’s branding.
Here you’ll find exhibits like one where you spin a drum with colored strips that created a strobe pattern such that when you pluck a string in front of it, you can see the waves on the cord moving. Other exhibits showcase how waves work in general by air being forced through a tube and making tiny pebbles bounce.
Going beyond visualizing sound, GUITAR also features several displays of deconstructed instruments where you can see the inside mechanics of the guitar and learn how all the parts work as well.
Perhaps the highlight beyond all of this is the world’s largest guitar taking center stage within the venue. This 40+ foot-long guitar weighs over 2000 pounds and is even playable! It’s been certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest guitar in the world and is one of those things that you really have to see to believe because it is monstrous.
A Visit to the Guitar Exhibit Can Be Short
Before ending this one, it is worth mentioning that this exhibit is not particularly large- I was only there for 30 minutes and that involved reading almost every sign as well.
But one of the nice things about this modestly-sized show is that it is included on a regular ticket to the Carnegie Science Center and not sold separately. So you can go explore the rest of the museum along with this exhibit on the same visit.
Being members of the Carnegie Science Center made for a nice lunchtime visit for me to check out this fascinating exhibit for one of my favorite instruments. But if you are not a member, you’ll do well to plan to enjoy the rest of the museum, the USS Requin, and more to get your full money’s worth for the ticket.
Overall, you don’t have to be a guitar fan to find this touring show interesting. It really does a fantastic job highlighting the science of music in addition to the historical element of all things guitars. If you are able to visit during its summer 2022 tour, we highly recommend it!
GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked The World is a touring show at the Carnegie Science Center at 1 Allegheny Avenue and runs through October 20th, 2022.