Musee de la Musique

Musee de la Musique is a museum of European music (within La Villette park), with exhibitions representing periods from Renaissance to modern day.

The museum of music in Paris has been divided into 9 separate sections, showcasing the European musical history in a chronological order.

Open to visitors since 1997, today, the museum has a total exhibition space of about 3,000 m2 (32,290 sq.ft), on 5 floors.

Musee de la Musique Paris France

PHOTO: The museum building, “Cité de la Musique”, a design by Frank Hammoutène.

VIDEO: An example of the musical instruments on the museum’s collections, (a snake-shaped) cornett, especially popular in European music from 1500-1650.

Very modern in terms of of its exterior structure, the museum is also extremely up-to-date in terms of facilities, especially since the renovations done in 2009…

…which brought a lot of multimedia exhibitions to the museum.

For example, you can now learn about the history of music at the museum through 40 entertaining short films.

Each of the nine sections of the museum have been build to exhibit history of music with the help of…

  • music typical to a time period,
  • musical instruments typical for that period, and
  • with representations of how and where music was performed during that period in European history.

Each section has its own “signature” music, representing that historical period:

  • Claudio Monteverdi – “Orfeo”
  • Jean-Philippe Rameau – “Dardanus”
  • Mozart – “Paris – Symphony no. 31 D major”
  • Berlioz – “Symphonie Fantastique”
  • Meyerbeer “Robert le Diable”
  • Wagner – “Parsifal”
  • Saint-Saën – “Symphony nro. 3”
  • Igor Stravinsky – “The Rite of Spring”
  • Mauricio Kagel – “Ex-position”

Part of the Musee de la Musique main collection is a section entirely dedicated to the history of European musical instruments…

…and the manufacturing of these instruments.

That sub-collection has more than 900 musical instruments, from the Renaissance period up to today.

Pearls in the musical instrument collection include…

  • Spanish virtuoso Sarasate’s personal Stradivarius,
  • Guarneri made by Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri, and
  • Princess of Lamballe’s personal harp.

Also, from a more recent history, the musical instruments on display include Frank Zappa’s synthesizer.

In addition to the exhibitions, there is also a 230-seat amphitheater, where the museum organizes…

  • Baroque music concerts (performed by students of the Paris conservatory)
  • movie premieres,
  • performances, and
  • conferences.

The music history museum is located on the Cité de la Musique buildings at the park of La Villette.

Musee de la Musique

Address: 221, avenue Jean-Jaurès, 75019 Paris
Official website:

On a day’s tour of sightseeing, you can include several tourist attractions nearby, including

  • Géode (, containing an IMAX movie theater,
  • Grand Halle (one of the most impressive steel structures from the 19th century), and
  • Zènith-theater (

To plan your visit to the Cité de la Musique, on of the best sources of information is the official website, at, available in French and English.