Museum Vleeshuis | Sound of the City brings 800 years of Antwerp music culture to life, in the monumental Vleeshuis (1504, literally Meat Hall) located in the neighborhood where that music originated. As the focus of the museum is on Antwerp, a significant part of the collection of musical instruments and other music-related objects – including all the objects mentioned in this text – come from this city and the rest of the Low Countries.
With twelve seventeenth- and eighteenth-century harpsichords and virginals (including several made by the Ruckers-Couchet family), it is the second largest collection of these instruments in the world. The Dulcken harpsichord (1747) is still played regularly. An important piece is the only known historical double bass recorder (ca. 1535), from the Antwerp Hanseatic House. Other crucial objects in the collection are related to carillon culture such as a unique scale model of a carillon drum (1707), several eighteenth-century carillon bells and a carillon keyboard. A selection of seventeenth-century musical instruments is permanently on display in the Music Room of the Snijders&Rockoxhuis, also in Antwerp.
Dr. Timothy De Paepe, Director (November 2021)