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Music on Display

Studies on the Presentation and Reception of Musical Topics in Museums

Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation)



Based on the suggestions of various authors1, both semiotic and narratological approaches are applied to museum analyses. They were tested (and partially modified) in preparation for the project.

Exhibition concepts are documented by semi-structured interviews in which curators and curator-teams as well as scenographers, restorers, and museum educators can freely explain and reflect on their ideas and strategies.

Ethnographic methods are applied to study audience reception. Visitors’ behaviors and assessments are documented in field notes and discussed in short interviews. British scholar Sharon MacDonald’s studies at the London Science Museum serve as a model here. 2

1 Michael Parmentier (2001): Der Bildungswert der Dinge oder: Die Chancen des Museums.
In: Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft 1/2001. 39–50.
2 Sharon Macdonald (2002): Behind the Scenes at the Science Museum. Oxford, New York: Berg.