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Turn it Up: The Power of Music at the Science Museum REVIEW

The Science Museum's latest family show opened in London (down from Manchester) just in time for half term. Its aim is to unravel the 'secrets of science and sound' and it goes about it in an enjoyably immersive way.


The first section has you thinking about music and musical instruments. There is a display of music-making machines from over the decades and a section of gloriously random instruments, an organ played with fire, a violin made from ice. You can listen to the songs that mean the most to current pop stars from Elton John (Doris Day) to Anne Marie (Christina Aguilera).


There is lots to do - lift the chunky flaps to hear different types of instrument play, jump around in a music machine, adjusting harmony, melody and rhythm, throw some shapes and see yourself move using motion-capture tech -- but lurking behind the slightly board-book, play centre presentation, there is a thoughtful and thought-provoking exhibition that will interest older kids. There are lots of personal stories of how music has helped individuals in different ways and the second half of the exhibition focusses on the science of how music influences us.

Can you match the taste to the sound? Sweet, sour, salty or bitter? We got them all right! What music would you be prepared to listen to for longest while on hold on a phone? Try it out. We loved the locker room display at the end. Open the lockers to see what Andy Murray, Hannah Cockcroft and Harry Kane listen to before a big match/race/game.


Turn it Up: The Power of Music at the Science Museum until 6 May 2024. Tickets: £9 adults, £8 children, U5s free.


Emily Turner, 28 October 2023




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