Skipped the morning sessions at the conference today (topics weren’t up my sleeve) and walked instead to the grandiose-sounding State Museum of Music and Culture. Unfortunately, other than the colossal building, there was nothing grand about it.
Upon entering the large receiving area, I was asked to leave my bag at the bag room (it wasn’t just a counter, it looked like a cloak room at an opera house). A middle-aged lady who was called by the guard to receive my bag seemed befuddled. She took my bag, hanged it, and looked at the guard who motioned me to head to the 2nd floor. I have gotten used by now to the easy security in Baku.
The LP does say Baku is safe. I cross the large empty hall and up the stairs where I am met by a young lady who looks like Helena Bonham Carter in Edward Scissorhands. She beckons me to a hall at the side saying, “Music.” She tells me to pay 1 manat as entrance fee. I explain to her that I need to go down to get some money as my bag was downstairs. She doesn’t seem to understand and looks sad. She must think I don’t wanna pay. I head back down and motion to the guard that I will be getting something from my bag which is hanging by its lonesome self. My tourist sense tells me to get my passport as well.
I return to the hall where glass cabinets display a myriad of traditional Azeri music instruments. She tries her best to explain the instruments to me with her limited English.
This small hall is used for mini-concerts such as this one I’m pretending to play at 🙂
Music instruments from other countries such as Turkey and China are on display here.
Other rooms are dedicated to notable Azeri composers and musicians.
There are no English labels and there are no explanations for the displays. However, if you’re interested in Azeri instruments, it’s an opportunity to see them up close and even photograph them , albeit behind glass cases. i sure wish the relevant government agencies pay more attention to the museum. I didn’t head up to the floors above to see the art galleries so I can’t say anything about it.