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Glasgow Museums has a collection of approximately 400 musical instruments from Europe and America. These date broadly from 1600 to 2000.
This collection comprises most types of European musical instrument in use between about 1650 and 1900. It includes several keyboard instruments and a few rare items such as a Rippert flute from about 1690. The majority of the continental European instruments are French, German or Italian. British items form by far the largest group, with some 80 instruments specifically identified as English and around 45 as Scottish. Among these are a good collection of Scottish Highland and regimental instruments, such as bagpipes and drums, and a small but wide-ranging group of instruments that belonged to popular local entertainers, from John Hall to Billy Connolly. The Watt organ is of great historical importance and the 1887 orchestrion a popular attraction, while the great Edwardian organ in Kelvingrove’s central hall is one of the finest of its date.