Grammy Museum celebrates the best

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The Grammy Museum in downtown Los Angeles pays tribute to the people who make the music and the people who record it so we can all enjoy it.

Grammy-trophy

The very first Grammy, used 1958 to 1962.

If you love music, any kind really, you’ve got to put the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles on your must-see list. And then plan on spending a few hours here to watch the videos and try out the equipment and see the movie. There’s a lot to take in for a small museum.

On four floors, the museum holds a lot of recorded history. Whether you like your music classical, jazz, blues, rock-n-roll or rap, there’s a tribute to the musicians who bring it to life.

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Wynton Marsalis has his own display.

I swooned over a special section set aside for Ella Fitzgerald, listening to her velvet voice and looking at her gowns and memorabilia. I found my feet stuck to the floor in front of a Michael Jackson video. And even though I’d never heard of a punk rock band called X, I had to watch the video filled with their songs and interviews in the Clive Davis Theatre.

Grammy-dulcimer-hammers

Since I play the hammered dulcimer I was thrilled to see an old set of hammers in a case devoted to folk music.

I was able to watch Queen Bee get one of her many Grammys and then let my eye rest on the very first Grammy trophy.

There are sections for the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Latin Grammys, musical traditions, Grammy moments and the history of music recording.

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Even Taylor Swift rewrites. These are her lyrics to “22.”

Everywhere music is playing, videos are running and there is so much to see.
This is a place of sights and sounds and plenty of opportunities for music lovers to try out  the technology. I loved the opportunity to get my hands on various instruments and recording technology.

I went into one of eight little pods where with the help of a video tutorial learned how tracks are laid down to create the various layers of a song.

Grammy-sampler

I don’t know what you call this but I call it the sampling machine. Lots of fun to play with.

In the Roland electronic music studio, I could pick up drum sticks and beat out a tune, tickle the ivories on a piano or try a half dozen other instruments. Which did I choose? A sampling machine where I added a couple of riffs, some song samples and who knows what else to see how the DJs do it.

I never get over the fascination of making music. Sure there were lots of celebrity photos and knick-knacks. But not everyone was famous who was honored here. But they were all brilliant, talented and masters of music. Being here, surrounded by the sounds of wonderful music, was a joy that fed my soul.

Ⓒ Photos and text by Mary K. Tilghman