Indian Music Experience: Hitting The Right ‘Notes’

Are you an avid music lover? If you and your child love anything to do with music, we have just the place for you to explore on a weekend. Presenting Indian Music Experience, Bangalore. Take a look!

By Monali Bordoloi

Indian Music Experience: Hitting The Right ‘Notes’
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” ― Plato

The Indian Music Experience, Bangalore (IME) is not your typical museum! Sprawled across 50,000 square feet, it is a haven for music lovers. If you love music, traditional or contemporary, this museum is sure to impress you and your child with its colourful, interactive multi-sensory exhibits! You and your family are bound to have a wonderful experience exploring the different genres of music exhibited. Read on to on about the museum and check out the timing, review, entry fee and tickets of the museum before you plan your next trip here. 

After a soft launch in 2018, the museum has entered the scene in a big way, with a grand opening on 27 July 2019. Several eminent musicians performed at the launch. The star attractions were beautiful performances rendered by Ustad Zakir Husain and Louiz Banks, and award-winning guitarist and composer, Sanjay Divecha.

Nestled in the busy neighbourhood of Puttanahally in JP Nagar and surrounded by greenery all around,  IME is more than just another museum — it’s an archive of the history of Indian music. It is a museum, a gallery and a music school too. For these reasons IME is quickly becoming a favourite performance venue for many artists to showcase their musical talent.

Further, IME is the first high-tech interactive music museum in the whole of India. The unique design and architecture of the museum were influenced by another music museum, the Experience Music Project, Seattle, US. Developed by a real estate group, Brigade Developers, IME aims to impart a love for music through digital content among young and old alike.

IME and the prestigious Grammy Connect!

Adding another feather to its fledgling musical journey, recently, the IME has become the official institutional affiliate to the Grammy Museum along with prestigious music museums like Berklee College of Music, Yale University, Sapienza University, BB King Museum and Delta Interpretive Centre.

With this, the IME will now have access to educational initiatives, research programmes and internship opportunities and much more. The IME will also have access to Grammy Museum exhibitions, collaborative marketing and promotions and get technical support for interactive displays inside the museum.

Bob Santelli, the executive director of the Grammy Museum, was recently in Bangalore to attend the launch. While he was here, he announced that as the first collaboration with IME, the museum would hold Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar’s Centennials celebration. As part of that initiative, the late maestro’s sitar would also be displayed in IME from next year.

Indian Music Experience: Hitting The Right ‘Notes’
A young visitor checking out the music inside IME

What to expect inside the IME?

The IME believes in the principle of ‘see, hear, touch and discover’ so expect to experience music first-hand. It has nine galleries for various types of musical installations and a sound garden which houses 10 unique musical sculptures. IME is disabled-friendly too. Considering the hardships faced by those with limited mobility, it has provisions for lifts and ramp for easy access. It also has texts and signages in different languages.

The nine thematic galleries showcase various facets of Indian music, an instruments gallery with over 100 musical instruments, three mini theatres and several computer-based interactive installations that allow the visitor to experience the process of music-making. The Sound Garden at the entrance features musical sculptures that introduce visitors to the principles of sound.

Meghna S, mother of two school-going children, who lives in the vicinity of the museum says:

“I took my 5-year-old to the Indian Music museum when it was hosting a storytelling event from Kathalaya. The ambiance of the place is very friendly and creatively planned. My kids and I especially loved the huge xylophone and the create-your-own-music using water installations! The storytelling session itself was very engaging, My kids and I thoroughly enjoined the experience. I feel urban kids need such kind of spaces to unwind and connect with music better.”
Indian Music Experience: Hitting The Right ‘Notes’
Kavaad boxes on display are perfect for story telling

Key attractions of the museum

Sound Garden

Your child will have a field day here as everything you touch produces music in this unique outdoor garden of sounds. The innovatively-designed exhibits and displays would please all your senses. The musical sculptures planted in the garden would introduce you to the basic principles of sound. Try your musical skills with these musical installations like wind chimes, tubular bells, flower gongs and singing stones!

Introductory Theatre

If you are accompanied by your child, they will be impressed at the first stop inside the museum itself. Your musical journey at IME would begin with a short show on the prevalence of music in our everyday lives. The immersive theatre will delight you.

Indian Music Experience: Hitting The Right ‘Notes’
The recording studio is a huge draw among teenagers

The Nine Galleries

The galleries house several computer-based interactive installations which would allow you to get an up and close view and feel of music-making. The nine galleries are:

1. Contemporary expressions gallery: Houses two embellished autos and singer Daler Mahendi’s stage costumes apart from other things.

2. Living traditions gallery: Lets you get aquatinted with Carnatic and Hindustani music through several interactive touchscreen displays. Also get a basic knowledge of sruti, raga, tala, gharaa, dhrupad, khayal, kutcheri in this section.

3. Devotional music gallery: Dedicated entirely to devotional music in India.

4. Songs of the people gallery: This gallery showcases the rich heritage of tribal communities and folk songs. It also exhibits the storytelling traditions of Rajasthan with a display of a kaavad box, where several doors in the nicely painted wooden box opens up to introduce to different characters during storytelling.

Indian Music Experience: Hitting The Right ‘Notes’
Bollywood has a lot of takers inside IME

5. The instruments gallery: This gallery is all about musical instruments. On display here are 108 musical instruments along with its origin and history. This part of the museum proudly present musical greats like Vidwan Manjunath’s ghatam and Dr M L Vaasanthakumari’s tambura. Apart from that, it has on display a Mayura veena (peacock-shaped) and metal horns, leather drums, and different types of stringed instruments collected from various parts of the country. It also has a good collection of mouth harps.

6. Songs of struggle gallery: Houses music from our freedom struggle days, songs from patriotic movies. Also, on display is a letter from Mahatma Gandhi to music legend MS Subbhalaksmi.

7. Melting pot gallery: Showcases the influence of western music on Indian music and how Indian music was equally influenced some Western music.

8. Recording gallery: Shows the history of music recording, from gramophone to mobile phones.

9. Hall of fame gallery: Presents 100 legends of Indian music. It also has memorabilia of such greats like Ustad Bismillah Khan, M S Subbulakshmi and the Bhimsen Joshi.

Indian Music Experience: Hitting The Right ‘Notes’
Various displays inside IME

The Recording Studio

The studio allows you to create your own music. You can choose a background track, record your singing and even select an album cover. That’s not all, you can keep it or share it!

The Learning Centre

Apart from the exhibits and installations, IME also houses a music school. It teaches various disciplines of music like Carnatic and Hindustani vocal and dance. It also conducts classes to learn musical instruments like Veena, Mridangam, Keyboard and Guitar. The centre also holds various music workshops which keep it abuzz throughout the week. Many renowned artists from all over the world visited IME to teach young learners. Every year, the learning centre holds an annual event where students showcase their talent before an audience.

Gift Shop

IME also houses a gift and souvenir shop on its premises, which has on display, interesting memorabilia and souvenirs, rare music albums and IME merchandise such as posters, postcards, T-shirts, key chains, etc.

Café in IME

If listening to all these music makes your tummy rumble, there is a small quaint little café for some coffee and a quick bite.

Why you should take your child to IME!

Indian Music Experience: Hitting The Right ‘Notes’
The south garden at the entrance of the IME
  • It introduce your child to the rich musical heritage of India first-hand. Once you enter IME, you will be welcomed by a variety of music categorised by different genres.
  • It is also a treasure trove for classical music and contemporary music with old photos, record albums and brief writings that describe the influence of individual musicians proudly displayed.
  • The interactive, multi-sensory exhibits would delight your child, and it also features a wedding band party.
  • There are two fully decked up autos on display inside the museum which belts out different types of music once you sit inside. Let your child fiddle with it.
  • There are several headphone pods all around the museum, kids will have a good time listening to a different type of music. Here is a teaching opportunity too, parents can point out the nuances in different genres of music. Good time to get your child acquainted with musical greats like Kishori Amonkar and Amir Khusru.
  • Bollywood Vibes: IME is a delight for those who are fans of Bollywood oldies as it has a dedicated section for Bollywood music.
  • IME has recreated the 60’s household to depict the importance of music in each era.
  • There is a wall which displays an array of old transistors and radios. It will surely take you back in time. You can point out different types of old and rare transistors to your child.
  • Visiting all the exhibits and musical instruments display inside, treat yourself and your child to the musical exhibits outside. Let him be a musician and create his own music.

Where is IME?

Address: Opposite Wood Rose Club, Brigade Millenium Road, JP Nagar 7th Phase, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560078
Entry Fee:
Applicable Adults and Children above 12 years: Rs 250.
Children (5-12 years.): Rs 150.
Children below 5 years: Free.
Senior Citizens (60+): Rs 150.
Group (more than 10): Rs 200.
School groups: Rs 100.
Foreign nationals: Rs 500.
Average Duration: 1-2 hours
Contact phone number: 080 4090 8054

Opening Days: Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Public holidays

Visiting Hours: 10:00 am - 06:00 pm          

Now, you know what to do this coming weekend. Head to IME and let us know what you think!

Also read: 5 Best Amusement Parks In Bangalore

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