Wild Music | Science Museum of Minnesota

Wild Music

Whales compose, bullfrogs chorus, songbirds greet the dawn, and people everywhere sing and dance. What do we all have in common? Long before the advent of iTunes, the musical instinct ran deep. Wild Music: Sounds & Songs of Life explores evidence for the biological origins of music through highly interactive exhibits and exceptional sound experiences, and—in the process—expands our understandings of what makes music. With its multicultural content, careful attention to accessibility, and rich menu of public programs and performances, Wild Music offers broad appeal for diverse, intergenerational audiences.

Wild Music invites viewers to explore sound in three unique environments: The Edge of the Forest, The Ocean Deeps and the City Center and to enhance their knowledge of natural and synthetic sounds in the three acoustic labs. There is also an interactive Jamming Room sound studio that entices visitors to create their own musical composition while singing into the mic, playing drums, mixing the backing tracks, and experimenting with a wide array of instruments. The exhibit also features the surround sound Power of Music Theater to sit, relax and hear, see and "feel" the music of nature and humans.

Wild Music is presented in English, Spanish and Braille.

The 4,500-square-foot exhibition is a production of the Science Museum of Minnesota, the Association of Science-Technology Centers, and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro School of Music, with major support from the National Science Foundation. Additional support was provided by Harman International, Inc. and the NEC Foundation of America.


  • Requires a minimum of 5,000 square feet
  • Highly accessible, designed for all age groups, and features text in English, Spanish and Braille
  • Engaging and Interactive content exploring science, nature and music
  • Accompanying websites: one for visitors and one for museum staff
  • Educational materials for classroom and gallery activities
  • An exhibitor friendly, turnkey operation
  • Excellent, efficient technical support
  • Flexible terms


  • US $95,000 per 3-month booking; double and near term bookings may qualify for a discount
  • Deposit required upon booking
  • Host institution pays inbound shipping for 3 trailers

Lease Terms

  • Technical manager provided at installation and take-down
  • Requires 8 working days installation and 8 working days take-down
  • Host institution provides 5 qualified technicians on site for installation and take-down
  • Certificate of insurance

Traveling Exhibition Venue Schedule

LocationOpen DateClose DateStatus
Worcester, MAMay 2015Sept. 2015Completed
Hartford, CTSept. 2015Jan. 2016Completed
Atlanta, GAFeb. 206July 2016Completed
Des Moines, IAAug. 2016May 2017In progress
Albuquerque, NMMay 2017Jan. 2018Booked
Amarillo, TXFeb. 2018April 2018Booked
UnavailableMay 2018Jan. 2019Unavailable
Ashland, ORFeb. 2019IndefiniteFinal placement
Explore Wild Music


Wild Music Title Panel and Edge of the Forest Environment
Wild Music Title Panel and Edge of the Forest Environment
Wild Music was built using ecologically responsible materials wherever cost, fabrication methods, and durability made it feasible.


The Edge of the Forest Environment
The Edge of the Forest Environment
The Edge of the Forest, one of the three soundscape environments within Wild Music. Here, visitors can hunt for the sounds of forest creatures and explore exhibits about music inspired by nature.


The Jamming Room (exterior)
The Jamming Room (exterior)
Visitors enter a soundproof practice room to play and compose songs using pre-recorded audio soundscapes.


The Jamming Room (interior)
The Jamming Room (interior)


The Town Environment
The Town Environment
The Town, one of three soundscape environments within Wild Music. Here, human sounds reveal their deep biological origins.


The Ocean Deeps Environment
The Ocean Deeps Environment
Ocean Deeps, one of the three soundscape environments within Wild Music.


Underwater Microphone
Underwater Microphone
Visitors can raise and lower a hydrophone into a large tank filled with water and listen through headphones as they activate mechanisms such as a bubbler.


Parabolic Microphone
Parabolic Microphone
Visitors use a microphone with a parabolic reflector to pick out sound recordings of a variety of birds, squirrels, toads, and even a forest stream.
More Information
Rent this exhibit

Contact Bill Maloney at [email protected] or (651) 221-4737 for more information.