SoundBox is a high-tech exploration of music and sound, blending individual creativity and expression with physics and sonic phenomena – all in the heart of Music City, USA. The 2,500 square foot exhibition builds upon Nashville’s industry expertise and artistic passion to showcase music, technology, and careers, while inviting visitors into personal musical expression through creative open-ended interactives.
More than a typical “science of sound” exhibit, SoundBox delves into how physical science intersects with the enigmatic quality of music that makes it both so personal and so universal. Through extensive community input sessions and engagement with consulting musicians, engineers, neurologists, makers, arts administrators, business professionals, and target audience evaluators, the experience successfully presents the emotional and expressive impacts of music in harmony with science and technology. Visitors create original music, feel vibration and energy, explore the mood-transforming power of a melody, and experiment with authentic music technology. A science exhibit about music? A musical exhibit on science? Yes.
The open-ended exhibit interactives offer rich experiences for the everyday museum audience but also include intentional extensions for programs or visiting artists. A local musician plugs her guitar into the wall of effects pedals to demonstrate an original sound. A visiting composer creates a new original piece on the huge glowing Music Matrix exhibit. A class in the adjacent makerspace builds musical contraptions based upon the schematic diagrams on display in the gallery. This deliberate feature of the exhibit design fosters a multidisciplinary experience across the entire science center and out into the community.