Science Museum London: “Turn It Up: The Power of Music” Exhibition Review

The latest exhibition at the Science Museum in London, “Turn It Up: The Power of Music,” offers an immersive experience that explores the enigmatic influence of music on our lives. Whether you’re a family looking for an engaging holiday activity or an individual seeking to explore the depths of music’s impact, this exhibition is a must-visit.

Personally, I walked out of ‘Turn It Up’ so happy that I felt I was flying two metres off the ground.

Turn It Up exhibition science museum london collage

Exploring the Emotional Quirks of Music

Upon entering, one is immediately prompted to question their relationship with music. Why do we find solace in sad songs during moments of happiness? The exhibition elegantly navigates the complexities of our emotional responses to music. It introduces intriguing studies, like the measurement of pain thresholds before and after music exposure, and showcases how African communities use music for health benefits, especially amongst pregnant women.

A Playground of Sound

One of the exhibition’s highlights is the newly commissioned musical playground. Here, visitors can actively engage with beat, melody, and harmonies, providing an interactive experience that is bound to captivate families and individuals alike. This hands-on approach is not only educational but also tremendously enjoyable.

Human vs. Machine: The Musical Turing Test

A fascinating aspect of “Turn It Up” is the exploration of the distinctions between music composed by humans and machines. Visitors have the opportunity to participate in a musical Turing test, an activity that challenges your ability to discern between compositions. This activity showcases the evolving relationship between technology and music creation.

Musical Innovation: From Robots to Wearables

The exhibition introduces us to Haile, a musical robot capable of playing alongside human musicians, blurring the lines between artificial and human creativity. Additionally, the MiMU Gloves, conceived by Imogen Heap and utilised by artists like Ariana Grande, exemplify how technology has revolutionised live music performances. The MiMU Gloves fascinated me the most. Can I have a pair for Christmas?

MiMU Gloves science museum london turn it up exhibition collage

Weird and Wonderful Instruments

“Turn It Up” doesn’t just explore the technological aspects of music, but also the marvels of musical instruments. The Pyrophone, an organ powered by flames, is a testament to human ingenuity and creativity in the realm of music.

Diverse Perspectives and Accessibility

A commendable aspect of this exhibition is its inclusivity. Developed in consultation with various groups, including those representing sight loss, autism, and disabilities, “Turn It Up” ensures that everyone, regardless of ability, can engage with the musical experiences presented. This reinforces the notion that music is truly accessible to all.


A Journey Through Musical Discovery

“Turn It Up: The Power of Music” at the Science Museum is not just an exhibition; it’s an exploration of the profound impact music has on our lives. From hands-on activities to thought-provoking studies, it invites visitors to reflect on their own unique relationship with music. Whether you’re a family seeking a captivating outing or an individual passionate about music, this exhibition offers an unforgettable experience.

Exhibition Details:

  • Date: Until 6 May 2024
  • Price: £10 adults, £9 seniors, £8 child/concessions. Family discounts available. Ages 4 and under go free. Tickets from here.
  • Location: Special Exhibition Gallery 1, Level 1


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