Singapore Musical Box Museum

Weather :

Timings : 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Closed on Tuesday
Hourly tours start from 10:00 AM, with the last tour entry at 5:00 PM

Time Required : Less than 1 hour

Entry Fee : Adults: SGD 12
Students or Full-time National Servicemen (with valid proof): SGD 6
Seniors (60 years and above with valid ID): SGD 6
Children (6 years old and below and accompanied by an adult): Free

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Singapore Musical Box Museum, Singapore Overview

Positioned adjacent to Thian Hock Keng Temple, Singapore Musical Box Museum is the first musical box museum to have ever been opened in Singapore. The museum attracts visitors that come here to gain knowledge regarding the rise of musical boxes in Singapore during the 19th century.

The highlighting feature of the Singapore Musical Box Museum is the historical account of the rise and collapse of musical boxes in Europe. Visitors to the museum can see well preserved antique musical boxes, totalling to more than 40 that also offers great scope for academic research and studies. The display here comprises of basically two types of musical boxes, namely- cylinder type and disc type.  During the tours inside the house, photos and videos can be taken by visitors. 

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Singapore Musical Box Museum Tour

There is a compulsory tour of the museum due to the nature and sensitivity of the exhibits and artefacts. The tour is inclusive of the admission ticket. It takes about 40 minutes to an hour to tour the entire museum, and this tour will be led by a trained guide or curator of the museum. Hourly tours start at 10:00 AM and the last tour entry at sharp 5:00 PM. The visitors interested to tour the museum are encouraged the contact the museum authorities and book a time slot for themselves, to avoid waiting time.

Exploring the Musical Box Museum

The layout
Housed inside the Chong Wen Ge building, the museum was founded by Mr. Naoto Orui and showcases antique musical boxes that are over 100 years old. The pagoda-style façade of the building is very eye-catching. The temple built next to the Chong Wen Ge building also houses Singapore’s earliest girls’ school by the name of Chong Hock Girls’ School.

Apart from the exclusive collection of its founder that are seen displayed here, visitors can also see antique exhibits that have especially been brought from the U.K; and the famous Graham Webb collection brought from Brighton. There is also a sizable collection of reference materials for the repair of antique musical boxes.

Highlights of the Museum

The clock with no hands: On display is a rather unique looking antique piece. Its the clock with no hands! Mr Naoto Orui owns this peculiar musical box that is one of the most amazing things to have ever been made. It was thought to be a clock, but, in reality, it is a musical box that was created between the periods from 1885 to 1888. Mr Orui discovered it during one of his stays at the Raffles Hotel.

Cylindrical type musical boxes: Inside the museum, visitors can see several cylindrical musical boxes that are truly unique than their modern age counterparts. The cylindrical style musical box comes with a cylinder equipped with a comb, raised pins, and a flat metal piece. One very complex musical box of cylindrical style is the Overture Box. This musical box has 183 teeth and can play far complex musical pieces.

Disc type musical boxes: There is also a display of disc-style musical boxes inside the museum. These musical boxes were cheaper to make and were also much less complex.

Atlantic Musical Box: One of the biggest draws of Singapore Musical Box Museum is the Atlantic Musical Box that is equipped with more than one cylinder. The musical box has other additional features like drums and a triangle along with a rare coin system. It’s a piece everyone wants to see as it was destined to be on the Titanic. But, as luck would have it, it couldn’t make it onboard.

Local musical boxes: Apart from these foreign pieces, visitors can also get to see the displays of musical boxes made by local craftsmen of Singapore.

Museum Store

The Musical Box Museum of Singapore has a museum store which sells large varieties of musical boxes. This store has replicas of the original musical boxes displayed in the museum. The store is stacked on adorable musical teddy bears, gracefully dancing Ballerinas, musical photo frames, jewellery boxes that play melodious tunes and also vintage musical boxes. Some of the major brands that the store has are Reuge, from Switzerland and Orpheus/Sankyo from Japan.

How to Reach Singapore Musical Box Museum

Bus: The Musical Box Museum is easily accessible from buses 970 and 186 that stop at a distance of 3 minutes.

MRT: The nearest MRT here is the Telok Ayer MRT (DT18). Alight at Exit A in this station and walk for a distance of 2 minutes to reach the museum.

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