Non-European Musical Instruments

The collection includes approximately 300 musical instruments from Asia, Africa, and America. Most of these pieces are different kinds of Japanese and Chinese instruments dating from the 18th through the 20th century. These pieces came to the museum in many different ways.
During the course of the 19th century, the Florentine baron Alessandro Kraus acquired an impressive collection of musical instruments, which had been assembled with great care. His aim was to compile a sort of world music history illustrated by numerous original examples. His ambitious goal was never reached, and after many detours, the magnificent Kraus collection came to Leipzig 75 years ago. Thanks to the Florentine baron, many especially valuable and interesting pieces are part of the museum's collection.
A number of objects, ranging from valuable individual musical instruments to entire collections, were gradually added to the Leipzig collection. Paul Kaiser, also known as Reka (1881-1963), a vaudeville artist and musical clown, sold over 200 instruments to the museum, among them pieces from Africa and Asia. Reka used many of these instruments in his performances.
An online catalogue with descriptions, sketches and pictures of all objects is currently being compiled.