Explore Missouri's Musical History with the St. Louis Sound Exhibit

Open your ears to Missouri’s music landscape.

St. Louis Sound
Photo: Courtesy of the Missouri History Museum

A special exhibit at the Missouri History Museum explores St. Louis's dynamic sonic past. "St. Louis Sound" is a 6,000-square-foot exhibit that introduces visitors to the city's deep musical history and shares the stories of Missouri music makers—legendary artists who helped shape the American music landscape—through material artifacts and multimedia features celebrating the sounds of St. Louis.

St. Louis Sound
Courtesy of the Missouri History Museum

According to a museum press release, "Situated at the geographic and cultural crossroads of the country, St. Louis is vital to the story of popular music in America. The region has produced legends who are on a first-name basis worldwide, like Ike & Tina, Miles, Chuck, and Nelly. It's been home to the 'Velvet Bulldozer' Albert King, the 'Black Venus' Josephine Baker, and the original 'king' of pop music, Scott Joplin. And don't forget world-class songwriters like John Hartford, Jay Farrar, Jeff Tweedy, and Willie Mae Ford Smith. Few cities anywhere can claim so many leading lights in such a wide range of styles."

The museum encourages visitors to bring a pair of headphones so that they can experience the sounds they're learning about in the exhibit. Press play on the museum's playlist of music by St. Louis artists to explore an array of genres including jazz, blues, ragtime, folk, hip-hop, and Americana. You can see a preview of the exhibit in the video below.

The exhibit will be open to visitors through January 22, 2023. Admission to the museum and the special exhibit is free. You can find more information and plan your visit at mohistory.org.

What's the musical legacy of your region? What special exhibits are you looking forward to visiting in the future?

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