NATIONAL MUSIC MUSEUM – Vermillion, South Dakota


Founded in 1973 on the campus of The University of South Dakota in Vermillion, the National Music Museum & Center for Study of the History of Musical Instruments is one of the great institutions of its kind in the world. Its renowned collections, which include more than 10,000 American, European, and non-Western instruments from virtually all cultures and historical periods, are the most inclusive anywhere.

The Museum is the only place in the world where one can find two 18th-century grand pianos with the specific type of action conceived by the piano’s inventor, Bartolomeo Cristofori. One of these, pictured here, and built in 1767 by Manuel Antunes of Lisbon, is the earliest signed and dated piano by a maker native to Portugal; the other, built by Louis Bas in Villeneuve les Avignon in 1781, is the earliest extant French grand piano.

A group of 500 instruments made in the late-19th/early-20th centuries by the C. G. Conn Company of Elkhart, Indiana, is a resource unparalleled anywhere for historical research about a major American industry and the American band movement.

The Museum’s holdings of brass, woodwind, and stringed instruments by 17th- and 18th-century Nuremberg craftsmen, including members of the Haas and Oberlender families, Ernst Busch, Paul Hainlein, and Jacob Denner, is unique outside of Germany.

There are many other collections of quality, unique and distinquished musical instruments in the museum.

Location: The University of South Dakota, 414 East Clark Street, Vermillion, SD

Hours: open daily except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Museum Hours: 9:00-5:00 Monday through Saturday – 2:00-5:00 Sunday

No admission fee is charged; however, donations are encouraged.
Suggested admission donation (includes free audio tour):
Adults – $7.00
Students – $3.00 

Phone: (605) 677-5306


  1. clinton l wood says:

    I have a 1907 Kimball upright piano in my house that I would consider donating.
    If you have an interest please contact me. This piano is coming from my wife’s

    Thank you,’

    Clint Wood