HomeSeattleExperience Music Project Museum

Experience Music Project Museum, Seattle

Aerial view EMP Museum Aerial view EMP Museum Photo: EMP|SFM via Wikimedia

This museum is a tribute to rock and roll and an eye-opening examination of music and contemporary pop-culture in general using interactive installations, oral histories, exhibitions and educational methods. The focus is on the roots of contemporary rock and roll and the many interactive methods keep both young and old intrigued.

The building that houses the museum is an attraction in itself; it was designed by Frank Gehry, the creator behind the Guggenheim Museum, Walt Disney Concert Hall and other fantastical structures. From the outside it looks like mangled sheet metal in silver, gold, maroon, dark purple and blue. It has been compared to the way a rocker's guitar looks after it's been smashed. The Seattle Center Monorail runs through the building and the interior is just as innovative as the exterior.

The museum has several permanent areas including the Sound Lab where soundproof rooms can be used to create music with instruments that are provided like drums, guitars and keyboards. The On Stage area lets visitors perform "live" together with audience sound effects and at the end of the performance they can get their own photo poster or DVD. IF VI WAS IX is a sound sculpture created by Trimpin, here visitors can see how the artist created instruments that produced the same sounds as traditional instruments. The sounds have been put into visual presentations and using 30 computers visitors can listen to individual permutations from the sound sculpture through earphones. The Sky Church has an indoor HD LED screen where music is celebrated. The Sky Church concert venue can hold 800 guests and has 21 meter high ceilings, state-of-the-art sound and lighting technology and is used for performances, events and as a cinema. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame pays tribute to legends who have dedicated their lives to the creation of science fiction epics and fantasy classics. Among the inductees are David Bowie, J.R.R. Tolkien and George Lucas.

EMP Museum

EMP Museum                                                                                                    Photo: Jon/Flickr


Also in the museum is a 10 meter high cyclone-shaped sculpture created out of guitars which are programmed to play at various intervals. In the Guitar Gallery you can see a collection of rare guitars and the museum holds an impressive collection of rock and roll memorabilia like sheet music, famous stage costumes and instruments.

Tickets to the EMP Museum cost $20 for adults and $14 for youths (5-14), with cheaper prices available if you buy your tickets online. The museum is located at 325 5th Avenue North, Seattle next to the Space Needle and it is open daily.


September - May (winter hours): 10:00am-5:00pm
May - September (summer hours): 10:00am-7:00pm
Address/Map:  325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109
Phone: (206) 770-2700
Website: Plan your visit to Experience Music Project Museum
Reg- Adults: $20 | Seniors & Students: $17 | Military & Youth: $14
Online- Adults: $15 | Seniors & Students: $15 | Military & Youth: $12
Free for Children 4 and under