smem - swiss museum and center for electronic music instruments

Black and white photograph of a tiled room. Seven people hunched over various electronic musical instruments.
Playroom Session at smem
© smem

smem - swiss museum and center for electronic music instruments

Living archive for electronic music history

The swiss museum and center for electronic music instruments – smem for short – in Fribourg/Freiburg houses one of the world's most important collections of electronic musical instruments. The collection includes around 5,000 devices in a display warehouse. It ranges from synthesizers to effects devices and mixing consoles. With this collection, the smem documents the history of electronic music and makes it accessible to the public thanks to a “Playroom”. In this “Playroom” visitors can discover, play and use valuable historical instruments and equipment from the collection.

The smem is based on the collection of Klemens Niklaus Trenkle, a native of Basel, who collected instruments and devices for 40 years. In 2016, the association running the museum took over the collection and committed itself to cataloguing the objects and making them accessible to the public. The smem has attracted personalities such as the music producer Legowelt or the visionary Colombian musician Lucrecia Dalt.

Institutions like the smem keep the history of music and music production alive with a lot of voluntary work. In addition, it offers musicians the opportunity to continue working with these instruments. In this way the history of electronic music is not only documented, but can also be experienced in the here and now.




Terry Riley - In C [Live at smem]

The World's Biggest Synth collection is insane!!!