GUITAR ON/OFF is a collective multimedia experience that enables you to (re)discover this most popular and universal of instruments. Like the guitar—a symbol of freedom—this innovative exhibition is designed to travel around the world to reach out to audiences everywhere.

The exhibition takes the shape of a giant guitar which comes to life with your touch. Its strings awaken when you play them. Its neck reveals 3D scans and exposes iconic guitar secrets. Its body immerses you in live performances and in the history of the guitar. Freely accessible instruments allow visitors to try their hand at playing.

This exhibition was conceived by The Musée de la musique of Paris in France, the Museu de la Música of Barcelona in Spain and the Ragnarock Museum of Pop, Rock & Youth Culture of Roskilde in Denmark.

GUITAR ON/OFF is part of the project Template for Travelling Interactive and Digital Exhibitions, supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.



Eight video performances of acoustic and electric guitar players of different era and genres are projected on the three faces of an immersive room. Get on stage, imitate the musicians, play an invisible guitar and become the next air guitar hero!

Video excerpts:

Sister Rosetta Tharpe – Up Above My Head (gospel, 1964)
Jimi Hendrix – Hey Joe (psychedelic rock, 1967)
Peret – Una Lágrima (Catalan rumba, 1968)
Joni Mitchell – Big Yellow Taxi (folk-rock, 1970)
Paco de Lucía – Entre Dos Aguas (flamenco, 1974)
PJ Harvey – Dress (alternative rock, 1992)
Slash – Sweet Child O’ Mine (hard rock, 2011)
Ana Vidović – Introduction et variations sur un thème de Mozart, op. 9, de Fernando Sor (classical, 2015)


(Re)discover the history and social role of the guitar throughout centuries with this interactive installation!


Create the background music of the exhibition by playing the giant guitar’s strings!


On a touchscreen, explore five historical guitars from the Musée de la musique’s collection, thanks to 3D-modelling by Art Graphique & Patrimoine: Voboam (1708), Grobert (1830), Torres (1883), Gibson ES 150 ‘Charlie Christian’ (1937), Fender Stratocaster (1954).


Try out several sound experiments on a touchscreen, and learn more about resonance and amplification mechanisms for acoustic and electric guitars!


Browse through a digital and musical database of emblematic guitars from the three museums’ collections!

PLAY IT! By Woodbrass

Around a Woodbrass stand, try your hand at playing freely accessible instruments!


A symposium about the electric guitar entitled “Quand la guitare [s’] électrise” was held in Paris by the Musée de la musique (Cité de la musique – Philharmonie de Paris), the Collegium Musicæ de la COMUE Sorbonne Universités,  the IReMus (CNRS, Université Paris-Sorbonne, BnF, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication), the Centre Georges Chevrier (Université de Bourgogne), the Ircam-Centre Pompidou, the Université Paris-Sorbonne, the LAM team of the Institut Jean Le Rond d’Alembert (UPMC) and the GSAM of the Société Française d’Acoustique (SFA).

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