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Science and Industry Museum needs your musical playback devices to feature in Turn It Up: The power of music

Could your old Minidisc player, Walkman or iPod be part of a world premiere exhibition?

The Science and Industry Museum in Manchester is calling for the public to donate their old musical playback devices and accompanying memories to help create part of its world premiere exhibition, Turn It Up: The power of music.

As well as looking to the future of music making, this hands-on exhibition will feature playback technologies of the past to uncover more about the role of music in our lives. As part of this, curators are asking the public to dust off their disc players, unearth their iPods and resurrect their radios to help tell the story of how music drives us to create, perform and feel. They're looking for musical playback devices from the 1960s onwards, especially if there is a personal/shared story or memory connected to it, with submissions needed by Friday 5 August 2022.

From turntables and cassette players to iPods, Bluetooth speakers and everything in between, the borrowed items will sit alongside objects from the Science Museum Group's permanent collection including 19th and 20th century phonographs, gramophones and early radios, showing that while the technology may have changed along the way, our connections with music have not.

Turn It Up will explore the science of music's mysterious hold over us and how it drives us to create, perform, feel and share. It will open at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester on 21 October as the Manchester Science Festival headline exhibition, before going on a UK and international tour over the next five years.

Curator of Exhibitions at the Science and Industry Museum, Steven Leech explains:

'Music plays an important role in our everyday lives and is a highly personal experience, which is why we want to capture the many different ways that people enjoy it and the memories they associate with these devices.

'From road trips and big family celebrations to lost loves, music can instantly trigger memories or take us back to moments from our past. These musical moments might have happened while streaming songs to your earbuds, making mixtapes for your friends, blasting out tunes from a boombox or gathering around the wireless. That's why we are asking for anyone who has such a memory, still has the device they were using and would like to play an important role in this exciting new exhibition, to please get in touch.'

Visitors to the exhibition will discover the science behind music and what the future holds for melody making through specially commissioned interactive and immersive art installations, personal stories, musical tracks, dance, never-before-seen musical inventions, first-hand accounts from famous musicians, artwork, cutting-edge research and unique instruments.

From why certain music can make us feel different emotions and how it might manipulate what we buy, to how it can even be used to boost health and wellbeing and to improve sleep, Turn It Up: The power of music shows just how profoundly music can affect our lives with or without us knowing. The exhibition also shows how scientists, innovators and musicians are using technological advancements to push the limits of music making and ensure playing music is more accessible for everyone.

To find out more about the project and to submit a device visit by Friday 5 August 2022. You can also contact the team with any questions at

Tickets for the Turn It Up: The power of music exhibition cost £8 adult, £6 child/concession and family discounts are available. Advance tickets can be purchased now through the museum’s website ( or by calling 033 0058 0058.



For more information, interviews and images please contact Rachel Conway at or on 0161 696 7785. 


The Science and Industry Museum tells the story of where science met industry and the modern world began. Manchester was one of the first global industrial cities, and its epic rise, decline and resurrection has been echoed in countless other cities around the world. The museum's mission is to inspire all its visitors, including future scientists and inventors, with the story of how ideas can change the world, from the industrial revolution to today and beyond.  

The Science and Industry Museum is on the site of Liverpool Road Station, which was the Manchester terminus of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the world's first purpose-built passenger railway. Among its internationally significant buildings are the world's oldest surviving passenger railway station and the world's first railway goods warehouse. In total, there are two Grade I listed buildings and four Grade II listed buildings on the site. 

The Science and Industry Museum is part of the Science Museum Group, a family of museums which also includes the Science Museum in London; the National Railway Museum in York and Shildon; and the Science and Media Museum in Bradford. The Science Museum Group is devoted to the history and contemporary practice of science, medicine, technology, industry and media. With five million visitors each year and an unrivalled collection, it is the most significant group of museums of science and innovation worldwide.

Part of the Science Museum Group