A Greenville Gem: The Sigal Music Museum at Heritage Green

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Looking for something to do in Greenville? Have you heard about the Sigal Music Museum? Joining many high quality museums in Greenville’s Heritage Green, the Sigal Music Museum displays the history of music in the Carolinas through historically and culturally significant instruments. We sent KAG Contributor Anna Artz to the museum so she could find out all the details. Read on and you’ll find out just what you can expect to see and hear at the Sigal Music Museum.

The Sigal Music Museum, formerly called The Carolina Music Museum, opened its doors in 2018 at the old Coca- cola building at Heritage Green. The music museum is a great addition to the cultural offerings found in downtown Greenville, with a beautiful collection of over 40 harpsichords and pianos dating from the 1570 to 1845. The museum’s calendar of events features a great line-up of concerts, music lectures, and other events. Their current exhibition, Sensational Sigal, celebrates the 700+ piece collection of the museum’s namesake and debuts several prized pieces.

Carolina Music Museum in Greenville, SC

Make the Most of Your Sigal Music Museum Visit

The museum is conveniently located in Heritage Green, so it can always be combined with a visit to its other neighboring museums; The Upcountry History Museum, Greenville County Museum of Art, The Children’s Museum of the Upstate or the Greenville County Library. Expect to spend up to an hour or so of walking through the bi-level exhibition venue and learning the history of each instrument. My kids enjoyed the interactive audio guide stations that accompanied each instrument on display. The exhibition panels also gave a rich overview of the significance of these instruments. Did you know that harpsichord’s preceded the piano but was gainfully unseated in the concert hall due to the piano’s dynamic range? Kids were curious about the intricate engineering of the instruments while we adults were fascinated with the craftsmanship and historical details.

In our visit, we were lucky to catch one of the founders and museum curator Mr. Tom Strange who gave us an immersive tour of the galleries (some of the pieces are from his private collection). It was Mr. Strange, along with his vintage instrument aficionados, who conceptualized the idea for this museum. He and his peers collect and recondition historic instruments and this museum is a fruit of their labors. He even built the small piano in the center of the room that says “Play me”, which my daughter happily tinkered, a welcome relief to a child surrounded by finely made antique pianos which were understandably “For Display Only.”

Carolina Music Museum in Greenville, SC

It will be hard to absorb everything in one visit, with all the interesting facts and anecdotes, including how pianos played a distinct role in the Carolinas history. Each piece has a unique story to tell. Look out for the piano played by composer Chopin in the photo with Mr. Strange.  Also look for the Johann Schanz Grand piano equipped with five pedals. This one caught us by surprise as we heard drum and bells activated by one of the pedals! Truly, this is one museum that comes with bells and whistles (literally). We will most definitely be back for another visit to the galleries or to attend a concert.

Sigal Museum Museum
516 Buncombe Street, Greenville, SC 29601
Telephone: 864.520.8807

Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 10 am–5 pm | Sunday 1 pm-5 pm

Admission: $7 Adults | $6 Seniors and Military | $4 Students Ages 6 – 18  | Children under 6 Free | Members Free

About the Author
A Greenville transplant, Anna, is a former fundraiser for art museums and charities in NY and NJ. Before heading south, her husband's job brought them to Pune, Shanghai and her hometown, Manila. She and her family are happy to settle in Greenville and enjoy hiking the beautiful parks of the Upstate, visiting museums and historic places, and last but not least, hunting for the best BBQ in town.

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