The whole collection, a total of 161 musical instruments including examples of aerophones, chordophones
, membranophones and idiophones, unfortunately cannot be opened to the public.
In this period of "profound cultural change," it is surprising to note the paucity of chordophones
. The lyre becomes "antiquated" and dies out.
"Coptic lutes" are chordophones
with a long neck and a relatively small body, dating from Egypt's late antiquity (third to ninth centuries A.D.).
Similarly, when browsing musical instruments, the first screen displays the four categories of the Sachs-Hornbostel classification--aerophones, chordophones
, idiophones, and membranophones--supplemented by "vocalizations" and "electronic" instruments; subsequent screens display instrument families, and then specific instruments for each family.
On these menus users can choose presentations about the town and the instruments recorded there, The other main means of access is by browsing a listing of general topics, such as the towns visited, instrument classification categories (e.g., chordophones
) and instruments within them, explorations (musical principles, ethnomusicology, information on Boulton and the expedition), and miscellaneous topics (e.g., Dogon masks, the Sunjala epic).