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Instruments on display at Colonial Williamsburg

Thursday - 11/29/2012, 11:26am  ET

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. - A new exhibition at Colonial Williamsburg is showcasing the historic area's collection of antique musical instruments.

Officials say the "Changing Keys: Keyboard Instruments for America" exhibit recently opened at the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum.

It features more than two dozen keyboard instruments from the period between 1700 and 1830, including harpsichords, spinets, pianos, and a chamber organ. More than half of the instruments will be exhibited for the first time.

Exhibition curator John Watson says the instruments were an integral part of the culture of Virginia's colonial and post-colonial period. Officials say the second- known public performance on a piano in America took place at the Raleigh Tavern in Williamsburg.

The exhibit that also explores the ways the instruments changed over time will be on display through 2014.


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