Sounds of the past, traditional musical instruments in a visit to the Paco Díez Museum Classroom in Valladolid


Guided tour with Paco Díez, Paco Díez Museum Classroom in Mucientes (Valladolid)

4 years ago a group of Homo Neanderthalensis gathered around a bonfire. Using what they had at hand, they set out to symbolically interpret the events of the day - or anticipate what they would dream at night - with a language that remains universal today, the music.

From those primitive bone scrapers that rubbed our ancestors or the mere knocking of stones, many have been instruments that man has used, or manufactured, and in the Paco Díez Museum Classroom in Mucientes (Valladolid) we can see, and hear, a good representation of them.

This private and independent initiative is a Classroom and is a Museum, it is a place to learn, to see, but also to listen. And when Paco Díez speaks, because the visits are guided by himself, he is unable to do so without his hands spending more than a few seconds without approaching one of the showcases and taking out any of the traditional instruments They fill them up.

He will tell us his name, his origin and how it is made and, without having to encourage him in the least to do so, we will show how it plays. In this video, for example, you can see how a pumpkin has made a musical instrument that sounds like this:

On the two floors of the Museum Classroom, almost half a thousand pieces of all sizes and varied origin are exhibited. They are divided, for musical experts, into four types depending on the sound source, as Paco Díez explains on his website:


From greek idios (own) and phones (sound). Most were not born properly as instruments but as useful for other functions although the need and ingenuity They gave them a new life, or a double function. From stones, bones, pans, shells, tubes to striated bottles, in the domestic sphere many of them appeared that would be rubbed, percussed, etc. To make music


You don't have to know Greek to understand that we talk about string instruments, probably the most romantic of all (Yes, I have friends who have been in the Tuna in some University Faculty of Oviedo and I envy their skills; musical, of course).

Guitars, lutes, violins, drums or zanfonas are some of the instruments of this family. If you wonder how is a zanfona, or zanfoña, I answer you not with an image but with a video in which you can appreciate how it sounds:


From tambourines to drums, zambombas (at Christmas or any other time) or even a comb with smoking paper, they may be the loudest (with permission of the trumpets). They are, of course, indispensable in many popular parties, playful celebrations and military marches. A music band without drums is less musical.


From my school age I remember trying play the flute, by academic obligation that does not vocational passion. It is probably the second instrument a child approaches (the first is usually a piano or toy keyboard) and is an aerophone, as are bagpipes, accordions, conch shells (100% natural instruments) or clarinets.

Sala de Cornamusas, Paco Díez Museum Classroom in Mucientes (Valladolid)

On the lower floor there is a room dedicated to the result of an early search in the world of music, that of continuous sound. Fleeing from the inherent limitation of instruments that were to be rubbed, vibrated or struck in an action that at the end the music also ended, came to develop the cleats or bagpipes.

At the bottom of that floor is the explanation to the double name and double use of the building. There is a small concert hall where they perform didactic concerts for groups, students and entities under reservation.

In addition, between September and May a World Music Concerts cycle and during the summer the stage moves, so to speak, to the courtyard of the building.

Maybe before the cave paintings, the man growled at the moon as the first form of understand and relate to the Universe. Soon he began to evolve the guttural noises in songs and to accompany them with rudimentary instruments elaborated with what he had within reach. From those wild times to this morning in which you have hummed a tune in the street, the need to make music has not disappeared from our genes for a second.

To understand it better, seeing and listening to traditional instruments, just 20 minutes by car from Valladolid, you have an essential visit in the Paco Díez Museum Classroom.

More information about visits to the Paco Díez Museum Classroom

This is the website of the Paco Díez Museum Classroom in Mucientes (Valladolid).

This is the page of the Paco Díez Museum Classroom on Facebook.

For visits a minimum of 15 people is required, it is advisable to book in advance and / or consider the possibility of changing the date to another in which the group can be completed.

This is the address (C / Alegría, 4) of the Paco Díez Museum Classroom in Mucientes on Google Maps: