How it plays: Innovations in percussion Exhibition

Exhibition and Shows

8 May 2019 to 1 Dec 2019

This exhibition and performance project shines a light on key innovations and experimentation in tuned percussion, focusing on Melbourne. It brings together a range of percussion instruments that have been created, composed for, and played by radical musicians, who have sought to change the way we can all hear, and play, music.

Starting with Percy Grainger’s ground-breaking compositional experiments in ‘tuneful percussion’ in the first half of the twentieth century, How it plays then explores the work of the Australian percussion group, APE, in the 1970s, who experimented on Percy Grainger’s own instruments as they evolved their practice.

Jumping to the twenty-first century, the exhibition explores the musical and social phenomenon of the Federation Handbells, which engages acoustic and artistic innovation to bring the playing of bells to a wide range of communities. It concludes with an immersion in the sonic and artistic adventures of Melbourne’s Speak Percussion, an international leader in the field of experimental and new music.

How it plays features two octaves of Federation Handbells in an interactive composition hub, where visitors can improvise their own music, or be inspired by pre-existing scores. This exhibition continues the Grainger Museum’s commitment to creativity, community engagement and collaboration.


Family Friendly Museums Australia Museums Galleries Australia Non Smoking Public Toilet


Free Entry

Event Times

8 May 2019 to 1 Dec 2019

Once Only Event


The Grainger Museum, University of Melbourne

Royal Parade, Gate 13, Parkville, 3052

Nearby Accommodation

View All
1 Bedroom Exhibition Apartment

Mantra 100 Exhibition



Crowne Plaza Melbourne


Melbourne Metro YHA

Melbourne Metro YHA

North Melbourne, Melbourne

The Jazz Corner Hotel

The Jazz Corner Hotel


Studio Apartment

City Tempo


Crown Towers Melbourne Lobby

Crown Towers Melbourne

Southbank, Melbourne

Contact Us