For this vision to be successful, it was vital to first establish a preview facility in or around the environment of an existing museum. That resulted in the landmark exhibition, Volume: Making Music in Aotearoa at Auckland Museum (Oct 2016-May 2017).


A partnership between Auckland Museum and the New Zealand Music Hall of Fame Trust, Volume was the first major exhibition to tell the story of popular music in Aotearoa.


From Pokarekare ana to Poi e, from Loyal to Royals, from dance halls to DJs and from vinyl to MP3s and back again, Volume took visitors on a musical journey through the decades from the 1950s to today.


Music lovers got to roll up their sleeves and experience how music has been made, heard, and performed over the past 60 years in a ‘hands on, ears on’ exhibition, exploring the rich diversity and unique sounds that come from our place at the southern edge of the Pacific Ocean.


The seven-month exhibition was a testing ground – a chance to gauge whether the subject matter would attract an audience. This was proven to be the case, with 208,000 visitors attending the exhibition. That translates to an average of just over 1000 visitors per day.


This confirmed that the story of music had an audience. Volume inspired others as to our vision, and confirmed the viability and desire for a permanent exhibition from the public and from stakeholders alike.


Take a virtual tour of Volume

Volume celebrates the story of the creators, musicians, thinkers, philosophers and dreamers whose music has enriched the lives of Kiwis and brought recognition for New Zealand across the globe for decades. New Zealand music draws on and reflects our melting pot of cultural influences and touches the lives of all New Zealanders.

Roy Clare CBE
Former Director, Auckland Museum

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