The House of Musical Traditions in Takoma Park, Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. is one of the best traditional and folk musical instrument shops on the East Coast. Open since 1972, and expanded in a new location in the summer of 2008, the House of Musical Traditions serves as a clearinghouse and center for folk, traditional and world musicians and singers. HMT is well worth a visit if you’re in Maryland or the Washington, D.C. area in search of a new instrument or tune book, or just want a fun place to visit.
Store Information for the House of Musical Traditions
The store is located at 7010 Westmoreland Avenue, in OId Town Takoma Park, Maryland, zip code 20912. Their telephone is 301-270-9090. The store is open 11AM to 7 PM Tuesday through Saturday and 11 AM to 5 PM Sundays and Mondays.
Huge Instrument Selection at the House of Musical Traditions
With the July 2008 move to larger quarters, HMT was able to expand their instrument offerings. In the percussion section, House of Musical Traditions offers over twenty different types of drums from tablas to Native American drums for world music. String players can find the usual fiddles, mandolins and guitars in the store but also ouds, sitars, and other international-type instruments. A selection of flutes including bamboo and crystal flutes, bagpipes, didgeridoos, and far more exotic winds round out the huge selection of instruments that the House of Musical Traditions carries.
Service at the House of Musical Traditions
In addition to a great selection of instruments, the House of Musical Traditions offers terrific service. Their salespeople are knowledgeable and willing to refer to one another for the more exotic instruments, and will strive to make the customer happy. During a recent bodhran purchase the salesman discussed what type of music it would be used for and the advantages of the various models available, demonstrated several models and gave a quick lesson in playing the instrument. At their booth at the Maryland Renaissance Festival the sales staff patiently demonstrate their exotic percussion instruments repeatedly to interested small children. Customers are encouraged to try out instruments before buying, and one gentleman spent four hours in the store trying out every violin and bow in stock. The staff are universally patient and helpful whatever your budget or instrument.
Lessons and Workshops for all Instruments at HMT
The House of Musical Traditions offers lessons in Irish pennywhistle, lap and hammer dulcimer, Celtic harp, banjo, and any other exotic instrument they sell, as well as the more popular guitar and fiddle lessons. Their teachers are all well-known in the Washington, DC area, and many play at national and international folk festivals. In addition to individual lessons either at HMT or at the artists’ homes, the House of Musical Traditions offers regular workshops on a variety of folk instruments such as clawhammer banjo, ukulele and mandolin in their store.
The House of Musical Traditions started a popular concert series that now operates independently as the Institute of Musical Traditions. IMT offers a weekly Monday night concert series with a combination of emerging and popular artists in the mid-Atlantic region and internationally known touring performers. Programs may include traditional Irish music, old time fiddle, French-Canadian, folk-rock, Early music crossover, Scottish, and every other genre of folk and world music.
Folk musicians travelling through the Maryland or Washington, D.C. area make a point of stopping at the House of Musical Traditions. Whether bouzouki strings, a new bagpipe chanter, a musical banana, or a djembe is on the list, HMT will have it and provide you service with a smile.
House of Musical Traditions