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The National Science and Media Museum is now open. Please book free museum admission or cinema tickets online in advance

Experience a summer of sound at the National Science and Media Museum

This summer the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford is excited to launch Sound Season, an inspiring series of exhibitions and events exploring how sound fills our world, helping visitors to understand the invisible phenomenon of sound, and encouraging them to play and experiment with its properties.

Opening on Friday 23 July 2021, just in time for the summer holidays, Sound Season includes two special exhibitions, Sonic: Adventures in Audio and Boom: Experiments in Sound.

Boom is a specially designed family exhibition where visitors of all ages will learn about the principles of sound and how it shapes our lives through fun interactive displays. In Boom, visitors can follow the journey of a soundwave and discover how it interacts with different materials and spaces, as well as exploring the biology of hearing, and how musicians, engineers, and scientists can create and manipulate sound by understanding its physical properties.

Visitors can experience the sensation of sound through exciting have-a-go interactive displays, including a chance to walk through an insulated sound canal, as well as experimenting with the sound of their footsteps in different spaces, giving them a chance to hear what tiptoeing or stomping sounds like in a forest—or even a giant cathedral. There will also be brand-new captivating audiovisual shows from the museum’s friendly science Explainers.

Boom will also feature the Oramics composition machine designed by electronic music pioneer Daphne Oram, who co-founded the BBC Radiophonic Workshop where the famous Doctor Who theme tune was created.

After exploring Boom, visitors can continue their journey in sound by visiting Sonic: Adventures in Audio, where they can delve into the world of electronic sound with exciting new installations and interactive sound works from artists, scientists and makers. The first installations open in July with Drum and Bass: Time and Space by Edward Wilson-Stephens, a PhD researcher with the museum and the University of Leeds, and Gramophony, by composer and performer Jobina Tinnemans.

Commenting on the launch of Sound Season, Annie Jamieson, Curator of Sound Technologies, said:

“We are really excited to be launching our Sound Season this summer. This is the first time the museum has featured sound-specific exhibitions and it is a great opportunity to explore our ever-growing collections in this area. Sound is a central part of our lives, but despite its importance to our understanding of the world, we don’t often think about it. Through this season of exhibitions and events we hope to demystify the invisible phenomenon of sound so visitors can understand what it is, how it moves through the world and how it can be played with and manipulated.”

Throughout the summer, the museum will also play host to sound-inspired events and activities, including fun family workshops in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on 25–27 July 2021. There will also be regular Explainer shows in Boom, including a look at how everyday objects can be turned into musical instruments; an exploration of the work of sound engineers and composers; and a whistle-stop tour through found sounds in film and the science of sound creation.

The museum will also be bringing back elements of its popular interactive Wonderlab Live experience, including a chance to play with a laser speaker to uncover sound patterns; a voice changer; and even a bacteria laser beam which shows the power of light refraction.

Every Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday during the summer holidays (26 July – 5 September 2021), visitors can also play some of their favourite videogames on the big screen at Pictureville Cinema. The Big Screen Gaming events will bring together high-definition projectors and a state-of-the art gaming PC for visitors to play over 40 popular titles on the cinema screen, including Fortnite, Cuphead, Portal, Forza Horizon, Worms W.M.D and Untitled Goose Game. Tickets will be available on the museum website soon.

Throughout the summer, Pictureville Cinema will be open to the public, showing a range of films for families and adults alike, including films relating to the theme of sound, IMAX 3D screenings and the latest blockbusters. Keep up to date with the latest film programme on our cinema pages.

The National Science and Media Museum and Pictureville Cinema are now open to the public Wednesday to Sunday, and every day during school holidays. Visitors must pre-book a ticket to visit via the museum website. For more information about how to book and essential safety information, see the visit page and reopening FAQ.

Key dates: Sound Season, including the exhibitions Sonic: Adventures in Audio and Boom: Experiments in Sound, runs between Friday 23 July and Sunday 5 December 2021.

For more information about the exhibitions, please visit the Sonic: Adventures in Audio and Boom: Experiments in Sound webpages.

To fully enjoy all the interactive exhibitions as part of Sound Season, it is strongly recommended that visitors bring their own plug-in headphones.


For further details or images please contact Katie Canning, Communications Manager, National Science and Media Museum: / 01274 203 027

The National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire, opened in 1983, and has since become one of the most visited UK museums outside London. The museum explores the science and culture of image and sound technologies, creating special exhibitions, interactive galleries and activities for families and adults. It is home to three cinemas, including Europe’s first IMAX cinema screen and the world’s only public Cinerama screen outside the USA. Entry to the museum is free.

Part of the Science Museum Group