Moscow's parks have prepared special venues where music lovers of all ages can dance and try their hand at composing. This article will tell you where to find them.
Percussion instruments are the most common in such musical playgrounds. These include all manner of xylophones, bells and drums that you can play either with your bare hands or using special mallets.
One of the largest areas equipped with metal xylophones and bells is located at Druzhby Park in Levoberezhny District. Despite its location near a children's playground, many adults are just as keen to come here and play music. The seven musical instruments available here include graduated bells arranged in the shape of a lyre. Each of their eight elements produces its own distinct sound, ranging from fine, high tones to lower, deeper tones. Other instruments include melodic xylophones inspired by orchestral tubular bells and the Vietnamese folk instrument t'rung (actual t'rung are made from a number of bamboo tubes of different sizes tied together with a thick thread).
The latter can also be found in the playgrounds of the park situated on the Bitsa River's floodplain in Severnoye Butovo, as well as at the Garden of the Future in Rostokino District. In addition to the unusual xylophone, the Garden also has a rainbow-coloured arrangement of six cylindrical drums that resemble Cuban conga drums and can be played by individuals and groups alike. Similar drums can be found at the new garden square on Dekabristov Street in Otradnoye District, as well as at Novoslobodsky Park in Tverskoy District. The colour palette of the latter instrument is echoed by a colourful vertical xylophone.
More traditional horizontal xylophones can be found at Bazhov Garden Square in Rostokino (there are two of them here: a smaller one for individual young musicians and a longer one for duos), as well as at the Dubovaya Roshcha Garden Square in New Moscow's Sosenskoye Settlement. In latter instrument is accompanied by a t'rung similar to those mentioned above, as well as a futuristic round metal drum. Despite the drum's single smooth surface, its sound is versatile rather than monotonous, with each of the drum's sections producing its own distinct sound.
Meanwhile, the Landscape Park in Yuzhnoye Butovo can accommodate a real instrumental ensemble: its musical playground allows guests to not only try out five xylophones but also to make music with its interactive panels imitating the sounds of a piano, a guitar and drums.
Lyublino Estate Park has an unusual dance complex featuring an interactive arch and a platform with numerous built-in game programmes. One of the programmes requires players to keep dancing to the music until it stops — just like a game of musical chairs.
Equally interesting and dynamic musical structures can be found in Moscow's largest street playground, Salyut Playground in Gorky Park, which is located in Yakimanka District. The tiles of its Kaleidoscope area are fitted with special dance bells made from nine bronze plates that play a gentle sound whenever someone jumps on them. The structure is more than just a game: the dance bells are an actual musical instrument invented last century as a representation of the unity and harmony of between music and dance. By stepping on the plates, children and adults can play music while performing a dance reminiscent of a ballet pas. There is another musical structure in the same area based on a similar principle. It consists of several musical pads that produce melodic sounds similar to that of a pan flute whenever you jump on them.
Younger visitors can enjoy other music-related activities in Moscow's playgrounds. For instance, one of the playgrounds at Cherkizovsky Children's Park in Preobrazhenskoye District has a curious device in the form of a ball with a handle, which operates on the same principle as a music box: if you take the handle and rotate it clockwise or anticlockwise, the ball will play one of several children's songs in English. A similar ball (only orange) can be found in the toddlers' playground at Chapaevsky Park in Horoshevsky District.
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