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The Museum of Music History

In our work with the Museum of Music History, we were presented with the unique opportunity to help modernise and showcase an extraordinary collection that spans various historical periods and genres. These exhibitions were expertly curated by Oliver Davies and other specialists in fields like musicology, ballet, and iconography. With nearly 200 exhibitions, the challenge was to offer these valuable resources in a more organised, engaging, and accessible manner. This story delves into how we addressed these complex challenges to transform the Museum’s online experience.
The Museum of Music History 1


The Museum was founded by Oliver Davies in 2003, under the patronage of Sir Charles Mackerras (1925 -2010), after the late John Cruft, a former Music Director of the Arts Council of Great Britain, chaired a discussion on Britain’s need for a comprehensive and fully accessible music and dance museum. Other major cities in Europe were seen to have flourishing museums of music, but London, despite its significant role in music history, lacked a similar national institution outside of its conservatoire collections. Dr Stanley Sadie (1930 – 2005) was appointed as the first Chairman. An Advisory Committee of friends and experts in different fields is central to the Museum’s operation today, together with our wonderful team of dedicated volunteers.


The Museum’s website was initially built with more of an archival focus, which meant it was brimming with historical data that unfortunately wasn’t easy to navigate. This outdated platform forced users to rely heavily on their browser’s “back” button, significantly affecting the overall user experience. Another challenge was the administrative difficulty in updating the website, a task that needed to be simplified for efficiency. SEO was also far from optimised, which contributed to a less-than-ideal online visibility. The mobile interface of the website was in a particularly dire state, lacking both in design and functionality. Perhaps most significantly, the Museum sought to rejuvenate its brand to appeal to a younger demographic.


Our approach was multi-dimensional to holistically address the challenges at hand. Firstly, we developed a custom module specifically designed to present exhibitions in a more organised and user-friendly manner. This included an enhanced search and filtering feature to enable users to easily find the information they sought. We also put a focus on visual appeal; high-quality, larger images were integrated into the site to create a more visually immersive experience for visitors. Lastly, we added a new galleries module that could better showcase these high-quality images, adding to the site’s overall appeal.


The new website is a celebration of modern design principles mixed with functional efficiency. The interface is not just eye-catching but also extremely user-friendly, enabling effortless navigation for visitors and streamlined management for administrators. Content now dynamically populates and randomises in key sections, which not only enhances the user experience but also encourages further engagement. These changes, combined with improvements in SEO practices, have made the Museum more visible online and helped broaden its audience.


MOMH avails itself of our premium webmaster and hosting services. The architecture of the website was carefully planned to ensure that our involvement in its day-to-day operations would be minimal, empowering the Museum’s staff to handle most of the maintenance work efficiently.


Spotlight Studios’ attentive understanding of MOMH’s needs and adaptability to evolving requirements during the project led to a website that surpasses expectations.
Mark Bromley