This doctoral dissertation presents the results of several years of research (field work from September 2016 to February 2019) of art music instruments in Croatian museums. Since this topic is relatively unknown, this is the first work that treats it in a systematic way. In order to throw light on the set problem matter, through four main parts of the dissertation, that attend to four geographical parts, 50 Croatian museums and 80 collections were processed. The first part – Central and Northwest Croatia – included 17 museums: the Museum of Arts and Crafts, the Croatian Music Institute, the Franjo Schneider Museum, the Zagreb City Museum, the Croatian History Museum, the Samobor Museum, the Varaždin City Museum, the Trakošćan Castle Museum, the Veliki Tabor Castle, the Peasants‟ Revolt Museum, the MeĊimurje Regional Museum in Čakovec, the Jastrebarsko Town Museum and Gallery, the Karlovac City Museum, the Ozalj Regional Museum, the Sisak City Museum, the Križevci Municipal Museum, and the Koprivnica Municipal Museum. The second part – Slavonia, Baranya, and Syrmia – includes 11 museums: the Virovitica Municipal Museum, the Slatina Local History Museum, the Požega Town Museum, the Nova Gradiška Town Museum, the Brodsko Posavlje Museum, the Našice Local History Museum, the Museum of Đakovo Region, the Museum of Valpovo Region, the Museum of Slavonia, the Vinkovci Town Museum, and the Ilok Town Museum. The third part – Dalmatia – covers 11 museums: the Zadar City Museum of the National Museum Zadar, the Biograd na Moru Local History Museum, the Šibenik City Museum, the Drniš Town Museum, the Trogir Town Museum, the Museum of the Town of Kaštela, the Split City Museum, the Island of Brač Museum, the Stari Grad Museum, the Korčula Town Museum, and the Cultural History Museum of Dubrovnik Museums. The fourth part – Lika, Kvarner, and Istria – covers 11 museums: the Lika Museum in Gospić, the Senj Town Museum, the Lič Cultural and Historical Collection, the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka, the Rijeka City Museum, the Memorial Home of Ivan Matetić Ronjgov, the Cres Museum, the Lošinj Museum, the Pazin City Museum, the Buzet Local History Museum, and the Historical and Maritime Museum of Istria. In general terms, the first two parts (continental Croatia) were more abundant in materials that were the subject of research with longer tradition of their collection. However, all four parts testify to widely developed network of bigger or smaller Croatian urban centres in which art music was cultivated, and musical instruments preserved. This research recorded large quantity of 565 art music instruments. For the most parts, the collections that contain instruments are in art, city, and regional museums. Musical instruments collection at the Arts and Crafts Museum in Zagreb is the largest and most relevant such collection in Croatia. The Croatian Music Institute (musical instruments collection belonging to the Croatian Music Institute is at the Arts and Crafts Museum storage and, hence, a part of its collection; when it comes to art music instruments, the Croatian Music Institute is connected with the Arts and Crafts Museum) and the Museum of Slavonia in Osijek also have bigger collections of art music instruments. Out of total of 565 instruments, 188 of them are at the three mentioned institutions (93 + 51 + 44), which makes one third of the total number. Single musical collections (or collections of sheet music or objects from musical life) exist in the following 11 museums (in the alphabetical order): the Biograd na Moru Local History Museum, the Buzet Local History Museum, the Korčula Town Museum, the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka, the Nova Gradiška Town Museum, the Pazin City Museum, the Požega Town Museum, the Rijeka City Museum, the Šibenik City Museum, the Varaždin City Museum, and the Zagreb City Museum (collection in the process of foundation). There are 158 items in these museums. All the other cases are single items, smaller or bigger groups of musical instruments (total of 219), that are a part of cultural, art, historical, memorial, biographical, sacral, ethnographic, and technical collections. Although instruments are, just like any other aspects of cultural and musical life, subject to change and devastation, it has to be acknowledged that in Croatian museums – viewed as a whole – they are preserved in considerable numbers. They arrived to museums thanks to purchases and donations and their use value often surpasses their artistic one. This dissertation strongly strives to increase awareness of the importance of musical instruments in museums for Croatian culture for the purpose of further and more varied collection gathering. Based on the synthesis of collected data, we can conclude that the following groups of musical instruments are preserved in Croatian museums: keyboard instruments, accordions, wind instruments, string instruments, plucked instruments, percussion instruments, and idiophones. Their number is a result of records, arising from field work, that was carried out from September 2016 to February 2019, hence, it is possible that the number has been changed in the meantime, due to new acquisitions. Likewise, we need to be aware of the fact that some of the instruments in museums might have not been registered at all, hence in spite of all the efforts, were not a subject of this dissertation‟s research. The mentioned number of instruments, as well as of the museums, are not and cannot be final. The records show 145 keyboard instruments. Most of them are different types of pianos: modern wing-shaped pianos (53), early pianos (25), upright pianos (24), and square pianos (14). The sound of these instruments is produced by hammers striking the strings. Early pianos or fortepianos have wooden construction and Viennese action, while the modern ones have metal construction and Viennese or English action. Clavichord, portable travel piano, and pyramid piano (as one of predecessors of upright piano) are unique items (all of them are the Museum of Arts and Crafts). Two physharmonicas (the Museum of Arts and Crafts and the Museum of Slavonia) are also very rare, while two harpsichords (the Croatian Music Institute and the Zagreb City Museum) are not because they represent modern factory production. It is quite understandable that organs are not contained in the museum holdings because of their size. The only item described herein is at the Croatian Music Institute. Nevertheless, there are records of five positive organs – smaller church organs with one manual and no pedals (the Croatian Music Institute, the Museum of Slavonia, the Virovitica Municipal Museum, two of them at the Varaždin City Museum). Harmoniums are most represented keyboard instruments that generate sound as air flows (16). All the mentioned keyboard instruments were made by 103 various instrument makers, workshops or factories. All of them are products of fine quality that can be positioned in local and national frameworks. Taking into consideration that they come from the workshops of highly respected makers, their age and a small number of similar preserved instruments, square pianos of Franz Xaver Christoph, Thomas Tomkison and Sebestyén Antal Vogel, and fortepianos of Michael Rosenberger, Conrad Graf, Nannette Streicher and Anton Walter, are important in the international framework, as well. As many as 78 instruments are of Austrian origin, 73 of them from Vienna. That not only confirms Viennese influence as a cultural, art and musical centre, but highly developed manufacture of keyboard instruments in that city. Five instruments of national origin are particularly important: a fortepiano made by Giuseppe Baraga, and two pianos made by Franjo Gulić, two piano makes from Rijeka; as well as an upright piano and a piano from the Heferer Workshop in Zagreb. The oldest instruments are two positive organs at the Varaždin City Museum, made in the period between 1600 and 1650, and 1668 respectively. There are six more instruments dating back to the period before 1800, which provides them with special value: positive organ at the Museum of Arts and Crafts (1764 or 1765), positive organ at the Virovitica Municipal Museum (1780), Joseph Silberbauer‟s clavichord (1787), Franz Xaver Christoph‟s square piano (around 1790, both of them at the Museum of Arts and Crafts), Anton Walter‟s fortepiano (around 1790) at the Cultural History Museum of Dubrovnik Museums, and Johann Jakesch‟s square piano (between 1790 and 1810) at the Varaždin City Museum. Most instruments from this group (125) were made during the 19th and on the first half of the 20th centuries. Hence, 38 instruments were made from around 1800 to around 1850; 48 instruments were made from around 1850 to around 1900; and 39 of them were made from around 1900 to 1950. Keyboard instruments are kept at 41 out of total number of 50 museums. The biggest number is at the Museum of Arts and Crafts, specifically 18 items. The next one is the Museum of Slavonia with 15 instruments. There are 12 keyboard instruments at the Varaždin City Museum and the Šibenik City Museum, respectively. There are 14 recorded accordions. The represented accordions are: button accordions (7), piano accordions (4), diatonic accordion (1), bandoneon (1), and children‟s accordion (1). Eight items are of German origin, five of them from the Hohner factory in Trossingen. Three accordions are of national origin. Trieština (small diatonic accordion) was made in Rijeka, by an unknown maker. One accordion was made by Josip and Leopold Rohrbacher in Osijek, and one at the Harmonija factory in Zagreb. Accordions date from the late 19th century to 1962. The highest number, specifically four accordions, is kept at the Museum of Slavonia. Wind instruments can be divided into woodwind and brass ones. There are 81 recorded woodwind instruments. Differently pitched clarinets are the most represented ones (32): in A, in B, in C, in D, in Es, and in F. There is one basset horn – alt clarinet pitched in F or in Es. There are also two alto saxophones, and one baritone saxophone. They are singlereed woodwind instruments. Double-reed woodwind instruments are represented by oboes (7) and bassoons (5). Embouchure (mouth-hole) instruments are represented by: transverse flutes (14), piccolos (4), recorders (4), flageolets (2), and ocarinas (9). All the mentioned instruments were made by 28 various instrument makers, workshops or factories. As many as 22 instruments are of Austrian origin, 20 of them from Vienna. Just as is the case with keyboard instruments, it confirms Viennese musical influence and developed manufacture of musical instruments in that city. The second most represented country is nowadays Czech Republic with 17 instruments. The oldest woodwind instrument is Theodor Lotz‟s and Anton Kerner‟s basset horn, made in the late 18th century. It is kept at the Museum of Arts and Crafts, and it is part of the holdings of the Croatian Music Institute. Majority of other instruments – total of 74 – were made during the 19th and in the first half of the 20th centuries. Hence, 22 instruments were made from around 1800 to around 1850; 31 instruments were made from around 1850 to around 1900; and 21 of them were made from around 1900 to 1950. Woodwind instruments are kept at 16 out of total number of 50 museums. The majority of them are kept at the Museum of Arts and Crafts, specifically 37 (27 are part of the holdings of the Croatian Music Institute). The next one is the Cultural History Museum of Dubrovnik Museums with nine instruments, and the Senj Town Museum with six instruments. There are 126 recorded brass instruments. Together with 81 woodwind instruments, the total number of wind instruments is 207, which makes it the most numerous group. The most represented brass instruments are natural trumpets without valves (29). They are followed by valve trumpets (23). The instruments that are closely related to trumpet are flugelhorns (11), tenor horns (7), baritone horns (7), and cornets (2). When it comes to horns, again, there are natural ones (8) and French horns (6). All trombones (13) and tubas (7) either have or had valves. The instruments that are closely related to tuba are helicones (11) and they are the biggest brass instruments in Croatian museums. The smallest ones are mouth organs (2). All the mentioned instruments were made by 31 various instrument makers, workshops or factories. They were mostly connected with brass bands or military music. The total of 48 instruments comes from nowadays Czech Republic, leading European country in manufacture of brass instruments. About half of them (23) were produced at the Lignatone factory in Schönbach (Luby since 1946) in the western part of the Czech Republic. Four instruments were made at Franjo Schneider‟s factory in Zagreb. The oldest brass instrument is Adam Buchschwinder‟s natural horn, made in 1734. It is kept at the Museum of Arts and Crafts, and it is part of the holdings of the Croatian Music Institute. Majority of instruments – total of 88 – were made in the first half of the 20th century. Brass instruments are kept at 28 out of total number of 50 museums. The majority of them are kept at the Museum of Arts and Crafts, specifically 18 (12 are part of the holdings of the Croatian Music Institute). The same number of instruments is kept at the Vinkovci Town Museum. The Pazin City Museum is next with 15 instruments, then follows the Senj Town Museum with 13 instruments. There are records of 92 string instruments. All four standard string instruments used in classical music are present. Majority of them are violins, even 75. Violas and violoncellos are represented in considerably smaller quantity (seven and five respectively), with only one double bass. There are three string instruments at the Croatian Music Institute, which could be – up to some point – related to early music: two violas d‟amore from the first half of the 18th century, and one violetta (string instrument of viola da braccio type) from the last third of the 19th century. All the mentioned instruments were made by 27 various instrument makers, workshops or factories. Among the more valuable items, there are violins made by Giambattista Bodio, Johann Georg Leeb, Mathias Thir and Franjo Schneider; viola made by Johann Georg Thir; both violas d‟amore, and violoncello made by unknown maker, from the Rudolf and Margita Matz Collection at the Zagreb City Museum. In the context of national string instruments making, it is very important to mention 11 violins, made by Franjo Kresnik in Rijeka, between 1903 and 1940. The oldest string instrument is a pochette violin at the Museum of Arts and Crafts, probably dating from the 17th century (data from catalogue). Four instruments were made in the first half of the 18th century: viola d‟amore, made by unknown maker, probably in the early 18th century; Giovanni Guidante‟s violin from 1730; Franz Ignaz Grand‟s viola d‟amore made in 1737, and Johann Georg Thir‟s viola from 1749. Two instruments are from the second half of the 18th century: Johann Georg Leeb‟s violin (1768 or 1798, it was changed in the 19th century), and Mathias Thir‟s violin (1787). As many as 48 string instruments were made during the first half of the 20th century: most of them are copies of the Cremona masters (mostly Antonio Stradivari and Nicolò Amati), and school-used instruments manufactured in nowadays Czech Republic and Germany. String instruments are kept at 16 Croatian museums. The biggest number (total of 39) is kept at the Croatian Music Institute. Then follows the Kresnik Collection at the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka with violins made by Franjo Kresnik. Plucked instruments can be divided into harps; lutes, guitars, lute guitars, mandolins; and zithers. There are three harps at the holdings of Croatian museums. The oldest one is pedal harp, made by Jean Henri Naderman, in Paris, probably in 1784. Hook harp was made by Antonio Bertolini, in Dubrovnik, in 1790. Italian by origin or perhaps a naturalized Dubrovnik citizen, he is the first, and so far, the only known harp maker that worked on the territory of nowadays Croatia. Pedal harp was made by Franz Brunner in Vienna, in the first third of the 19th century. Pedal harps are kept at the Museum of Arts and Crafts, and the hook harp at the Cultural History Museum of Dubrovnik Museums. With regard to succeeding plucked instruments, there is the highest number of guitars (14) that have six strings, but there are also items with 10 and 16. The next most represented instrument is mandolin (13), with four courses of double strings. After them, the guitar lutes follow (4). The only lute in the holdings of Croatian museums is at the Museum of Arts and Crafts. It is an oud – Arabic short-neck pear-shaped lute without frets. All these instruments were made by 13 various instrument makers, workshops or factories. Taking into consideration that they come from the workshops of renowned masters and their age, two guitars are of particular value – one was made by Johann Georg Stauffer (between 1810 and 1820), and the other by Friedrich Schenk (1841); while on the national level, we need to note works of Antonio Bino and Franjo Fink. Namely, seven instruments from this group were made on the territory of nowadays Croatia. Antonio Bino‟s guitar was made in Dubrovnik (1828), which is probably the oldest guitar made on the territory of nowadays Croatia by naturalized instrument maker. Two guitars were made by Franjo Fink in Zagreb (before 1850 and in 1867), just as mandolin, by Ernest Köröskényi (1947), and three other mandolins at the Muzička naklada factory (the second half of the 20th century). Lute, guitars, guitar lutes, and mandolins are kept at 15 out of 50 museums. Just as is the case with keyboard, woodwind and brass instruments, the biggest number of instruments is at Museum of Arts and Crafts, specifically seven of them. The next one is the Museum of Slavonia with six instruments. There are 52 zithers in Croatian museums. Two types of zithers are represented: fretted zithers (25) and fretless zithers (27). The first type has a fingerboard with frets, over which the strings are sprung. This zither is of the so called “Salzburg form”, which means that it is rounded on the side away from the player. The second type does not have fingerboard with frets, it might have single strings, just like guitar (accord zither), double strings like mandolin (mandolin zither), or single and double strings (guitar-mandolin zither). All the mentioned instruments were made by 21 various makers, workshops or factories. As many as 22 instruments are of Austrian origin, 12 of them from Vienna. The second most represented country is Germany with 13 instruments. Fretted zithers were mostly made in Austria, and fretless ones were most common in Germany. The time of their origin follows trends in their manufacture and use. There are 12 items from the second half of the 19th century, since from that time on zither was played more intensively in Croatia. The oldest two zithers were made by Anton Kiendl around 1860, one is at the Varaždin City Museum, and the second one is at the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka. In late 19th and early 20th century, at the time when zither was among the most popular house music instruments, more than half of all museum zithers were made (27). Upon breakdown of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1918, quite a large number of zither amateur-players, mostly naturalized Austrians and Germans, returned to their homeland, after which amateur musical circles in Croatia showed more interest in tamburitza. Zithers were still made between the two world wars, after which they slowly faded away. When it comes to their representation in museums, zithers are recorded in practically half of all the museums – 24 out of 50. The highest number is kept at the Varaždin City Museum and the Šibenik City Museum (six in each). There are 13 percussion instruments at the Croatian museums‟ holdings, which makes it the least represented group. Instruments, marked just as “drums”, are drums that were most often used by city or military watch guards in the 19th century (Zagreb City watch guards‟ drum at the Croatian History Museum; Osijek City or military watch guards‟ drum at the Museum of Slavonia; French military drum at the Ozalj Regional Museum). Some of the percussion instruments used to belong to brass bands and city music bands (triangle, snare and bass drums at the Pazin City Museum; cymbals at the Nova Gradiška Town Museum). Two drum kits – at the Croatian Music Institute and the Šibenik City Museum – contains bass drum, snare drum, and cymbals. The main division of the percussion instruments is into those with definite and indefinite pitch. All mentioned instruments – drums, triangle, and cymbals – are percussion instruments of indefinite pitch. There are only two instruments from the definite pitch group recorded: a couple of kettledrums at the Croatian Music Institute, and a metallophone at the Museum of Slavonia. According to the material they are made of, percussion instruments are divided into membranophone, metallophone, and wooden ones. The mentioned drums and kettledrums belong to the first group; cymbals, triangle and metallophone belong to the second group, while there are no representatives of the third group (such as castanets, xylophone or marimba) at Croatian museums. Percussion instruments are kept at eight museums. The Pazin City Museum and the Croatian Music Institute take the lead with three instruments, and then follows the Museum of Slavonia with two of them. Finally, two Jew‟s harps are kept at holdings of the Veliki Tabor Castle in Desinić. They are idiophone instruments made of wrought iron. It can be assumed that they were made by an unknown master blacksmith from Veliki Tabor surroundings. They are very simple and not complete. However, taking into consideration that they date from late 16th or early 17 centuries, they are the oldest recorded instruments at Croatian museums‟ holdings. This research established that instruments at Croatian museums are mostly in depots, and not permanently or temporary exhibited. In such a way this ample collected and preserved material is quite invisible and unavailable to the public. Primarily, this is the case with museums that have instrument holdings, but a small number of exhibited ones: the Arts and Crafts Museum (there is only one harp at the Museum‟s permanent exhibition); the Croatian Music Institute (its treasure that can be seen and heard are three pianos that define it as a concert hall); the Varaždin City Museum (fortepiano and positive organ are exhibited); the Museum of Slavonia (only one piano at current permanent exhibition); the Šibenik City Museum (also only one piano at permanent exhibition). Following museums can be highlighted as positive examples when it comes to exhibition of instruments: the Samobor Museum, the Trakošćan Castle Museum, the Virovitica Municipal Museum, the Slatina Local History Museum, the Našice Local History Museum, the Stari Grad Museum, and the Korčula Town Museum. Although small in number, practically all instruments in these museums have their place as a part of permanent exhibition and are a part of elaborate concepts. Ten instruments are presented at the Pazin City Museum at the exhibition All Our Collections: Towards Permanent Exhibition. If asked whether musical instruments at Croatian museums are visible or invisible parts of culture, we can generally reply that only quite a small and insufficient number of them is visible. However, there are efforts, and in some museums very concrete actions, to improve the situation. This dissertation is contribution to throwing light to that hidden and unavailable treasure with some proposals for its presentation and use. Although well-preserved instruments generally can be exhibited, precondition for their real presentation is restoration. The museums that did well in this area are: the Varaždin City Museum (restored fortepiano, positive organ, guitar lute, and zither, while another fortepiano is currently undergoing restoration); the Trakošćan Castle Museum (restored fortepiano); the Križevci Municipal Museum (restored square piano and piano); the Našice Local History Museum (restored piano); the Island of Braĉ Museum (restored square piano); the Korčula Town Museum (restored fortepiano); the Cultural History Museum of Dubrovnik Museums (restored fortepiano and harp, conservation of guitar). It can be observed that such procedure is more of an exception than a rule, and in relation to total number of instruments it is very rare and reserved for extremely valuable instruments. However, there are many other instruments in need of professional intervention. Although these are demanding, long and expensive processes, we hope that in future there will be less incomplete and damaged instruments in Croatian museums, and more of those restored or undergoing restoration. The restoration has very much sense, which is confirmed by the fact that the restored keyboard instruments at museums are quite often played on. Museums that are leaders in presentation and use of restored instruments are the Varaždin City Museum, the Našice Local History Museum, and the Cultural History Museum of Dubrovnik Museums, as they represent important components in the concert life in these cities. The Kresnik Collection at the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka is an exemplary case of treatment of string instruments. Kresnik‟s violins are regularly presented at concerts, educational events and exhibitions. Digitization of musical instruments is a comprehensive work, but the one providing additional possibilities for their presentation and research. Although it is, just like restoration, complex and financially demanding, later on it pays off in many ways because it provides us with valuable data sources, expands availability of collection, points out its historical and cultural value and keeps it alive. Digitization of musical instruments is also something that Croatian museums should (start to) engage more seriously in. Not a single instrument from any of Croatian museums was included in the MIMO – Musical Instrument Museums Online (world‟s largest database on musical instruments held in public collections). Digitization of instruments rests on few worthy, but still quite sporadic examples. The pioneer project is digitization of the Ivan Gerersdorfer Collection of Mechanical Music Automata, at the Zagreb City Museum in 2007. The Musical Instruments Collection of the Arts and Crafts Museum has been included in digital repository since 2014. A very good example comes from the MeĊimurje Regional Museum in Ĉakovec, where in 2017, virtual exhibition was created on the basis of digitized material from the Slavenski Memorial Collection. Digitization of the Kresnik Collection from the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Littoral Rijeka has been conducted continuously. There are no other recorded examples of digitization of art music instruments in Croatian museums. That is exactly the area in which the scientific contribution of this dissertation can find its multiple purposes: as encouragement in evaluation, conservation, restoration, digitization, and exhibition of instruments. All set research aims were fulfilled in this dissertation: the types of instruments, makers (except for those that are not signed), building and shaping characteristics, and the existing state were determined. The research provided details about financial circumstances of previous owners, efforts and tastes of particular environments, individuals, and/or groups. The collected materials were structured in an articulate way. Two extensive tables – List of Instruments per Museums and List of Instruments per Type – have double function. On one side, they are a result of extensive field work dedicated to recording of instruments, which for the first time resulted in a concrete known number, knowledge of which instruments are in which museums, and overview by types. On the other hand, they served as a starting point for the first part of the dissertation, i. e. chapters in which they are analysed and positioned in musical, cultural, historical and social context. The basic presumption of dissertation is that from the point of view of musicology, instruments can be considered as one of key primary sources in studying of musical culture of a particular area. On the basis of examination of instruments, initial indications from museums, contacts with museum employees, some further research was conducted as to their history and context of use. The existing data were expanded with new facts and knowledge, as well as with possibilities for new interpretations. Incorrect museum data were corrected, and other data were reviewed and complemented in detail with consultation of professional literature. Model of museum processing and description of instruments was consistently applied, and extended and adapted, if necessary, to concrete case and their problem matter. Related materials recorded in various Croatian museums were compared. Wherever that was possible, local instruments were compared to those from foreign museums and collections. Although in Croatia there is no (still) musical instruments museum, some items from national museums – primarily those restored – go step in step with those in the most respectable foreign institutions. Special attention was dedicated to history or life of instruments before they came to museums. Research showed place of purchase, musicians who had played them, what kind of musical education they had had, what kind of repertoire they could have performed, just like relations with other primary sources (manuscript and printed sheet music). Some instruments were owned by noble families, that could have afforded high quality items as they were very well-situated. For example, two keyboard instruments, that once belonged to noble family Drašković, were preserved at the Trakošćan Castle. Conrad Graf‟s fortepiano was a very expensive instrument since he was one of the best and most respectable Viennese piano makers of his time. Painter and musician Julijana (Julija) Erdödy Drašković maybe played on Leopold Rott‟s piano. Her brother was Count Stjepan IV Erdödy, owner of a castle in Jastrebarsko. At the Arts and Crafts Museum there are two recorders, flageolet, and three signal trumpets from the legacy of this noble family, and a zither at the Jastrebarsko Town Museum and Gallery. Furthermore, some instruments belonged to prominent figures from Croatian cultural, art and social life (musicians, painters, sculptors, actors, writers, doctors, lawyers, politicians), thus confirming that music played an important part in their lives. Although they were not professional musicians, all of them were intellectuals characterized by a wide array of knowledge and education and affinity for art and culture. They had refined taste and their instruments are of the same quality as those purchased by noblemen. Finally, some instruments belonged to “unknown” individuals, that were not a part of public life, but were also lovers of art and culture. Just as is the case with previous group, all these instruments show the importance of amateur musicians and house music making because in that very context these instruments were used before they came to museums. Through conversations with their previous owners, their cousins and ancestors, many such histories were reconstructed and written down so they will not be forgotten. In some cases – not only with regard to location and condition, but in relation to nonexistence of documentation and data – caught situation and items were in a state of chaos that required putting in order. Concrete result of the work that was carried out is definitely arranged and systematized condition of art musical instruments in Croatian museums. Objects, that in museums are often “accidental” and unjustly neglected materials, turned out to be very layered and interesting for research work. Namely, they are much more than just objects. First of all, they are travelers who started their journey in domestic and foreign workshops to reach their players and museums later on. They are sources, moreover, one of key primary sources for studying musical culture of a particular area. Research of instruments in Croatian museums is a contribution to research of primary musical sources and Croatian musical culture and each particular location expands knowledge about how much music was present in everyday life and in special circumstances. Musical instruments can be successfully separated from the history of musical life of a particular city, though they are its integral part, and considered individually. When the content of music that was played in some locations and in concrete situations is added to these instruments, such as data on musicians, repertoire and reception, the comprehensive picture of musical culture is obtained. Finally, musical instruments are witnesses to rich and developed Croatian musical history, whose various layers arise from many centuries of cultivated and widely imbued traditional, church, and art music-making. They are strong connection between Croatia and Europe, past and present times. They prove and confirm its continuity, as well as inclusion of Croatian sources into Central European, Western European, and Mediterranean musical and cultural circles. The national musical culture was formed under the influence of these circles and their mutual interweaving. That is why here presented research work, in which art music instruments in Croatian museums were systematically analysed for the first time in musicological and cultural context, has current relevance.