L'herbier des Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques et ses quelque six millions d’échantillons est un des plus importants au monde. Quant au jardin, il abrite de magnifiques collections de plantes vivantes.

Site internet des Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques

L'herbier des Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques et ses quelque six millions d’échantillons est un des plus importants au monde. Quant au jardin, il abrite de magnifiques collections de plantes vivantes.

Site internet des Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques

Ouverte en 2009, la Médiathèque du FMAC a pour objectif l’encouragement et la diffusion de l’art vidéo à Genève. Elle réunit le Fonds André Iten, l’une des plus riches et importantes collections vidéo de Suisse, ainsi que la collection vidéo du FMAC.

Site internet du Fonds municipal d’art contemporain

Avec une collection riche de 25'000 objets illustrant douze siècles de culture céramique, le Musée Ariana compte parmi les grands musées européens spécialisés dans les arts du feu.

Site internet du Musée Ariana

Les Musées d’art et d’histoire forment le plus grand ensemble muséal de Suisse, avec ses cinq musées et leurs 700'000 objets, sa bibliothèque, son laboratoire de recherche et ses ateliers de restauration.

Site internet des Musées d'art et d'histoire

Haut lieu de la réflexion sur les sociétés humaines, le Musée d'ethnographie de Genève, dont les bâtiments se trouvent au boulevard Carl-Vogt propose au travers de ses expositions une variété de lectures anthropologiques des phénomènes sociaux et culturels qui traversent le monde actuel.

Site internet du Musée d'ethnographie

Le Musée d’histoire naturelle accueille plus de 250'000 visiteurs chaque année à la découverte des millions de spécimens exceptionnels appartenant au patrimoine naturel qu'il conserve. Unique en son genre en Suisse, le Musée d'histoire des sciences - affilié au Muséum - abrite une collection d'instruments scientifiques anciens issus des cabinets des savants genevois du 17e au 19e siècle.

Site internet du Musée d'histoire naturelle
Site internet du Musée d'histoire des sciences

Closed to the public
Several facilities of the City of Geneva closed their doors due to the increasing number of coronavirus cases.
Museums and libraries (including the MEG) are closed from November 2nd until further notice.
We hope to welcome you soon again at the MEG!
More information about the measures put in place by the city of Geneva.

Endongo, lyre
Uganda, Entebbe
Ganda. Early 20th century
Wood, lizard skin, leather, horsehair, seven skin or gut strings
Gift of Dr Johann Carl in 1918; collected in Uganda in 1908-1909
MEG Inv. ETHMU 007760
Geolocate the object
Traces of the lyre family go back more than five thousand years, to ancient Mesopotamia. Still today, the distribution of lyres is mostly confined to this historical zone which reaches from Egypt to Lake Victoria, near the Nile.
At the time of the kingdom of Buganda, the lyre represented the emblematic instrument of poets and musicians, attached to the court and responsible for preserving its history in order to pass it on to future generations.The endongo lyre is usually played sitting down. The musician puts the instrument on his knees, with the strings facing him, in order to play a musical part to accompany his song.

The image above is subject to copyright.
Copyrights for Photographic Reproduction

Instrument collections

In a study based on the MEG collection, published in 1919, the anthropologist and doctor Georges Montandon attempted to trace the origins and descent of musical instruments throughout the world. He grouped the instruments in ensembles, presented as plates of photographs and drawings. The study ends with a geographical sketch map showing the distribution of different types of instruments across the world.

As the study was read in scientific circles, the MEG’s instrument collection, classified in this manner, was widely quoted and used by researchers working on rational classification. The diffusionist approach was later abandoned to the benefit of comparative organology and contextual inventories.


The sound of stringed instruments depends on several factors, the main two being the material used for the strings (metal, plant fibres, leather, nylon, etc.) and the way they are played (plucked, bowed or struck). The greatest diversity of string instruments is found in Africa and some, such as the harp lute are specific to that continent. In various parts of Asia, the development of particularly rich musical repertoires is closely related to the development of instrument making. The vielle, a bowed stringed instrument, is emblematic of numerous musical traditions in Europe, where the instrument varies in shape and name.


  • Aubert, Laurent. 1991. Planete musicale, instruments de musique des cinq continents. Turin: Ivrea., 85
  • Tracay, Hugh. 1950. Songs with endongo bowl lyre and a humorous song with drums from the Ganda of Buganda district (Central Province), Uganda. Smithsonian Folkways.
  • Gray, Catherine T. 1993. The Ugandan Lyre endongo and its Music. British Journal of Ethnomusicology, vol 2., 117-142
  • Cooke Peter. 1996. Music in a Ugandan Court. Early Music, Vol 24, No 3., 439-452
  • Wachsmann, Klaus, et al. "Lyre." Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Web. 9 Jan. 2017. .
  • Muyinda, Evalisto. 1991. Music of the Baganda. Leiden: Pan Records 2003CD.
  • Makubuya, James Kika. 1995. Endongo: the role dans significance of the Baganda bowl lyre of Uganda. Los Angeles: University of California.