The Museo de la Música Puertorriqueña (English: Museum of Puerto Rican Music) is a museum in Ponce, Puerto Rico that showcases the development of Puerto Rican music, with displays of Taíno, Spanish, and African musical instruments that were played in the romantic danza genre, the favorite music of 19th-century Puerto Rican society, as well as the more African-inspired bomba and plena styles. Also on view are memorabilia of composers and performers. The Museum traces the rich musical history of the Puerto Rico through memorabilia of famous musicians and displays of the musical instruments associated with the three genres of music that originated in this Caribbean island.
The pastel villa building was built by a well known architect named Juan Bertoli Calderoni, who also built many other buildings throughout Puerto Rico. It was designed in the neo-classic architectural style. The house was built as the residence of the Serrallés-Nevárez family. Felix Juan Serralles, who married Francisca Nevarez, was a prominent local industrialist, and himself the grandson of prominent businessman Juan Serrallés, the founder of the Destileria Serralles rum company. In the mid-1950s the building became the first location of the Museo de Arte de Ponce. Prior to occupying its current location at the southeast corner of Isabel and Salud streets, the Museum of Puerto Rican Music was originally based at 70 Cristina Street.
The building was restored in 1990 by the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture with the goal of paying tribute to the works of Puerto Rican musicians in the most honorable way possible. The building is easily spotted as it is housed in a pastel-colored villa, intentionally meant to attract visitors. The museum exhibitions are presented in both Spanish and English. The museum building is located at the southeast corner of Isabel and Salud streets.
The museum is "designed to produce the necessary visual and auditory impact on the audience so as to maximize the potential to draw the actual value of the unique Puerto Rican music". The distinctive Puerto Rican music is often exported to other islands in the Caribbean. It is also widely played throughout other parts of the world, especially in the United States. The displays show how Puerto Rican music started and how it has developed over the years. Some of the instruments displayed are the güicharo or güiro, which is a gourd that has been hollowed out, and variants of the original six-string Spanish guitar-like instruments the requinto and bordonua.