Effects of playing on early and modern musical instruments: proceedings

Rossi Rognoni, G. and Barry, A. M., eds. (2017) Effects of playing on early and modern musical instruments: proceedings. WoodMusICK. ISBN 978-84-946352-5-0


Aside from a few exceptions, musical instruments are very efficient tools, designed and built with the aim of combining the best musical result with ergonomic and economic considerations. However, as with many tools, their durability is closely connected to high structural tension, the reaction of materials to wear, chemical and humidity changes, and many other technical issues. The situation is further complicated by cultural expectations to experience the sound of musical instruments both passively and actively, regardless of their age. It is sometimes the case that some instruments, for example those of the violin family, are used almost continuously for three hundred years or more. Their cultural appeal goes far beyond consideration of their sound, eventually leading to the idea that use is vital for their long term conservation. On the other hand there exist instruments, particularly from the keyboard or woodwind family, which have been restored to playing condition after long periods of rest due to an increased interest in performing early music on original instruments over the course of the twentieth century. Conversely, other instruments are considered too fragile to be used and are therefore preserved for their cultural and aesthetic value, sometimes being used as models for the creation of functional copies. In all these cases, issues arise with regard to the effects of use and the choices of makers, the taste of performers, as well as with changing conservation policies and techniques: how is sound affected by continuous use; what effects does it have on the short and long term conservation of the materials; how does this affect decisions concerning modern replicas; and how can preventive techniques help to minimise risks connected to use and improve musical performance? This conference aimed to broadly address the implications of playing on original and contemporary instruments and on replicas, with particular attention to: Historical and contemporary approaches to the choice of materials in musical instrument construction and the implications of such choices for performance; Monitoring and predicting the short and long term reactions of instruments to being played/not played; Acoustical and perception analysis of early musical instruments in action, also in comparison with replicas.

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item