Coordinate Measuring systems, like the Faro-arm, which we use in our institute, allow for touch-free CAD-documentation with a tolerance of 0.08 mm.

Such precision is necessary because the given substance of historic instruments. There is a lack of criteria that clearly discern important from unimportant items. In order to reach a controlled scientific assessment, it is necessary to specify the degree of uncertainty as clearly as possible. The interpretation of the preserved substance will be possible only on basis of such information.

Manual coordinate measuring arm

Measuring microscopes help to measure sensitive materials without touching them. We are using the Merlin 2-Axes video-measuring microscope with 0.001 mm accuracy.

For example, when the organ pipes (consisting of tin-lead alloys) are being documented, the traditional measuring process itself can change the object. (Tin-lead alloys). Touch-free measuring, however, meets requirements of historical monuments preservation to a high degree. When it comes to historical keyboard instruments measuring of softer materials such as leather and cloth is only possible with this procedure.

Measuring microscope

X-rays with technical x-ray devices result in fine representations: In wooden objects the annual rings of different layers are clearly visible. Technical ray cameras work with much less radiation energy than medical X-ray equipment. Low radiation and long exposure time lead to impressive results. In connection with the coordinate measuring arm these takings are metrologically evaluated.

Steinflügel Röntgenaufnahme

Video-endoscopes allow for uncovering the otherwise hidden. We use the video scope produced by Karl Storz GmbH & Co. KG (Tuttlingen, Germany), with 3.8, 5, or 8 mm. In addition, video scope with laser measuring points can be used for surveying the interior of instruments with the accuracy down to 0.01 mm. In conjunction with the X-ray procedure, it is possible to record measurements of internal sound forming elements in a non-destructive way. The imaging procedure allows measuring on the image by way of creating points of reference.

Photographic documentation. Details and overall views are documented using lighting and high-resolution digital cameras (Leica, Hasselblad). For takings with measuring points these photographs are used to record details with an accuracy of 0.01 mm without touching the object.

Academic experts, who work in and for the institute, search and go through archival material, evaluate the information. Together with the findings in the instrument itself, a picture of the internal history and the context of a historic musical instrument is created.

Experimental archeology, is a term, that describes the approach to manufacturing methods that are not directly accessible to us through tradition. To understand the power of invention and the space of free design of an instrument as cultural asset, it is of particular importance that the artisanal methods are understood as much as possible. In the form of projects replicas of entire seminal instruments or substantial parts of them will be built in the institute and reconstructed historical craft procedures will be consistently applied. Production and function of a musical instrument can only be understood in close context to each other. Only the understanding of unity of production and function allows insights into the structure, function and the fulfilment of the desire for expression.

The aim is to improve our understanding of the historical musical instrument as a source of tradition of cultural-history as well as of history of technology.

The above means of documentation are tools. Their use leads to an availability or amount of data, leaving it solely to the enquiring beholder to which degree he or she wants to make use of the information. The result of the documentation is not confusing numbers, but understandable, plain two- or three-dimensional representations, from which all measured values can be removed. The complex instrument is available as a virtual data carrier for a hermeneutic process. Comparative or explanatory organology is transformed on this basis into a science.

To compile such a data pool is made possible with in justifiable time and cost frames with the tools presented. The art historical value of historical instruments is a legacy that can only be acquired through knowledge. Only the process of gaining knowledge and insight allows a responsible, spirited use of this cultural heritage.

Mechanik der Poesie II
– Die Orgel im 17. und
18. Jahrhundert
Watch a trailer of the CD-ROM: Quicktime 320x240px 13 MB
more (in german)

Mechanik der Poesie I
– Besaitete Tasteninstrumente des 15.-19. Jahrhunderts
Watch a trailer of the CD-ROM: Quicktime 320x240px 13 MB
more (in german)

© Greifenberger Institut für Musikinstrumentenkunde 2010 |