iscrizione e programma

COST Action FP1302 Conference

Approach to Wooden Musical Instruments Identification

30/09 and 1/10, 2014 Cremona,

The identification of a musical instrument is usually carried out through the visual examination of an item under scrutiny by an expert or connoisseur scrutinizer. The ocular skillfulness of the examiner, alongside with his/her knowledge of a relevant number of other similar objects, readily suggests a possible provenance, a school of manufacturing, and in some cases even an attribution to a maker. It is also a common practice to rely on photographic documentation and on few measurements in order to identify an object. However, this empirical process is mostly unsatisfactory from a documentary point of view, as it aims to the eventual identification of the maker rather than to an objective and reliable description of the artifact “in itself”.

The goal of this Conference is reversing the factors, focusing on methods and techniques potentially available for a careful and multidisciplinary analysis of the wooden item, whatever the influence of the environment in which it was manufactured as well as the craftsman who made it.
In this view the principal goal would became to gather all possible information on the single item, postponing to a second stage of examination the comparison among similar objects.

Conference topics:
  • Identification of wood species
  • Documentation of infernal and/or non accessible structural components of the instruments
  • Measurement of volumetric shape
  • Varnishes characterization
  • Determination of acoustic properties of the instruments
  • Documentation and interpretation of tool marks
  • Provenance and ageing of materials

Practical information and preliminary program: