Harfenlabor is a platform for critical and open discourse on topics related to the enigma of Historical Harp. This instrument was only revived around 40 years ago—it has not so far received the attention it is due in the music world and beyond, and it is largely invisible to a wider audience.

Already active as an analogue network, Harfenlabor has been initiating research and gathering musicologists, scientists, conductors, singers, instrumentalists, harp makers, string makers, and others through regular workshops, masterclasses, lectures, symposia and concerts to study and reflect on sources, train in historical harp skills, research the repertory for the harp, as well as commission contemporary works for historical instruments. Harfenlabor aims to provoke cross-disciplinary thinking and consider the still open research questions and propose new directions. To strengthen the transfer of these advances to musicians and researchers, Harfenlabor will present and disseminate this valuable content on these pages, its digital edition: a comprehensive, immersive, searchable resource of scientific and artistic research on Historical Harp. Harfenlabor was initiated and founded by Margret Köll in 2016.

In order to insure scientific rigour and depth of research, and strengthen the artistic and scientific aims of Harfenlabor, each of Harfenlabor’s major projects is guided by a scientific advisory board. The Barberini Harp Project has benefited greatly through the strategic guidance, resources and knowledge lent it by the members of its Scientific Advisory Board: Dr. Costanza Caraffa, art historian, Head of the Photothek, Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut; Chiara Granata, harpist and researcher; Margret Köll, historical harpist; and Dr. Alexandra Ziane, musicologist.

Harfenlabor’s digital edition team

Margret Köll, artistic / research director
Vanessa Vasić-Janeković, editorial director
Alexandra Ziane, contributing editor

Conceptual / art direction
Armin Linke, consultant

Giulia Bruno, editing and postproduction

Andrea Antonini, Giulia Bruno, Annamaria Celeste (OEHI), Sandra Perrone, Stephen Piccolo

Web development and design
This website was made possible through collaboration between Harfenlabor and ISIA U (Istituto Superiore per le Industrie Artistiche Urbino) and is Carlo Andrea Schlatter’s BA degree project, in which he was supported by Armin Linke and the ISIA U Director Jonathan Pierini (with special thanks for his extensive and fundamental contribution in overseeing the project). ISIA U encourages collaboration among institutions, faculty, and students in order to foster social development and cultural design.

Special thanks for their help in preparing these pages to Hannah Baader, Yann Bongiovanni, Elena Capra, Laura Donati, Mara Galassi, Giuseppe Ielasi, Thomas Nußbaumer, Fabrizio Paolucci, Christa Patton, Martina Pozzan, Eike Schmidt, Kati Simon, and Paola Spagnolo.


Harfenlabor’s digital edition enjoys the generous support of the Senatsverwaltung für Kultur und Europa (Berlin), the Istituto Storico Austriaco a Roma and Studio Armin Linke (Berlin).

The Barberini Harp Project has enjoyed generous support from, in particular, the Istituto Storico Austriaco a Roma (with special thanks to Prof. dott. Andreas Gottsmann, Director); as well as the Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali in Roma (with special thanks to the former director, Dr. Sandra Suatoni, as well as to Arch. Sonia Martone, the current director); to the Thünen-Institut in Hamburg (with special thanks to Dr. rer. nat Volker Haag), the Gabinetto dei Disegni e delle Stampe, Gallerie degli Uffizi in Firenze (with special thanks to Dr. Marzia Faietti, the former director); and the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz – Max-Planck-Institut (with special thanks to Dr. Costanza Caraffa, Head of the Phototek).

The Zwischen den Saiten-Fest der Historischen Harfe (11-14.11.2021, Innsbruck) was made possible through cooperation with the Department für Musikwissenschaft / Fachbereich Musikalische Ethnologie (Universität Mozarteum Salzburg), Institut für Musikwissenschaft (Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck), Tiroler Volksmusikverein, Tiroler Landesmuseen, Innsbrucker Festwochen der Alten Musik, Haus der Musik Innsbruck and Istituto Italiano di Cultura Vienna. The festival was supported and sponsored by Land Tirol, Stadt Innsbruck, Bundesministerium für Kunst und Kultur, Tiroler Versicherung, ISIA Urbino, Firma Mürnseer, Firma Rauch, Firma Petutschnigg, and Firma Hammerschmidt.

Harfenlabor: selected activities

December 14-16, 2016, Roma
Convening around the Barberini Harp Project, international symposium in cooperation with the Istituto Storico Austriaco (Andreas Gottsmann), Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali Roma (Sandra Suatoni), Mozarteum Salzburg and the Deutsche Botschaft in Rom, with contributions by harpists, harp makers, musicologists and art historians.

“Zwischen den Saiten,” ongoing workshops at the Tiroler Landeskonservatorium and Haus der Musik Innsbruck.

Harfenlabor invited Thünen-Institut (Hamburg) to examine the column and other important components of the Barberini Harp at the Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali, Roma, with a new 3D microscope, under the direction of Volker Haag, in order to identify the types of wood used in the construction of this harp.

“Investigations of the Barberini Harp,” lecture at the Thünen-Institut, Institut für Holzforschung (Hamburg), by Margret Köll (Harfenlabor) and Volker Haag (Thünen-Institut).

“Harp and Myth,” at Le Gallerie degli Uffizi (Firenze), a lecture-concert in collaboration with the art historian Marzia Faietti, analysing representations of harp in a mythological context through drawings in the Uffizi collection.

“Barock bis Galant,” harp workshop at Studio Armin Linke (Berlin).

Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger,” online lecture with harpsichord player Anne Marie Dragosits, and lutenist Michele Pasotti, focusing on basso continuo.

“Zwischen den Saiten,” online harp workshop.

“Haydn’s Folk Harp,” the first edition of Harfenlabor’s new Harp Biennale, titled Zwischen den Saiten, is an artistic-scientific duel between the Single-Action-Harp around Haydn and its Alpine counterpart, the Tyrolean Folk Harp. The festival took place November 11–14, 2021, at Haus der Musik Innsbruck and Tiroler Landesmuseen Ferdinandeum.

May 2022, the launch of Harfenlabor’s digital edition.


Rennweg 22
6020 Innsbruck — Österreich
E-Mail: info@harfenlabor.com

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