Barberini Harp Project / Convening

This international symposium held December 14-16, 2016 in Roma, was organised by Harfenlabor in cooperation with the Istituto Storico Austriaco and Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali in Roma, as well as with Mozarteum Salzburg and the Deutsche Botschaft in Rom. Contributions by harpists, harp makers, musicologists and art historians presented research directions and questions, outcomes of which Hafenlabor presents here, and in Interviews with Experts, and Examinations.

Bernhard Schrammek

Report on the Convening in Roma
14-16 December 2016

Bernhard Schrammek's report offers a concise account of Harfenlabor's interdisciplinary international symposium Convening around the Barberini Harp Project, which took place on 14-16 December 2016, in Roma, in collaboration with the Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali, Istituto Storico Austriaco a Roma, and the Deutsche Botschaft Rom, bringing together musicologists, harpists, harp and string makers, and art historians.

May 19, 2022
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Chiara Granata / Dario Pontiggia

What We Know, and What We still Do Not Understand about the Barberini Harp

Chiara Granata and Dario Pontiggia present findings and analysis related to new facts about the Barberini Harp. By integrating technical and historical research, they offer facts as well as open questions about this sumptuous musical instrument and its contexts. Unlike the other analyses presented by Harfenlabor, Granata and Pontiggia posit that Giovanni Lanfranco's painting Venus Playing the Harp does not depict the Barberini Harp.

May 18, 2022
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Elisabetta Frullini

“Venere che sona d’arpa e due amori”:
Marco Marazzoli at the Barberini Court

Giovanni Lanfranco’s painting Venus Playing the Harp depicts a harp very similar to the Barberini Harp. Elisabetta Frullini shares analysis and archival research to propose that Lanfranco might have indeed depicted the Barberini Harp, on commission by his friend, the harpist Marco Marazzoli. Frullini’s research highlights the aesthetic and social importance of this precious instrument and the representations of it.

May 17, 2022
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Joachim Steinheuer

The Harp in Intermedi and Early Opera

Joachim Steinheuer provides rich overview of the different uses of harps in the intermedi, madrigals and early opera and its relation to the mythological figures of Apollo, Orpheus and Arion. Through intriguing comparisons of the musical and iconographic sources, the harp appears as an ensemble instrument, as the main continuo, and as a solo instrument, and in some unusual accompaniment combinations.

May 15, 2022
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Eric Kleinmann

Practical Examination of the Barberini Harp

Eric Kleinmann shares findings of decades-long research into and practical examinations of the Barberini Harp as part of his work on building reproductions of this famous Baroque harp. Harfenlabor commissioned Kleinmann to build a small-scale model of the top of the harp for experiments with stringing, and present analysis of changes made to the harp, and other aspects pertinent to building a copy.

May 15, 2022
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Ursula Verena Fischer Pace

Designs for Musical Instruments

A drawing titled Progetto per un’arpa, in the collection of the Uffizi, presents a project for a harp with a richly decorated column. Ursula Verena Fischer Pace presents arguments stating that not only was this a design drawing for the Barberini Harp, but also that the drawing ought to be attributed to Giovanni Battista Soria. Soria had worked for the Barberini; his hand is clearly recognisable in this design for a harp.

May 14, 2022
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