Barberini Harp Project / Interviews

The 2016 Convening in Roma opened a number of research directions and questions in Harfenlabor’s ongoing study of the Barberini Harp. Conversations with musicians, musicologists, art historians, instrument makers and scientists conducting Examinations on this harp, deepen our understanding by addressing some of the open questions and by proposing new approaches.

Mara Galassi / Dario Pontiggia

About the Barberini Harp

Harpist and researcher Mara Galassi and master luthier Dario Pontiggia discuss some of the finer points of making copies of historical harps, in particular, of the pros and cons of building a true copy of the Barberini Harp. As a luthier, Pontiggia believes he ought to “correct the mistakes" on the Barberini. As a performer, Galassi believes a true copy would offer valuable insights into the musical perspective of the period.

May 12, 2022
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Marzia Faietti

Two Souls of a Harp

Marzia Faietti provides art historical context for music iconography and its relation to mythological figures within the graphic art of the 16th and the 17th century at the Uffizi. Faietti's analysis of a preparatory drawing for a richly decorated harp, often attributed to Giovanni Battista Soria, offers a fascinating insight into the aesthetic, political, musical, ceremonial and economic importance of such an instrument.

May 8, 2022
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Mimmo Peruffo

Early Music Strings

Master string maker Mimmo Peruffo is one of the very few remaining makers of musical gut strings. He has learnt this secret art from an old master from Abruzzo through oral transmission and teaching of gestures. In his workshop in Vicenza, Peruffo demonstrates elements of this ancient technique and its simple tools, and offers insights as to why gut string making has been such a closely guarded secret for centuries.

May 6, 2022
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Volker Haag

The Barberini Harp Wood Species: The Biology of Sound

Volker Haag explains some of the science and methods underpinning the process of the Barberini Harp wood species identification conducted in 2018. The same scientific principles and methods also help us understand what types of wood are most suitable for instrument making and why this is so—an introduction, in a sense, into the biology of sound as produced by tone woods.

May 5, 2022
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Volker Haag / Eric Kleinmann

Wood Science Meets Historical Instrument Making

Volker Haag and Eric Kleinmann come together in this zoom conversation in order to comment on their respective earlier contributions and conclusions: The Biology of Sound and Practical Examination of the Barberini Harp. Their dialogue of is part of a continued conversation between the two disciplines—wood science and harp building—involved in preservation and construction of historical instruments.

May 1, 2022
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