Research

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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Volker Haag / Valentina Zemke

Examining the Harp in Roma: The Process

This is a video account of aspects of the scientific process deployed by the wood scientists Volker Haag and Valentia Zemke during the The Barberini Harp Wood Species Identification in the Museo Nazionale degli Strumenti Musicali Roma in 2018. It’s a delicate process, as the scientists must approach this precious harp with utmost care, due to conservation concerns.

May 11, 2022
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Volker Haag

Thünen-Institut Wood Species Identification Report

Institut für Holzforschung, Thünen-Institut (Hamburg) presents the findings of the anatomical determination of structural features for wood species on the Barberini Harp, detected with the non-destructive high-resolution 3D-reflected light microscopy and compared with the data held in the scientific wood collection at the Thünen-Institut. On February 18, 2019, Volker Haag shared his findings in this report to Harfenlabor.

May 10, 2022
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Volker Haag / Valentina Zemke

The Barberini Harp Wood Species Identification

In December 2018, Volker Haag and Valentina Zemke from the Thünen-Institut, Institut für Holzforschung transported comprehensive microscopy equipment, including a state-of-the-art 3D-RLM (3D-reflected light microscopy) microscope from Hamburg to Roma for investigation of wood species on the Barberini Harp. This advanced technology enables completely non-destructive material analysis.

May 10, 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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Chiara Granata

“My Hands are Armed with Nought but Sweet-toned Strings?" Different Ways to Use the Same Instrument

Chiara Granata argues for keeping open the tension between the opposite viewpoints expressed by Dario Pontiggia and Mara Galassi in About the Barberini Harp on the need for a true copy of the Barberini Harp. Granata presents a variety of performance situations and argues that the harp had a varied use: the contradictions preserved in an absolute copy would allow for diverse solutions.

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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Anne Marie Dragosits / Michele Pasotti

Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger

In this Harfenlabor online zoom lecture, Anne Marie Dragosits, harpsichordist, brings “New information on Giovanni Girolamo Kapsperger - with special focus on his material for the basso continuo”; Michele Pasotti, lutenist, conducts close reading and analyses of manuscripts and transcripts in “Passaggi per suonare sopra la parte. Kapsperger and other 17th century Italian sources for basso continuo on the theorbo.”

May 4, 2022
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Michele Pasotti

A Door to Medieval Music

Michele Pasotti, musician, lutenist, conductor, researcher and philosopher shares fascinating insights into his musical passion, the “medieval music,” in particular the musical style known as Ars subtilior. Thrilled by the refinement, elegance and complexity of this music, moved by its dulcedo and sensuality, Pasotti shares his discoveries of the layers of subtle information between the lines in the manuscripts of the period.

May 3, 2022
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