Presentation, Preservation, Interpretation – The Challenges of Musical Instrument Collections in the 21st Century

Country: Switzerland

City: Basel and Bern

Abstr. due: 23.09.2016

Dates: 22.02.17 — 25.02.17

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Bern University of the Arts (HKB) and Museum für Musik, Basel


The  2017  annual CIMCIM conference  aims to  address two important issues in the field of historic al musical  instruments . T he first is how to deal with musical instruments of the 20 th and 21 st centuries , particularly but not  limited  to electronic instruments, regarding  issues  of collecting, presentation and conservation.  The s econd  is to  discuss the  preventive conservation  of  historical musical instruments  as well as  the dilemma  of play ing them , with  an  emphasis  on wind instruments.

The first topic of the conference concerns c ollecting and  re presenting musical instruments of all time periods and  geographies , including historical objects as well as recent musical instruments and  ‘ sound producers ’ .  On one  hand,  the use of new materials  ( such as  plastics and electronics) and mass fabrication  of modern instruments  create new challenge s for conservators and restorers regarding conservation and preservation.  On the other hand,  the objects’ relatively young age and their connection to  aspects of pop ular culture raise questions for curators  regarding  collecting and  presentation.

The  second topic of the conference will concentrate on questions of preventive conservation ,  particularly  the  conservation of objects ’ inherent information, as well as on the dilemma to play wind instruments,  always  entail ing risk.  Papers could discuss the state of the art today as well as  conservation’s  evolution through the  20 th century (especially since 1985 was the European year of music , coincid ing with the confere nce  “ Per una carta del restauro.  Conservazione, restauro e riuso degli strumenti musicali antichi ” in Venice ).  The last day of the  conference ( Sat urday , 25  February ) will focus on brasswinds,  in cooperation with the  “ Fourth International  Romantic Brass Sym posium Bern ” .  This day will highlight  investigation s of corrosion phenomena of historic al brasswind instruments during their use for research or performance.

Conference Web-Site: