Numerical Restoration of Historical Musical Instruments


The conservation, restoration and maintenance of rare and precious musical instruments is currently problematic, and will become increasingly so in the future: most instruments in museum collections are already out of playing condition, and deteriorating to the extent that their unique sounds will eventually be lost. Curators are well aware of the ethical problems associated with restoration and maintenance, and digital technology offers a solution to the problem of saving the sound of historical musical instruments. However, current digitisation practices are largely inadequate for a deeper understanding of musical instruments, as they have so far been limited to photogrammetric or sampling techniques. The applicant believes that museum collections would benefit from a new approach to digitising musical instruments. A comprehensive understanding of musical instruments can only be achieved by a focused acoustical and mathematical study, ultimately yielding a wealth of efficient and realistic simulation techniques which could be used for real-time emulation: this is the context in which NEMUS will operate. By developing the most advanced mathematical models yet describing sound propagation and transmission in musical instruments, NEMUS will create sustainable, durable and realistic digital emulations of historical musical instruments that are currently out of playing condition. NEMUS will also generate computer-aided simulation studies of a number of harpsichords of the Ruckers/Couchet tradition, to complement organological studies on Ioseph Ioannes Couchet craftmanship. For the first time, complex musical systems will be solved under real-time, on standard consumer hardware, using mainstream numerical methods such as finite difference schemes, including the player’s interaction with the instrument. Appropriate controllers with haptic feedback will be devised, so as to facilitate use in virtual and augmented reality environments.

Project details

Unibo Team Leader: Michele Ducceschi

Unibo involved Department/s:
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale

ALMA MATER STUDIORUM - Università di Bologna(Italy)

Total Eu Contribution: Euro (EUR) 1.497.265,00
Project Duration in months: 60
Start Date: 01/07/2021
End Date: 30/06/2026

Cordis webpage

UE flag This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 950084