Courses & masterclasses

Artistic research in the field of early wind instruments


Location: building Kleine Zavel – Room 070

Saturday 16/02


10h10             Welcome presentation by Jan De Winne (EHB/KCB): ‘how do we want it to sound’ vs ‘historical sound’: from Utopia to Knowledge…

10h30             Dr. Hannes Vereecke (Bundesfachschule für Musikinstrumentenbau, Ludwigsburg) : The “reading”, or in-depth analysis of musical instruments

The “reading”, or in-depth analysis of musical instruments, is a process which involves many challenges in practice. How can one systematically proceed? What considerations are of importance? Which analysis methods are suitable? How can the results be sensibly and sustainably documented? Supported with examples from the musical instrument construction practice, these issues are discussed in the context of the overall analysis process. The aim of this presentation is to outline the dimensions of the analysis of musical instruments, and as such to raise awareness for an effective methodical approach for the benefit of precise results.

 11h30            Andreas van Zoelen (KCB), discovering Adolphe Sax’s parabolic cone.

12h00            Lambert Colson, the Kasseler Zinken


14h00             Stefaan Verdegem: In Search of a Bach Oboe

Since the early music revival of the last century musicians have been looking for appropriate period instruments – being either originals or copies. Contradictory to the principles of Historically Informed Performance Practice, preference is often given to all-round woodwind instruments playing at c.415Hz, in order to cover the whole baroque repertoire. Although Johann Sebastian Bach is currently about the most performed baroque composer, until today most baroque oboists worldwide play his music on a copy of an English Stanesby oboe. Copies made after Leipzig oboes from the 1710-1740s were not entirely successful so far, for various reasons. An examination of the surviving Leipzig oboes from the Bach era, resulting in a comparative study of measurement data brought new insights about woodwind making in this city in the second quarter of the eighteenth century, and will hopefully culminate in a good copy of a Bach oboe, which has the required qualities for today’s concert and recording purposes.

14h40             Ricardo Simian (Schola Cantorum Basiliensis) 3D printing of wind instruments: New HIPP questions which arise  from these new technologies and tools

Introduction to 3D-print technologies and latest updates; the applications of 3D-modelling and 3D-print for early music research (with special attention to wind instruments). New tools for a more scientific approach. Further development and new possibilities and of course new HIPP questions which arise from these new technologies and tools : Psychological and Philosophical aspects


15h45             Discussion : new technologies and tools – moderator Hannes Vereecke


17h00  Musical conclusion.


Sunday 17/02

10h15: Jörg Fiedler : The Maze of the Comma

The way of looking at the very fundaments of musical theory century underwent a significant change during the 18th: Multiple attempts to simplify the sophisticated traditional doctrines in the field of harmonic, tuning and tonal systematic began to dominate the theoretical discourse. One of the most prolific among those systems is outlined by Georg Philipp Telemann in his “Neues musicalisches System” (1752). Although it is based on a fundamental (even if historical) misunderstanding this system turns out to be both a reliable and a precise description of practical intonation in the 18th century. Probably this system can provide a framework for the historically informed tuning of woodwind instruments?

11h00: Jan De Winne: Hidden information in 2 recently discovered Palanca flutes.

Carlo Palanca is a mystery flute maker – Born in 1688 he lived till 1783. Many of his flutes seem closer to the classical style of the 1760’s. What did he do till he was 72 years old? He was a bassoon player, he learned instrument making from his father Giovanni who was a woodwind maker listed in Turin in 1705. The only in dept article ever written is the one that Alfredo Bernardini published in Tibia in 1985. Where do we stand 30 years later?

11h30: Michael Lynn, Professor of Historical Flutes & Recorder, Curator of Musical Instruments, Emeritus Oberlin Conservatory of Music : the Buffet Coche flute.

One of the first versions of the Boehm flute developed in France was that of Auguste Buffet jeune and Victor Coche. They applied for a patent in 1838
and it was granted in 1839. Coche also published 2 booklets and a treatise  based on this flute, “Method for the teaching of the newly invented flute by
Gordon, modified by Boehm and perfected by V. Coche.”
We also find it discussed and drawn in Rockstro. In recent times this model has been referenced very rarely, and no book has a published photo, and
it doesn’t appear in museum databases. My presentation will introduce this special version of the “new flute” based on the only known extant example.

12:00 : Questions and Discussion

14h00: Peter Van Heyghen, Adrian Brown and Susanna Borsch:

The recorders SAM 130, 140 and 148 in the Sammlung alter Musikinstrumenteat the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

  1. Peter Van Heyghen

Although the recorder clearly did play a role of some importance as a solo instrument in Italy during the first half of the 17th century, there is no surviving historical instrument that can be ascribed to that region and period with any degree of certainty. Furthermore, none of the potential candidates meets all of the requirements in terms of size, pitch, range and other playing characteristics that can be deduced from a study of the surviving repertoire and its performance practice. The reconstruction of an appropriate new instrument for this repertoire requires searching for historically and stylistically plausible specimens to serve as models. This paper will document just how few options there are, and why SAM 130, 140 and 148 probably offer the best perspective for such an endeavor.

  1. Adrian Brown

In the Sammlung alter Musikinstrumente there are a trio of renaissance recorders, made by the same anonymous maker, which are quite unlike the majority of other surviving specimens. This paper will document their discovery and reconstruction, discuss their design characteristics and playing aesthetics and hint at a possible repertoire. The basic conception of these instruments is coherent across all three sizes and appears to follow a clear and regular schema, which makes it possible for modern makers to easily reconstruct intermediate sizes at alternative pitches. In the author’s opinion, these recorders point to a design more commonly associated with mid to late 17th century Nürnberg.

  1. Susanna Borsch

The unique design of the three recorders, SAM 130, 140 provides the modern recorder player with an instrument offering unique performance possibilities. In this talk, musical examples will be played on closely made reconstructions of the originals, to give an idea of how these instruments might have sounded. A direct comparison will also be made with other recorder models of the same size and period, but of different designs. With their comparatively quick response and wider range, as well as a strong vocal sound quality, these instruments offer a whole range of applications in different styles of music, in addition to their likely original repertoire.


16h00: concert by Peter Van Heyghen, Susanna Borsch, Adrian Brown, Kris Verhelst. Works by Picchi, Castello, Cesare, ….




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *