Research on the statics of historic keyboard instruments

Funded through the KUR – Programme for the Conservation of Moveable Cultural Assets

The Händel-Haus in Halle possesses an extensive collection of rare musical instruments, the majority of which are historic keyboard instruments. Past conservation efforts have primarily focused on keeping the instruments playable in order to prolong their use in concert performances of period music dating between 1650 and 1850.
This KUR project carried out basic research on the damage that occurs to historic keyboard instruments which are still in use today. With computer-aided simulations and calculations, the researchers learned more about their statics and structural-mechanical characteristics and the risks of damaging these instruments. The results can help researchers assess whether and under which circumstances a connection exists between the playability of an instrument and its conservation requirements. In addition to benefiting other collections of historic keyboard instruments, the results formed the basis for the conservation of a tangent piano, built around 1800.

Project administrator:
Händel-Haus Halle Foundation

Cooperative partners:
Technical University of Dresden, Institute of Statics and Dynamics of Load-Bearing Structures
Art History Museum in Vienna, Collection of Ancient Musical Instruments
Foundation of Weimar Classics


Clemens Birnbaum

Stiftung Händel-Haus Halle

Große Nikolaistraße 5

06108 Halle (Saale)

Tel.: +49 (0)345 50090221

stiftung​(at)​ (external link, opens in a new window)