Vienna Talk 2015 on Music Acoustics
“Bridging the Gaps”     16–19 September 2015


To know, to remember, to preserve: documenting objects and sites related to sound production

Bastos, Patricia Lopes 

Proceedings of the Third Vienna Talk on Music Acoustics (2015), p. 104


An increasing interest is being given to the implementation of art and science documenting strategies, essential to the safe-guarding and memory keeping of a human patrimony which history and even recent occurrences have proved to be very fragile and vulnerable. Consistency, uniformity, and objectivity, are necessary factors for the construction of a reliable documenting system. For an effective communication, a clear methodology used in the description of an object or of a landscape consequently helps the reader to immediately recognize the item or geographic features, and in most cases facilitates their reproduction. The easily accessible and non-electrical techniques and equipment used to identify a given object or natural sites, related or unrelated, combined or disperse, are associated with technological evolution on both universal and specific schemes, here brought to discussion. These may be used in both cataloguing a limited collection and in the construction of a general database of musical instruments, iconography, and natural locations with a relevant human sound-making role. To use the universal measurement procedure is especially effective in the case of objects with irregular contours, such as percussion instruments made with seeds, odd shaped ocarinas, or large sized rocks, as examples. The specific measurements are valuable for those seeking further details and expert information on features particular to each item. In this paper we shall present the methodologies used in our work, in our efforts to better understand the sound patrimony and to record the obtained information in a clear uniform system, seeking to contribute to the share of knowledge and preservation of a significant part of our cultural and scientific heritage.


Export citation

  • documentation
  • measurement techniques
  • cataloguing
  • database system
  • musical instruments and iconography
  • sounding rocks
  • sound objects

  • Status
    not reviewed

    Banner Pictures: © PID/Schaub-Walzer