"Wie von Geisterhand" – Zur Geschichte der Welte-Forschungsprojekte an der Hochschule der Künste Bern

Skamletz, Martin (2011). "Wie von Geisterhand" – Zur Geschichte der Welte-Forschungsprojekte an der Hochschule der Künste Bern In: Hänggi, Christoph (ed.) Wie von Geisterhand – Aus Seewen in die Welt – 100 Jahre Welte Philharmonie-Orgel. Katalog der Sonderausstellung im Museum für Musikautomaten Seewen 2012/2013 (pp. 11-19). Seewen: Museum für Musikautomaten

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It all started with the presence at the 2005 Bern Biennale of a Welte reproducing grand piano, which was primarily being used to play sentimental bar music between the events taking place at the Bern University of the Arts (HKB). It soon became clear that the exploration of Welte technology, the conservation of music roll recordings, and their role in the research into the interpretation of music had all come together at the same time – and that synergies, in the form of collaborations with other departments of the Bern University of Applied Sciences (BFH), were on hand. Commencing 2006, research projects involving the BFH’s Department of Engineering and Information Technology (BFH-TI, formerly Technikum Biel) were planned and embarked on. Initially financed by the BFH itself, funding for the projects was ultimately assumed in 2008 by the Swiss National Science Foundation’s DORE programme. A partnership with the Seewen Museum of Music Automatons soon followed. The third project of the “As if by magic” series is currently underway. Following the development of technology capable of scanning and digitalising the music rolls in the Seewen Museum’s collection – a process now completed – attention is now focusing on how music was interpreted in the early 20th century. Performances documented by the Welte rolls reveal traces of much older interpretation traditions.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


Bern Academy of the Arts
Bern Academy of the Arts > Institute Interpretation


Skamletz, Martin0000-0001-9634-4817 and
Hänggi, Christoph


M Music and Books on Music > M Music




Museum für Musikautomaten




Martin Skamletz

Date Deposited:

18 Nov 2020 11:19

Last Modified:

22 Jun 2022 10:55

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