The Wartburg Gittern: New Insights and Outlooks

Hirsch, Thilo (10 November 2022). The Wartburg Gittern: New Insights and Outlooks (Unpublished). In: Online Study Day on the Wartburg Gittern. Bern. 10.11.2022.

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Since 1860, the collection of the Wartburg Foundation in Eisenach has contained a gittern, which, due to its organological characteristics and the glued-in instrument label with the inscription “Hans Ot in / Nuremberg”, is dated to around 1450. The so-called Wartburg gittern is therefore considered one of the earliest preserved plucked string instruments. In the course of historically informed performance practice, it has often been ‘copied’ since the last third of the 20th century and these instruments have now become an integral part of many ensembles for medieval music. However, the ‘authenticity’ of the numerous replicas has so far been based mainly on the external features of the instrument, since it has not been opened since a scarcely documented repair in the 1950s, and (apart from a few X-ray pictures from the 1980s) only speculations about the internal construction could be made. In the course of a research project of the Swiss National Science Foundation at the Bern Academy of the Arts HKB on the medieval bowed string instruments rabab & rebec, which share a monoxyl construction with the gittern, the Wartburg gittern has now been re-examined, including a CT scan in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Institute Fürth. The results of the investigation, which on the one hand answer many questions, but raises several others, will be presented at this study day and contextualised by further lectures and round table discussions.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Bern Academy of the Arts
Bern Academy of the Arts > Institute Interpretation
Bern Academy of the Arts > Institute Interpretation > Performance and interpretation
Bern Academy of the Arts > Institute Interpretation > Musical Instruments


Hirsch, Thilo0000-0001-7707-7469


M Music and Books on Music > M Music


[7] Swiss National Science Foundation


[UNSPECIFIED] Rabab & Rebec - Erforschung von fellbespannten Streichinstrumenten des späten Mittelalters und der frühen Renaissance und deren Rekonstruktion




Thilo Hirsch

Date Deposited:

18 Nov 2022 10:00

Last Modified:

18 Nov 2022 10:00

Uncontrolled Keywords:

musicology, organology, music, gittern


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