Computed Tomography as a Tool for Archiving Ethnomusicological Objects

  • Sebastian KirschEmail author
Part of the Current Research in Systematic Musicology book series (CRSM, volume 5)


Musical instruments in ethnological collections can be a challenge for museums. Objects with uncertain provenance or doubtful circumstances of acquisition are considered to be repatriated. Some objects consist of sensitive material like human remains and are therefore bound to ethical guidelines for exhibition. On the example of a Tibetan damaru, a drum made of two human skulls, the provenance of the object and ethical considerations are discussed. For the case of repatriation 3D computed tomography is presented as a powerful examination and archiving method. Furthermore, virtual presentation and research concepts as well as other museum applications of 3D data of musical instruments are considered.



I gratefully acknowledge Prof. Dr. Ingo Bechmann, Institute of Anatomy at the University of Leipzig and Dr. Carsten Babian, Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Leipzig for important help with the examination of the skulls.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Musical Instrument Museum University of LeipzigLeipzigGermany

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