3D Imaging of Musical Instruments: Methods and Applications

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


This treatise is intended as an introduction to three-dimensional (3D) imaging for stakeholders working with musical instruments, e.g. ethnologists, musicologists, curators, and instrument builders. The work should help to find the appropriate method for a specific purpose and further highlight several possible applications for the obtained data. Firstly, three techniques of 3D image acquisition are introduced. Advantages and disadvantages of the proposed methods are discussed in terms of ease of use and obtained information. Secondly, a workflow is presented to post-process the captured raw data. Finally, several examples of possible utilization of the generated virtual models are introduced. As far as possible, the proposed procedures are based on the use of open source software/freeware and should be applicable on regular current personal computers. Parts of this work are based on a proceedings abstract published in 2017 [29].


  1. 1.
    Apollonio FI et al (2018) A 3D-centered information system for the documentation of a complex restoration intervention. J Cult Herit 29:89–99 (cit. on p. 11)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Balletti C, Ballarin M, Guerra F (2017) 3D printing: state of the art and future perspectives. J Cult Herit 26:172–182 (cit. on p. 10)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Baracchini C et al (2003) SICAR: geographic information system for the documentation of restoration analysis and intervention article. In: Salimbeni R (ed) Proceedings of SPIE—the international society for optical engineering, vol 5146, pp 149–160 (cit. on p. 11)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Barbero-García I et al (2018) Smartphone-based close-range photogrammetric assessment of spherical objects. Photogramm Rec 33(6):283–299 (cit. on p. 2)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Bekele MK et al (2018) A survey of augmented, virtual, and mixed reality for cultural heritage. J Comput Cult Herit 11(2):1–36 (cit. on p. 10)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Berger M et al (2014) State of the art in surface reconstruction from point clouds. In: Eurographics 2014-state of the art reports 1, pp 161–185 (cit. on p. 5)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bernardini F, Rushmeier H (2002) The 3D model acquisition pipeline. Comput Graph Forum 21(2):149–172 (cit. on p. 11)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Borman T, Stoel B (2009) Review of the uses of computed tomography for analyzing instruments of the Violin family with a focus on the future. J Violin Soc Am XXII(1):1–12 (cit. on p. 4)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Bucur V (2006) Acoustics of wood. Springer (cit. on p. 8)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Carboni N, de Luca L (2016) Towards a conceptual foundation for documenting tangible and intangible elements of a cultural object. Digit Appl Archaeol Cult Herit 3(4):108–116 (cit. on p. 12)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Carrozzino M, Bergamasco M (2010) Beyond virtual museums: experiencing immersive virtual reality in real museums. J Cult Herit 11(4):452–458 (cit. on p. 10)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Cepeda JF et al (2013) A practical method to model complex threedimensional geometries with non-uniform material properties using image-based design and COMSOL multiphysics. In: Proceedings of the 2013 COMSOL conference in Boston (cit. on p. 9)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Cignoni P, Scopigno R (2008) Sampled 3D models for CH applications: a viable and enabling new medium or just a technological exercise? J Comput Cult Herit 1(1):1–23 (cit. on p. 1)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Coon C et al (2016) Preserving rapid prototypes: a review. Herit Sci 4(1):40 (cit. on p. 10)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Eberhorn M et al (2017) Web based visualization software for big data X-CT volumes with optimized datahandling and workflow. In: Preservation of wooden musical instruments—4th annual conference COST FP1302 WoodMusICK. Ethics, practice and assessment, pp 149–152 (cit. on p. 11)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Guarnieri A, Pirotti F, Vettore A (2010) Cultural heritage interactive 3D models on the web: an approach using open source and free software. J Cult Herit 11(3):350–353 (cit. on p. 11)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Heismann BJ, Leppert J, Stierstorfer K (2003) Density and atomic number measurements with spectral X-ray attenuation method. J Appl Phys 94(3):2073–2079 (cit. on p. 8)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Ioannides M, Quak E (eds) (2014) 3D research challenges in cultural heritage. Lecture notes in computer science, vol 8355. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, p 151 (cit. on p. 1)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Jiménez Fernández-Palacios B, Morabito D, Remondino F (2017) Access to complex reality-based 3D models using virtual reality solutions. J Cult Herit 23:40–48 (cit. on p. 10)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Jung T, Gross MD, Do EY-L (2002) Annotating and sketching on 3D web models. In: Proceedings of the 7th international conference on intelligent user interfaces—IUI’02. ACM Press, New York, USA, p 95 (cit. on p. 12)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Katz J (2017) Digitized Maya music: the creation of a 3D database of Maya musical artifacts. Digit Appl Archaeol Cult Herit 6:29–37 (cit. on p. 2)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Kazhdan M, Bolitho M, Hoppe H (2006) Poisson surface reconstruction. In: Proceedings of the symposium on geometry processing, pp 61–70. arXiv:1006.4903 (cit. on p. 6)
  23. 23.
    Kim MH et al (2014) Hyper3D. J Comput Cult Herit 7(3):1–19 (cit. on p. 11)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kirsch S et al (2017) Some remarks on chances and challenges of computed tomography of musical instruments. The “MUSICES” project. CIMCIM Bull 1 (cit. on pp. 4, 6)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Konopka (2016) Hygro-mechanical structural analysis of keyboard instruments. In: Analysis and characterisation of wooden cultural heritage by scientific engineering methods, pp 65–71 (cit. on p. 9)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    MacDonald L (2006) Digital heritage. Routledge, pp 448–463 (cit. on p. 1)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Mannes D et al (2015) Combined neutron and X-ray imaging for noninvasive investigations of cultural heritage objects. Phys Procedia 69(69):653–660 (cit. on p. 4)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Pears N, Liu Y, Bunting P (eds) (2012) 3D imaging, analysis and applications. Springer, London (cit. on p. 1)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Plath N, Kirsch S (2017) Post-processing of musical instrument 3D-computed tomography data for conservational applications. In: Preservation of wooden musical instruments—4th annual conference COST FP1302 WoodMusICK, pp 161–164 (cit. on p. 1)Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    Potenziani M et al (2015) 3DHOP: 3D heritage online presenter. Comput Graph 52:129–141 (cit. on p. 11)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Pyrkosz M, Van Karsen C, Bissinger G (2011) Converting CT scans of a Stradivari Violin to a FEM. In: Proulx T (ed) Proceedings of the IMAC-XXVIII. Conference proceedings of the society for experimental mechanics series, vol 3. Springer, New York, pp 811–820 (cit. on p. 9)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Re A et al (2014) X-ray tomography of large wooden artworks: the case study of “Doppio corpo” by Pietro Piffetti. Herit Sci 2(1):19 (cit. on p. 4)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Remondino F (2011) Heritage recording and 3D modeling with photogrammetry and 3D scanning. Remote Sens 3(6):1104–1138 (cit. on p. 2)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Remondino F et al (2009) 3D modeling of complex and detailed cultural heritage using multi-resolution data. J Comput Cult Herit 2(1):1–20 (cit. on p. 1)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Rigon L et al (2010) Synchrotron-radiation microtomography for the non-destructive structural evaluation of bowed stringed instruments. E-Preserv Sci 7:71–77 (cit. on p. 7)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Sachs C (1913) Real-Lexikon der Musikinstrumente, zugleich Polyglossar für das gesamte Instrumentengebiet. Berlin, Julius Bard (cit. on p. 4)Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Savan J, Simian R (2014) CAD modelling and 3D printing for musical instrument research: the Renaissance cornett as a case study. Early Music 42(4):537–544 (cit. on p. 9)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Sirr SA, Waddle JR (1997) CT analysis of bowed stringed instruments. Radiology 203(3):801–805 (cit. on p. 4)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Soler F, Melero FJ, Luzón MV (2017) A complete 3D information system for cultural heritage documentation. J Cult Herit 23:49–57 (cit. on p. 12)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Stoel BC et al (2012) Wood densitometry in 17th and 18th century Dutch, German, Austrian and French Violins, compared to classical Cremonese and modern Violins. PLoS ONE 7(10) (cit. on p. 8)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Van den Bulcke J et al (2017) Nondestructive research on wooden musical instruments: from macro- to microscale imaging with lab-based X-ray CT systems. J Cult Herit 27:S78–S87 (cit. on p. 4)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Wei Q, Leblon B, La Rocque A (2011) On the use of X-ray computed tomography for determining wood properties: a review. Can J For Res 41(11):2120–2140 (cit. on p. 8)Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Yushkevich PA et al (2006) User-guided 3D active contour segmentation of anatomical structures: significantly improved efficiency and reliability. NeuroImage 31(3):1116–1128 (cit. on p. 5)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Systematic MusicologyHamburgGermany

Personalised recommendations