Measuring methods

Measuring woodwind instruments

Traditionally woodwind instrument makers have used tactile measuring methods, collecting major/minor axis measurements of bore diameters and calculating round inner-bores for contemporary wooden reconstructions, where regular diameters are required. Irregularities and distortions in an instrument’s inner bore caused by shrinkage or warping can hardly be reproduced, nor has that been a maker’s objective. 

Recently, it became possible to use new technologies to explore new methods for measuring  instruments. Three-dimensional x-ray computed tomography (3D-CT) is a valuable tool being used to gather data about various musical instruments or their parts. 3D-CT can deliver measurement details and data about an antique wind instrument in its current state, with possible inner-bore distortions caused by usage and climatic conditions over centuries. 

It has not yet been possible to practically compare these methods, as no copies of historical small-size bassoons are being produced, either in the conventional manner or with 3D technologies. This project enables an investigative and practical comparison of the contrasting concepts mentioned above, using 3D-CT and 3D-technologies that have not yet been applied to woodwind instruments.