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What is restorable and what is not

In 2018, as VMPCT, I funded the restoration of the harp in the Music Room of the Masino Castle. The restoration took place in the workshops of the Venaria Reale and finally the harp has returned to the Castle. A musical instrument can be damaged and restored, so much so that it is relatively common that instruments built centuries ago are still in perfect use.

The human ear, our auditory pathways, are much more fragile and cannot be repaired. Indeed, it is easier for an elderly musician, who has processed adequate auditory memories and synesthesias, to compensate for hearing damage than for a young Artist who is still processing them. This is because listening, the listening attention that is placed in the study of an instrument, of a voice develops pathways and entire cerebral convolutions in the brain of the artist.

From the studies of Pantev (1998) and Gaser (2003) to those of Talamini (2017) and the numerous ones of Boris Kleber's group, among the last that by Steenstrup (2021), the development of the Artist's brain, as learning development, abilities, performance mastering, can be documented with instrumental examinations.

Essential basis of this development: listening and interaction refined by practice.

For this reason, especially in the young adults and children, the hearing function must be monitored and protected with periodic checks (Pawlaczyk-Łuszczyńska 2021), correct ear and upper airways hygiene and use of protective devices when indicated, even in playful events. , sports or music.

We are not restorable like a harp, but our hearing is even more precious.


Pantev, C., Oostenveld, R., Engelien, A., Ross, B., Roberts, L. E., and Hoke, M. (1998). Increased auditory cor- tical representation in musicians. Nature 392, 811–814.

Gaser C, Schlaug G. Brain structures differ between musicians and non-musicians [published correction appears in J Neurosci. 2013 Sep 4;33(36):14629]. J Neurosci. 2003;23(27):9240-9245. doi:10.1523 JNEUROSCI.23-27-09240.2003

Talamini F, Altoè G, Carretti B, Grassi M. Musicians have better memory than nonmusicians: A meta-analysis [published correction appears in PLoS One. 2018 Jan 19;13(1):e0191776]. PLoS One. 2017;12(10):e0186773. Published 2017 Oct 19. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0186773

Steenstrup K, Haumann NT, Kleber B, Camarasa C, Vuust P, Petersen B. Imagine, Sing, Play- Combined Mental, Vocal and Physical Practice Improves Musical Performance. Front Psychol. 2021;12:757052. Published 2021 Oct 25. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2021.757052

Pawlaczyk-Łuszczyńska M, Zamojska-Daniszewska M, Dudarewicz A, Zaborowski K. Pure-Tone Hearing Thresholds and Otoacoustic Emissions in Students of Music Academies. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021;18(3):1313. Published 2021 Feb 1. doi:10.3390/ijerph18031313

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