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Working in the conservation and protection of artistic heritage requires well-grounded training in various sectors, including the humanities, sciences and technical subjects. Cremona’s prestige stemming from the ancient art of violin making has for some time been accompanied by a reputation for musicological research, for which the city is renowned as one of the leading international centres. And today this also applies to the field of the conservation and restoration of musical instruments, thanks to the degree courses and PhDs offered by the Department of Musicology and Cultural Heritage at the Cremona campus of the University of Pavia and its Arvedi Laboratory of Non-Invasive Diagnostics, based at the Museo del Violino.

The University of Pavia was founded in 1361, making it the oldest university in Lombardy and one of the oldest in Europe. Today it has over 25,000 students in 17 departments, spread across two campuses, one in Pavia and the other in Cremona. It takes part in international projects in collaboration with some the most prestigious colleges in the world and promotes interdisciplinary research.

The history of what is now the Department of Musicology and Cultural Heritage dates back to 1952, when the School of Music Palaeography was founded in Cremona as part of the University of Parma. Following various events, including its transfer to the University of Pavia in 1971, in 1979 a four-year degree course in Musicology was launched, followed in 1987 by a PhD in Music Philology, and in 2001 it became the Faculty of Musicology. Today it is known as the Department of Musicology and Cultural Heritage, and it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses in Musicology, in Literary Criticism and Cultural Heritage, and in Conservation and Restoration of Cultural Heritage, the ‘History of Art Sources and Tools’ module for the postgraduate degree course in History and Promotion of Cultural Heritage, and a PhD in Literary and Musical Criticism.



In the engineering and IT sectors, acoustics and audio technology are going through a period of rapid and profound technological change. Every day, new solutions appear on the market that allow the recording and reproduction of immersive listening experiences with ever more affordable devices. Thanks to new intelligent signal processing techniques, it is now possible to extract musical information directly from the audio flow, to customise musical content and to create increasingly comprehensive listener profiles. In addition, new acoustic signal processing technology can be used to assist in the design of high-quality musical instruments and listening spaces tailored to musical performances. This stems from the convergence of various subjects, all drawing on the research and development carried out in the field of information engineering.

The Politecnico is the oldest university in Milan; it was founded in 1863, and its first premises taught 36 students on a single course – engineering. An architecture course was added two years later, and today there are degree courses in three areas – engineering, architecture and design – and the university has campuses in Milan, Como, Cremona, Lecco, Mantua and Piacenza, as well as one in India and one in China.

The Politecnico has over 40,000 registered students, including 900 PhD students. It has twelve departments, six schools and over 250 laboratories. The Politecnico’s engineering faculty is the largest in Italy (responsible for almost 20% of Italian engineering graduates) and one of the largest and most prestigious in the world. It is also the Italian university with the highest percentage of international students (roughly a third of its Master’s students), including a postgraduate degree programme taught almost entirely in English.

The department responsible for information engineering is the Department of Electronics, Information and Bioengineering (DEIB). With almost 1,000 researchers and technical/administrative staff on its books, the DEIB is the largest ICT department in Europe, and one of the most important in the world. The research group predominantly responsible for promoting research projects into musical acoustics in Cremona is the Image and Sound Processing Lab, which to date has promoted, coordinated or participated in around 30 European projects and hundreds of Italian and international projects, including some outside Europe, all in the field of multimedia signal processing. The Musical Acoustics Lab in Cremona has become renowned in the scientific community as a research body, with many publications to its name.