Ad Libitum's collection includes original instruments dating from the early seventeenth to the late nineteenth century. It offers a detailed illustration of the richest and most inventive period of the piano's history, as a sound and aesthetic point of view than technical.
These instruments are mostly in playing condition, which makes them very rare examples of a sound heritage whose richness surprises and upsets today. The sound of the piano as we know it today is the result of technical innovations realized both in order to play harder, streamline construction and upgrade from craft production to industrial production. This is probably due to these progresses that the piano has become the king of instruments, but what has been gained in volume and cost of production was lost in acoustic diversity. Each piece in the Ad Libitum's collection finds its place as a witness of a particular sound personality and a key moment in the history of the piano.
Collected over the years, the archives have enabled Ad Libitum to acquire highly sophisticated knowledge about the history of the pianomaking and its main protagonists: factors, pianists or composers.
Correspondence, paintings, drawings, music scores, registers or other objects, are the witnesses of constant research and new discoveries, whose results are made public through the publication of several books.