Beside conservation, presentation and communication, research on wind instruments and on their music is a main focus of the playing collection.
The instruments and objects are at scholar's disposal. A number of them can be played for research aims.
The collection itself is the topic of Adrian v. Steiger's Dissertation: Die Instrumentensammlung Burri. Hintergründe und Herausforderungen. Bern, 2013. The book discusses the collection and selected instruments as well as the dilemma of playing historical wind instruments. Further publications by v. Steiger discuss materiality, history and repertoire of historical wind instruments.
An entire set of projects of the Forschungsschwerpunkts Interpretation of the Bern University of the Arts (HKB) is based on instruments of the collection. A number of instruments has been bought for these projects and are now in the playing collection on loan:
- The ophicleide and its copy was the topic of the very first research project on wind instruments by HKB (financed by Swiss National Science Foundation, 2006–2008)
- The keyed trumpet as a central element in the instrument's history is focussed in a second project. Two historically important keyed trumpets are in the collection. (SNF 2007–2009)
- The results of the projects on ophicleide and keyed trumpet were presented at the first "Romantic Brass Symposium" in Bern and are published in its proceedings.
- The bassoon by Nicolas Savary le jeune, collection Nr. 458, was the topic of the projekt on Savary. (SNF 2010–2012)
- The projekt on the "Cor Chaussier" focussed on the horn's history in France. Some instruments of Burri's collection come from that context, others have been bought in addition. (SNF 2009–2012)
- Material and manufacturing techniques of brass instrument's production during the 19th century was the topic of a project in collaboration with the maker Rainer Egger, Basel and natural scientists (photo). (KTI 2010–2012)
- The results of the projects on the horn and brass instrument's production were presented at the Romantic Brass Symposiums II in Bern in 2012 (SNF 2012) and published in its proceedings.
- Adolphe Sax and his saxhorns are focussed in the project "Agilité, homogénéité et beauté" (SNF, 2011–2014). The results were presented at the Third Romantic Brass Symposium will be published in its proceedings (SNF 2014). A film is documenting the project.
- Questions of inner Corrosion in played historical instruments are focussed in a ein multidisciplinary project together with natural scientists of ETH, the Swiss National Museum and the Paul Scherrer Institute. (SNF 2013–2017) Presented in occasion of the Fourth International Romantic Brass Symposium 2017.
- The optimisation of the contrabass carinet through electronical devices was the goal of two projects in collaboration with the University of Engeneering and Information Technology. (BFH und KTI 2014–2015)
- "A playing collection of woodwind instruments" searched for specific chances of the restoration to soundability of selected wooden instruments. (HKB 2014–2016). The results were presented at a Forschungsmittwoch of HKB in Mai 2016.
- The project "The Sound of Brass" is a research on materiality and accoustics of brass instruments, concentrated on the German trombone – a further collaboration with Rainer Egger, Basel and the natural scientists of Empa – materials science and technology. (KTI 2015–2018) The results will be presented in the Fifth International Romantic Brass Symposium in November 2018.
- "Horns of the Mozart era" is a research on the classical Horn and its copy. (HKB 2015–2016)
- "Fresh Winds" communicates the research on wind instrument in a exhibition, a participative webplattform and in workshops. (SNF Agora 2018–2020)
- "Der vermessene Tubist. Tuba Ergonomie" measures and digitalized for the first time the system Player-Tuba for different tuba models and records stress patterns by means of interviews. (BFH 2019)