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Mark Caudle

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Everything posted by Mark Caudle

  1. There is another critical parameter which is elasticity. You can imagine that a solid rod would not function as a string at all because it has virtually no elasticity. Whereas a rubber string would have too much elasticity to produce much sound. Therefore the thick lower strings need to have enough elasticity to respond easily but not too much to produce a strong sound.
  2. Yes and they weren't always small like the Hoffman models that are mostly used now. The Stradivari Saveuse is similar size to this one and has the hole for playing da spalla.
  3. 1736 is an interesting date for a violoncello from this region. It is rather close to the time when treatises like Majer (1732) described the violoncello only as an instrument played across the chest with a strap (da spalla). This is exclusive in all the German language treatises from the last quarter of the 17th century up to about the time of this cello. it is likely that Quantz was already describing different circumstances as he is a bit later. But there are other examples of important cellists from this period like Vandini (associated with Vivaldi) who apparently played cello solos in a gamba position with underhand bowing. So it is not impossible that this cello would have been played in a similar way. Perhaps because of its slightly small size it is more likely that it was intended to be played da spalla. There is an enormous variety of sizes of cello like instruments from German speaking lands at this time as would be very obvious if you visit somewhere like the museum in Nuremburg. I suspect most except the very large ones were played da spalla and I say that against my own interests as a player of violoncelli da gamba! The nomenclature of all these instruments is completely unhelpful-bass geig, violone, viola da basso etc etc. Not sure from the photo but is there an extra piece at the bottom of the heel of the neck to raise the overstand apart from the little shim?
  4. What does that old label say? Maybe its actually the maker-American 1853?? Seems possible to me.
  5. If it was mine I would repair the original top and dump the new one!
  6. If it was made from a viol you would expect the central part of the front to be of one piece as Barak Norman bent the central stave of his viol fronts.
  7. Also: "Reconstitution d'une violoncelle d' Andrea Amati" by Roland Houel which has very detailed information.
  8. https://www.thestrad.com/lutherie/deconstructing-the-andrea-amati-king-cello/10386.article
  9. The problem with these instruments is that all the measurements and features are wrong compared to good historical examples. The neck ( and therefore string length) is too short, and also too thick and narrow, the bridge is much too high, and the construction is based on violin techniques with regards to linings, blocks etc. Usually the plates are thick and heavy as well compared to historical viols. They sometimes work ok but do not sound like viols!
  10. He is alive and well and i played a concert with his group last week!
  11. https://allegrolokalnie.pl/oferta/wiolonczela-lutnicza-4-4-doskonale-brzmienie-stan Here is a cello currently for sale on the Polish internet auction site. No idea if it is really a Chamot and there is no photo of the label. The description says that there is "a visible label inside of the Polish Lutnik, Jan Chamot"
  12. There is no such thing as a 400 year old viola d'amore. It might be 400 years old and been converted to a viola d'amore in the ?18th century? The first viola d'amores are from the 4th or possibly 3rd quarter of the 17th century and they were wire strung without sympathetic strings. The first ones with gut and sympathetic strings are from the 18th century. If it is a 400 year old converted viol it probably didn't originally have back linings but sometimes very small upper linings. Without seeing it, most likely it isn't 400 years old.
  13. The best viol plans I know are those drawn by Stephen Barber of the Colichon and Meares now in the Royal College of Music collection (the same Meares as the one in the article by Dietrich Kessler). I don't think these are readily available and Stephen Barber has now passed away. But really worth searching for as they are superbly detailed.
  14. Thank you. That's a good idea and I will try something similar next time!
  15. I agree that a brush is much better at getting into the grain lines than a cloth. I mostly use a medium stiff brush rather bigger than a tooth brush!
  16. Check out the documentation from Mimmo Peruffo on the Aquila strings site. He knows far more than me! But we do have some strings from Stradivari. Not for violin though.
  17. In this famous engraving of Corelli performing in the Piazza di Spagna in Rome in 1687 there are about 60 string players in th open air. Since string tensions seem to have been higher than today and it must have been required to hear the music above the sound of the crowd I imagine that loudness was very much a necessary quality of the instruments.
  18. I have no interest whatsoever in the value of instruments but only if I like them and see and hear qualities that I enjoy in them. I like this one and if it was mine would happily put in the time to repair it.
  19. Another thing, which I don't know if you have tried, is that some old bows are a bit bigger in the cross dimension than the vertical near the tip which I think gives more stability in use.
  20. I have been playing around making various clip in frog bows and I think that one improvement in yours would be a slightly pointed front to the frog so it can't move side to side. Also a straight or slightly concave top to the tip would be more elegant.
  21. Don't understand why you think this is firewood. It looks to me like a well designed and well made instrument in rather original condition that needs repairs. Maybe it's in a less appreciated tradition.
  22. I had some at one time and found it was very easy to bend-almost like rubber! Not sure that is a good thing for violin tone.
  23. https://tarisio.com/digital_exhibition/rachel-podger-antonio-pazarini-1739/
  24. It very much depends on what level of preparation of the wood has been done. if you buy a tree in the forest it is a lot cheaper per violin than buying selected, prepared and aged wood from a specialist supplier.
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