Presumin Ed

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About Presumin Ed

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  1. Denis also wrote an article called The geometric principles of string instrument-making in Brescia. (You can also find this included in the book "Liutai in Brescia"). I used this approach successfully for my last instrument. Ed.
  2. You can get a preview of François Denis' article on the Geometry of Brescian instruments here. (Also worth conferring with the YouTube videos Kevin Kelly has produced.) Ed.
  3. Hi Jim, You might like to take a look at the book 'Liutai in Brescia'. There you can see pictures and information about many Brescian instruments, including the 'Dumas' viola (p.202). Also a Maggini viola with single purfling (p.186). There are a number of articles, including one on Brescian instrument construction by John Dilworth which I found fascinating to consult as I was working on a Brescian-inspired viola. On one question you refer to above he and the Hills seem to come to different conclusions: "The upper and lower eyes of the f are usually
  4. Alternatively you can find a digital copy here: Ed.
  5. I have no experience with the dental magnifiers you mention, so can't comment. However I can say I have found the Magnifocuser from Lie-Nielsen very helpful: Cheers, Ed.
  6. I am currently making an instrument based on a Brescian pattern. One thing that I am contemplating doing is undercutting the f holes. Gregg Alf mentions this on his blog, and John Dilworth also alludes to this practice in his writings. This is not something I have tried before, so I am interested in any tips or advice that others may have on this. My assumption is that I am aiming at the kind of profile depicted here in the Courtnall & Johnson book: One question that occurs to me is whether this is applies all the way around the f holes. The reason for the questi
  7. Re-reading my post, I realise I haven't made myself altogether clear: my principal focus is on what measures I could usefully take on the instrument I am actually building now. @deans: That said, I am interested to read your thoughts on string choice. Thus far I have tended to go for pure gut, lightest gauge strings. That's been more acceptable than the others so far attempted. I think I'll try one or two of your recommendations and see how I get on. I don't have the instrument in front of me now, but the string length from nut to bridge on viola no.1 is not particularly outsize
  8. The question arises because: 1. I have one viola (LOB: 435mm) with a pretty ‘forward’ kind of sound. The lower three strings sound great but…the A is really quite brash. 2. I have another (LOB: 444mm) whose sound is more mellow and balanced across the instrument, and the A is quite sweet. …which suggests to me that size alone does not necessarily dictate the character of the A string sound. 3. I am making a viola at the moment (LOB: 423mm). Sound….as yet undefined (currently working on the arching). Are there any measures that people can suggest to try
  9. This is the earliest original Amati contralto viola I'm aware of. Ed.
  10. Hi David, Any chance you could tell us where Vitruvius talks about tapping in connection with crossbow construction? Thanks, Ed
  11. I've read and re-read this statement a few times now. In all honesty and all humility, I have no idea what you're driving at. Could you clarify please? Ed.
  12. Andrew, I don't know whether Joseph Curtin had a bias here, one way or another, about which results he might prefer. While we can each speculate, none of us can actually know. I realise this is your point. But surely the material matter of concern is: was he in a position to sway the results one way or another? If not, isn't the point academic? I haven't read anything so far that indicates loaded dice to me. And I can't immediately see how Curtin would, even if he wanted to. If this is your feeling, can you suggest how this might be possible? Cheers, Ed.
  13. In his essay in "Liutai in Brescia" John Dilworth asserts: “There would seem to be in the region of twenty authentic Gaspar violas extant, all made to the tenor size, with a consistent 445 mm back length.” (p.63). He goes on to note one exception: the 'Kievman' viola, which is of contralto size, and not reduced. Bearing what Dilworth says in mind, my question relates to those da Salo violas which have been cut down; specifically to what has been done to the upper bouts. The photos of da Salo tenor (ie unreduced) violas I have seen (in “Liutai in Brescia”, the Shrine to Music webs
  14. You might also want to consider getting hold of "Liutai in Brescia":〈=en In addition to the great collection of photos of a large number of Brescian instruments, there are some interesting essays - including the one by François Denis which potentially offers the means to devising your own form. Cheers, Ed.
  15. By his own account, the British viola player Eric Coates possessed a rather unusual instrument. While a student of Tertis, he describes trading up to a new viola thus: 'Then, quite unexpectedly, I was given the opportunity of purchasing an instrument from a brother viola player. A telegram was immediately despatched to my father, making an urgent request for the necessary money, and a cheque arrived by the next post. And so my little Testore went to defray the cost of my new acquisition, a viola of such strange build that when I took it in to Arthur Beare of Wardour Street to have it p