Bruce Carlson

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About Bruce Carlson

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    Cremona
  1. Violin wood "undulations"?

    Here is one I posted a while back. A violoncello back by G.B. Rogeri. Bruce
  2. Chello identification...help wanted

    Hi Guega, Not a chance that this one is by Maglia. Bruce
  3. Fine photography BassClef! Next best thing to being there! Bruce
  4. Grooves along fingerboard

    Sorry, at that point I was mixing the marks on the 'Cannone' with the OP. My last two sentences of the edit were added to the wrong post. At any rate, on the OP photograph, attributing it all to pizzicato is unlikely.
  5. Grooves along fingerboard

    How do you explain the orientationangle of the fingernail marks? For pizzicato you're off by about 90°. I've never seen anyone play pizzicato all the way down the edge of the fingerboard and over the edge. Paganini did a lot of left hand pizzicato. In all fairness, the two holes near the end of the fingerboard could have been caused in part by pulling the violin out of the case via the fingerboard (à la Heifetz in a video on YouTube). Pizzicato using the right hand is usually limited to the end of the fingerboard but would only be found on the treble side.
  6. Grooves along fingerboard

    Hi Joel, In this particular instance the orientation of the scratches, the missing soft wood between the harder late growth rings combined with the depth and position of the groove would make it impossible for a bow to have caused this in an early case which opened at the end. This type of case opened at the lower bouts. The part of the arching which protrudes most or is most exposed would be closer to the bridge area wouldn't it? Why is this feature exclusively along side the fingerboard? I really think the Hills got this wrong when they suggested case damage in their 1902 publication. Certain types of varnish wear yes, but the bow, no.
  7. Grooves along fingerboard

    Here are the grooves along each side of the 'Cannone' del Gesù of 1743 and I believe, after close examination, that they were caused while playing when Paganini missed or slipped off the fingerboard. He had neither a shoulder rest or a chinrest. The treble side groove is deep and goes all the way down to the neck root and over the edge. The orientation of the little diaginal marks are how your little finger nail would be oriented if it slipped off the board. (a bow could not make marks like that). The thicker gut e-string at that time made it a lot easier to miss, especially when you consider the music he composed. The further up the board the deeper the groove.
  8. How to Prevent Bad Cello Accidents?

    I agree fully with Evan on this. At first you might think it is an exaggerated procedure to put it away every time in the case and close the case but in the long run it will save your instrument from worse damage. You may have been lucky this time getting away with only having to get a new bridge and some retouch.
  9. Cleaning rosin & gunk for violins with acetone

    Always start with the least agressive solvents and move slowly and carefully to the others. If you don't, one day you will make a big unrectifiable mistake and you will be sorry for your actions. I like to know what I am using.
  10. Peg bushings and the Olympic rings

    Even from the point of view of a future repair, it's a lot more bothersome to have to re-close two non-concentric bushings that overlap each other (the Olympic ring type) this entails fitting temporary bushings in the current peg holes so that the older bushing can be removed and replaced. A lot of extra work. Another aspect of what Jerry mentioned. If the hardness of the bushing wood and the pegbox wall are different (they will compress differently in time) the peg hole can easily become eccentric and, in the long run, will contribute to badly working pegs.
  11. Antiquing vs. Real Age ??

    It was already antiqued when it was initially made and sold and the actual appearance is a mix of this plus real wear and tear from usage. I have seen similar instruments but unused that already have most of the antiqueing you see here; craquelure and all.
  12. Peg bushings and the Olympic rings

    Sometimes pegs are repositioned so that they are not too close to each other. The Gaglianos had a tendency to put the E too close to the G and the D too close to the A which can cause a weak spot between the two holes. The other reason would be to allow any string to reach the upper nut without interference from another peg for more precise tuning. I have seen peg holes bushed and repositioned so many times, in different places, that they have actually cut the pegbox wall in half between the A and the G peg holes. This is an extreme case, to say the least.
  13. Curved Medullary Rays?

    Mapfluke fell off the map. Or was it just a fluke?
  14. Curved Medullary Rays?

    Just to add to what Don already said, I'm posting two more photographs of the same violin. If you toggle back and forth between these photographs you can see how the light direction changes the appearance of the underlying wood and brings out or hides the medullary rays. It's easy to see the broad waves in the maple because there is not a lot of conventional curl or figure in this piece of wood. Bruce