David Beard

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    : Santa Barbara, California

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  1. Like a brass player with embouchure, you can, you can somewhat pull harmonics from a string with just the bow. Not that it works very well. And you can use the bow to keep a harmonic sounding a little while after the finger touch releases. Similarly, I think a big part of what is valuable from air and body resonances that they be accessible, broad, and flexible. Ideally, an instrument should let the player push around how present these sounds are in the tone. Think lower Q. It doesn't just mean energy loss dampening in the wood. As Don emphasizes, that kind of dampening is generally bad. But lowered Q is also about less defined shapes in a resonance, and less ideally rigid boundaries. Lowering Q in these ways doesn't neccesarily loose the energy from the instrument and potential radiation as musical content. But it does let the energy more readily leave a particular resonance. This kind of lowering of Q can be good, broading and smoothing resonances. This is something a maker can physically work toward.
  2. While Cremona makers certainly did sometimes use fine grained spruce, I think you can fairly claim that they mostly steered toward medium wide and very straight grained spruce. This also seems like a contrast to some other traditions.
  3. I feel silly mistaking the question. I spent a few hours preparing some illustrations of my hypothesis about how the cut angles on classical corners. Since they're made, I'll just post the illustrations. To work the cut line for the corners, you mostly need to know the bout line, the center for the main riser arc, and the corner circle centers. The first illustrations shows these. The second shows there relationship to other elements in the design. You then drop arcs from the outer corner circle centers, using the riser centers. The intersection of these arcs with the bout lines are what we want to find. The corner cut lines either pass through this intersection, or through a simple division of the line segment from this intersection to the edge. For most classical examples, this hypothesized method yields a good match to the real corners when the upper corner cut lines run from the intersections, and the lower corner cut lines from the 1/2 mark. However, to allowing using the actual intersection, 1/2 way toward the edge, or 1/4 way to the edge for either upper or lower bouts. If we allow this, then the method yields good matches in all classical examples so far examined. In most classical examples, including the 1645c N Amati used here, there is significant wear or perhaps original rounding in the corner shape. So this makes the angles somewhat ambiguous. Here is another example where the cut angles is much clearer. The instrument is the 1680c Ruggieri 'Milanolo' violin.
  4. Sorry. My mistake. I thought you where talking about the angle the corner ends are cut at. Not the angle from the bout line at the center through the corners. What you're talking about is perhaps interesting, but incidental to other active choices in the design. For example, the width of the bouts are chosen. The level of the corners are also something chosen, but strongly controlled by the mold itself. Several things combine to set the level of the bout lines, including the choices of vesici and long arcs. These things combined end up determining the distance from the corners to the bout line. But I don't think there's much opportunity to manipulate these to the control the angles you're interested in. The angles also depend on the corner distances to the center line. You perhaps have a little more control of this while building. But, for the most part, if you want to control these angles, you probably should work the whole design from the beginning with this aim in mind. Once the mold is cut, the matter is largely closed.
  5. You will find many theories in MN pages of you search. Like many classical features, we see some variety in what they did. Many of the proposed theories are too rigid. So, while they succeed in a few cases, they fail in many others. I will post an example showing my hypothesis later today. It's actual very simple, but interacts with both the corner circles and the vesici of the bout shapes.
  6. Again, it's dangerously misleading to work only with a few extracted point to point measure. 30 point to point measures, or even hundreds of such measures are greatly insufficient compared to the literally infinite number of such measures contained in a full shape. This is working too much in the dark.
  7. A post rarely fits. Strings are rarely in-tune.
  8. No. This is a bit different geometry pattern then most violins, but still circle geometry. This is also the same riser geometry as Giovanni Maria used in a 1525 Lira d'braccio.
  9. But Marty, this business of the final reality smoothed out from the ideal, the renaisance Artisan and workman's concept of this smooth or 'faired' curve was NOT french curves or Euler spirals or Bezel curves. It was your bent splines!
  10. No. Those are actual straight lines tangent to circle arcs. Same thing is common between the cicles under the pegbox and the circles under the volute.
  11. It is not like circles. Circles have clear radii and centers. They are under the generative control of a person holding dividers. The compositional design of a french curve in contrast is generally unknown to the user of a physical french curve. They generate nothing. Which part of the french curve do you make tangent?!? But, they are excellent tracing curves.
  12. To me, the research I'm doing is to benefit two basic audiences. The first audience is people who are simply interested in understanding what was done historically. Usefulness and ease aren't much relevant for this purpose, nor speculations of what might have been better methods. The point is to see what we can see. What is actually observable in historical examples if you take the trouble? This historically motivated group is probably small. But I'm one of them, so I don't mind making the effort. The second audience is even smaller, almost noone in fact. But again, I'm one of this small number, so I don't mind the effort. The second audience is the people who would like to make by the principle of 'do as they did'. The possibility of doing so is limited by our understanding of what they did and how they did. I'm trying to contribute to this understanding as best I can. ******* None of this need be relevant or impactful for modern makers who are already working in their own highly successful and established methods.
  13. Your picture looks pretty as always. But it also still seems to be mere tracing. Can you redo that same EXACT shape again on a blank paper, without further reference to the Del Gesu. If you are working a 'system' that should be easy. Can you talk another person through creating that EXACT shape again, without using the Del Gesu for further reference? If you're really working a system, that also should be easy. I don't believe you are actually working any system. I beleieve you are merely tracing. I believe you have absolutely no chance of producing a classical Cremona shape except by tracing. You are using your spirals merely as 'french curves'.
  14. I do also have a stack of to scale cut out outlines. And do understand the commonality you point to. But, they also show considerable subtle variety. As you well known. My stack is only about 40 6instruments. And made from scaled photos. It is a very interesting exercise to compare instruments on this way.
  15. Those illustrations aren't a continous sequence. The first does not build to the last. Also, in the 9th image you supper impose some other mold shape and then adjust to it. I ask again. How to you actually create a specific violin or mold shape with these tools. You appear to be using the spirals to create sort of loose under sketch of something with upper and lower bouts and waist. Then you seem to just freely adjust that to be a little more violin like. Then you just slap a premade violin shape over that. Am I wrong? How does your systen actually generate violin shapes? I'd like to understand.