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David Beard

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Everything posted by David Beard

  1. BOB can be obvious, but not always so. Not built on inside mould can be obvious in many cases. Not all cases are obvious. ( In my humble non expert opinion on this matter. )
  2. There can be different schemes for naming octaves. To keep it simple, the A string of a standard violin tunes to A 440.
  3. However, how much do we need to back track. Discussion of historical nailing should probably presume nailing and attaching neck to sides before presenting either to the back. This means there is no difficulty fitting the neck to both sides and back, because that just didn't happen. The neck was fitted to the sides alone. And with no precise concern for allignmemt.
  4. However, how much do we need to back track. Discussion of historical nailing should probably presume nailing and attaching neck to sides before presenting either to the back. This means there is no difficulty fitting the neck to both sides and back, because that just didn't happen. The neck was fitted to the sides alone. And with no precise concern for allignmemt.
  5. Again, the old process provides different solutions to the difficulties that lead modern makers to favor attaching the neck after the sides and back are attached. With the old processes there is no reason to avoid attaching the neck to sides before presenting their assembly to the back. Horizontal/twist allignment is adjustable thanks to the pinning system. And, elevation is adjustable at a much later time thanks to the wedge fingerboard system. There was no reason not to attach the neck immediately after removing the sides from the mould.
  6. Also, consider that our modern impulse to attach the neck while on the form is an impulse to control things. We do not have good cause to suspect the old masters shared that impulse, quite the opposite. Instead, their methods provide an up coming moment to 'adjust in reaponse'. That is of course the moment when the sides are pinned and twist aligned on the plate board to etch their dispositon, and only then work a final plate outline design.
  7. Yeah. There is so much popular interest in vesica picis that it tends to obscure all else.
  8. As far as terminology, 'vesica' refers generally to the 'fish bladder shape' of overlapping circle. Only the 'picis' of 'vesica picis' refers to 'twins' and the special 1:1:1 arrangement of the vesica picis. The more general use vesica is common in mathematics. No new terminology is needed. The even more general term 'lens' cover circle overlaps when the radii aren't necessairily equal.
  9. We disagree on this. You might desire everything to be 1:1:1 , but the historical examples don't conform to such a desire. The Cremona lower bout is n:n:n in concept, but actually carried out as n:(n-1):n in many examples. Cremona upper bout are basically 2n:n:2n in concept. But actual examples show variations of the ratio choice, 3:2:3 being a popular example in Cremona upper bouts. It probably is true that a 1:1:1 ratio was the archetypal concept. But even in archaic examples predating the violin family we see makers using a more diverse range of ratio choices. In Lira d'Bracci for example we see ratios with the gap between centers is greater than the radius, leading to the typical dimple on many Lira lower bouts. And then, a more circle upper bout shape has been favored across many instrument types. So for example, we see rarios of n:1:n common in vielle upper bouts. And note, the 2:1:2 of Cremona violin upper bouts fits this pattern. The historical instrument making shows high concept ideals only lurking in the background. The daily majority of choices show instead a mix of tradition and pragmaticism.
  10. A pair of overlapping circles are the basic structure in the upper and lower bouts. That pattern is generally a vesicca patteren. The special case of the vesica pisci is when the gap between the centers equals the radius, the 1 to 1 to 1 case ( or 3:3:3 etc). But bouts don't usually use just the picis type ratios. In the Strad violin moulds, the upper bout is most commonly a 2:1:2 ratio. In the lower bout, a 1:1:1 ratio is typical. But, what is very interesting is that the instruments show a wider range of veisci ratios used than the moulds do. Things like 7:6:7, 6:5:6, 5:4:5, and 4:3:4 are common in the lower bout for actual violins even though the moulds do not show so much variation in the choice of ratio. I believe the explanation is that the moulds were made a chosen designs. But, the actual outline designs were worked out only after building an instrument's actual sides were made and arranged in a disposition on the board for a plate. The greater range of vesici ratio choices was used to better follow the real sides in the actual build. This was also the motivation for sometimes chosing different sizings for treble and bass side C bout main circles. Once again, to follow the actual disposition of completed sides during the specific build. In contrast, in all the moulds the main circles for the center bouts are sized symmetrically.
  11. They related things by following off rhe actual build as it progressed. The choice of vesici ratios for the upper and lower bouts and the sizing of the main circle to shape the center bouts in designing a final plate outline follows the disposition of the actual sides. The soundhole actual eye placements also strongly to the actual corners and outline which are settled before thw soundholes are finally worked. Such asymmetries and vagaries are present in the works of even the best old Cremona masters.
  12. Perhaps we tend to forget or gloss over how significantly the neck work changed in the violin family between 1775 and 1810. Notice that this time also corresponds with the other big shifts. Classical music goes from Baroque to the dramatics of Beethoven. The American revolution, French Revolution, Industrial Revolution, Encyclopedists, and Destruction of the Old Traditions of Apprentices and Guilds all took place over the same stretch of time. Fingerboards grew longer. Instrumental technique made more high position demands. Besides longer fingerboards, players also needed thinned out neck roots to help them reach up the the fingerboards. Thinning the neck roots conflicted with the old systems of nailed on necks. We tend to not focus on the fact that modern building methods presume an angled and mortised in neck. But, the instruments we praise the most weren't built that way. We do not know how much various side effects of these conflicting perspectives may have real consequences in instruments. The asymmetries that are inseparable from classic making are chased away in much modern making. Is this difference incidental or essential? What of other side effects of the old versus the newer methods? Are all such differences as incidental as we presume, or are some perhaps essential? Sadly, I lost my notes on the source and context for this picture. But it shows an early mortised in neck that tries to imitate the top edge features of the old making that are destroyed or not made with mortised necks.
  13. Yes. The modern assumption of symmetry is modern. It doesn't apply to old European citterns, gitterns, lira, lutes, vielles, guitars, mandolins, geige, viols, violins, boats, books, carriages, or houses. Not to those built by Strad, or by others.
  14. Even the backs show lots of asymmetries. It is something deeply embedded in the nailed neck working process, but also in other aspects of old making, including old Cremona making.
  15. Ok. But I didn't claim it was only Cremona. I claimed that Cremona was included in the practice. Maybe we can move. Let's agree to disagree that we disagree. Cool?
  16. Which is not 'not where I said', but an even broader more inclusive group. Seems you prefer an oppositional stance even when you agree.
  17. Exactly. The asymmetries arise from the working methods. The nailed on neck and twist align routine being a big part of that. And it isn't just Strad, but the whole old Cremona tradition.
  18. This is the loaded question of loaded questions. Neither thing is true to Strad. Grama's favorite recipe for chocolate chip cookies doesn't control where the chips land in an individual cookie, nor do they land symmetrically. No process that either puts the chips in a symmetric layout, or that copies their exact location in a particular cookie is true to Grama's recipe. The only way to make cookies 'just like Grama's' is to let go of such anal desires for control. Use Grama's ingredients, recipe, and methods. Then let the chips fall where they may.
  19. Perhaps of interest: https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/profile/30802-david-beard/
  20. Absolutely agree. Not in the same way. But it also appears they had an obsession with making traditional and logically informed choices that we don't normally share.
  21. I'm a big fool too. (Hi, Andreas) They did however have the braccio, oncia, and point. (1 Braccio = 12 Oncia, 1 Oncia = 12 Points) It seems fairly safe to claim that the oncias for instrument in Brescia, Cremona, and Venice were in a range of 40.05mm +/- .1mm. In practice, I simply use 40.07mm =≈ oncia of Strad This range comports well with explicit historical evidence like the Capra book and reports of the carved stone reference in old Cremona. It also leads to a rather interesting scheme of interpreting lengths of instruments and moulds from Cremona, and a related scheme to the sizing of purfling insets. In this schema, insets at the edge are taken as points (3.34mm) and parts of points. So, i.e. 1 1/4 point or 2 1/3 point etc. Body lengths are taken as Oncia +/- a part of an Oncia. And, some standard patterns are associated with different instrument types. So tenors run in the 12 oncia minus a part or 11 oncia plus a part range. Contraltos use 10 oncia plus a part. Standard violins run 9 oncia less a part. Very small violins base off 7 or 8 Oncia. Body length also relates to mould length, and there is intrinsically a difference between body outer edge length and mould length. So an inset is tied to body length. These insets are taken by the same scheme as purf insets, points and parts of points. Sometimes set the 'scheme' body length as the outer edge body length, but sometimes as the mould line body length. The mould insets and purf insets are historically related but not equal. They have separate purposes and were chosen independantly. The mould inset (or I think of it as a framing inset) is chosen earlier, at the same time as the intended body length. The purfling inset is then chosen later for decorative purpose. It is chosen so that the actual mould inset falls somewhere in the span of the purfling, and so that the white wood to the outer edge ans the width of the purfling will make a pretty ratio. ( typically 2:1 in Amati style and 3:4 in the later 'Strad' style.)
  22. What the one of you is showing and the other saying might amount to one form that at some point got trimmed down or just cleaned up around the top block.
  23. Thank for the details and references. I'm not claiming that string lengths weren't limiting factors for early instruments. It's possible that the extra string length of a long model could have created problems. However, that is only one posssibility. There also is no reason to assume the long models had to carry longer necks. He could easily have chosen a different stop ratio to address that. As you say, he went back and forth during his experiments with a long model. He even made otherwise very similar contrasting long and not long moulds in 1692. Considering that his longs go back to 1680s, he gave the idea an extended trial. But, I believe it is just if not more reasonable to believe he moved away from the longs because he ultimately like the results better rather than he could solve the technical string challenge aspect.
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