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Posts posted by J-G

  1. Thanks for that, Dwight.  A treasure trove of information about local builders here in B.C. way back in 1963, and their connections and horizons.  By coincidence, I just went through the 1958 issue a few weeks ago researching a good local builder called Martha Kozak who was active then.  These makers were serious about sharing and documenting their activities, a much more laborious process then than now.

  2. 13 hours ago, BlueSquare23 said:

    It is called a Plinian signature. 


    Yes, a common usage in the letters of Pliny (and of Cicero and others).  Sometimes called an "epistolary" imperfect, it reports in the imperfect what was happening in the present as the writer wrote.  The tense then is that of the reading, not the writing.  So:  (Builder) was building at Cremona in (year).

  3. On 6/17/2020 at 7:24 AM, doctahg said:

    Hello to all. Would someone be willing to comment on this violin? The label reads Lor y Tom Carcassi, In Firenze nell' anno 1749, etc. I have owned this instrument for about 10 years.

    What I don't get is how someone could own a violin for 10 years, or acquire one in the first place, without knowing whether it's a four-figure or a six-figure instrument.

    By the way, "Such rare!" is more Casablanca talk...

  4. 6 hours ago, Michael Appleman said:

    A violin is not a guitar! There are no "easy "perfect fifths anywhere. 

    On fretted instruments, the bridge saddle is usually slanted to give the thicker strings more length than the thinner ones.  Also plain strings need to be a little longer than wound ones of the same diameter.  The compensation isn't perfect, as the fret themselves aren't slanted, but it helps.

    I wonder if Stephen's problem might have something to do with going from all wound strings on viola to three wound and one plain on violin (assuming you use a plain E, Stephen).  Seems to me that could take some getting used to.  

  5. 5 hours ago, Shelbow said:

    I have heard of makers buying pre made frogs and adjusting them to make them more their own, but I have not seen a maker offering that openly as a discount model. 

    The Hudson bow mentioned above was made and marketed explicitly as a student bow.  A shop that produces both professional bows and student bows doesn't seem like such a strange thing in the bow world.  But this is a one-man shop, and I'd guess that some of the work apprentices might have done in the past is now being done by other professional shops that exist for that purpose.

  6. 2 hours ago, Dwight Brown said:

    In general were there bow makers that had a tendency to use pre-made frogs instead of making their own?

    A dealer in my town is offering new bows by good local maker Reid Hudson.  Reid makes two levels of bow, differently stamped.  The lower level is described as

    " A silver mounted violin bow by Reid Hudson, with a commercial frog and adjuster."

    Price is half that of his upper model. This may be a common practice, but it's the only time I've seen it spelled out clearly.

  7. Good question. Sounds like you're playing the octave G#-G# with fingers 1 and 4, and want to roll (or flatten) finger 4 in order to get the D# without lifting.  Makes sense, but for me the 4th finger won't quite work.  I see in the Auer edition the upper G# is fingered with 3— i.e. extend back to reach the low G#, then continue in first position (instead of half-pos.), rolling on 3. That works much better for me... playing on mandolin. :) 

    I can't tell what Uncle Duke is talking about.

  8. Probably:

    Millant: To (my) friend Ingigliardi, the informed amateur who has made the bow his second passion (?); hearty thanks for your support. (Paris, 17 July 2001)

    Raffin: For Monsieur Ingigliardi, great amateur (=lover) of bows; with all my thanks and my finest feelings. (Paris, 20 July 2001)


  9. This seems a good point at which to remind ourselves how fundamental turtle shells are in music history.  Grove online gives us this reference for the Latin word testudo (=tortoise):

    The Latin name for the Greek lyre, the body of which was sometimes made from the shell of a tortoise, though the word could also mean any arched structure. In medieval Latin it came to be used for the lute, since no specific term existed for that instrument (the genitive and ablative forms, ...

    (Sorry, I do not have access to the genitive and ablative forms.}

  10. Wow!  That is terrific.  I get the feeling your grandfather was an imaginative and resourceful man.  He saw possibilities others might miss.  And versatile too, since he went on to make good Strad-model violins.

    Looks like it was a real usable instrument-- does anyone in the family remember hearing it played? And what is that puck-like piece the strings attach to?  Looks like maybe a repurposed bicycle bell?  Thanks again, Jungashick!


  11. Thank you for that, Philip.

    "Pre-carved necks" I guess were necks manufactured abroad and imported for use by American makers?  May have been a widespread practice among amateur and solo builders. 

    It seems mine was one of his first violins, though he was already 40 in 1923.  I wonder how he got started.  And yes, the other Ohio Hildebrand could be part of the story.

    I'd love to know more about that mandolin!

  12. Here is the Hildebrand violin I mentioned in the Modern Peg Taper thread. It turned up in a music store here on Vancouver Island, and I was glad to find it.

    It is signed inside on each panel of the back plate:

    Bernard L. Hildebrand  1923 Cutler O.

    I gather Hildebrand later had a violin shop in Springfield (Ohio) where he built, repaired and sold instruments. My instrument seems very neatly built and is in very solid condition. Sound (in my hands) is not huge, but strong and full. Response is very even, with no bad notes. I'm playing it in a community string orchestra, and enjoying it very much.

    The maker's great-grandson responded in the other thread, and I hope we'll hear again from him or his father with biographical information and/or personal memories. I believe Hildebrand also had an entry in the Wenberg book; can anyone here look that up?

    Any other Hildebrand players here? I know there was one on MN as recently as 2009.:lol:







  13. Thank you for the information here and in your private message, Matt.  When I get home from my holiday travels I will photograph my violin and start a new thread here devoted to Hildebrand instruments.

    Sorry to have derailed somewhat this discussion of peg taper. 

  14. On 12/23/2019 at 5:48 PM, mhildebrand said:

    Bernard Hildebrand the violin maker was my great grandfather. I unfortunately can't narrow down that time frame for you since many of his works were lost in a fire at his shop near the end of his life. I only have one of his violins but also know the whereabouts of a mandolin he made out of a tortise shell

    It's very nice to hear from you, Mr. or Ms. Hildebrand. I own and play a violin built by your great-grandfather in 1923 in another Ohio town, before he set up shop in Springfield.

    The Internet seems to be aware of only two others he built, viz. FidPup's instrument and another that was sold at auction by Skinner about a year ago. Incidentally, my violin came to me with its original 1/20 taper pegs;  they have now been replaced, but without changing the taper.

    A brief biographical note on Hildebrand with information from the Wenberg book was posted on the Amati site until recently, but I can't find it now.  According to that note, he built about 100 instruments between 1922 and his death (1961?).   Any information you could add to his biography would be very welcome. 

    By the way, I know some people on the Mandolin Cafe site who would love to know more about that mandolin!