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The Art of The Violin Design by Sergei Muratov


hermano
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Hey Guys,

 

I'm interested in reading this book. Maybe just for fun. I'm aware of past criticisms from some members of this list.

 

Unfortunately the book seems to be out of print, and no longer available on line, not even on ebay.

 

I was not able to contact the author either.

 

Does anybody have a PDF that want to share or sell, or a hardcopy to sell?

 

Thanks a lot,

 

Hermano.

 

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you had me exited there for a minute  :)   But all the links are broken :(    they had some interesting tutorials in the violin making school link.   Shame it's gone now. 

 

I was browsing around Sergei's website and found bigger than life size photos of a DelGesu Plowden 1735 complete with ct scans.

 

http://samlib.ru/img/m/muratow_s_w/del_desu/index.shtml

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Hy Guys,

 

Good news!!!

 

I found a web page having the whole contents of Muratov's book. It's not a PDF, but it can be saved as a PDF.

 

http://samlib.ru/editors/m/muratow_s_w/violin_design.shtml

 

I also found two other interesting links from him:

http://samlib.ru/img/m/muratow_s_w/del_desu/index.shtml

http://samlib.ru/img/m/muratow_s_w/violino1/index.shtml

 

Muratov's book is a theory on how the violin was modeled by the early masters.

 

I don't know if he is right (probably not), but his work is an interesting scientific work.

 

He has assumptions, a thesis, and a consistent development path to prove his claims.

 

I understand that his work seems nonsense for a luthier, but it is worth reading for anyone having an engineering background. Even if it's just for fun.

 

For example, one of my friends is planing to build a CAD model based on Muratov's ideas and make simulations (tonal analysis, dynamic range, etc.) to compare with other CAD models already developed. Another fun stuff... I'm not sure how a luthier can benefit from this kind of work...

 

So, let's have fun....

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  • 7 years later...
4 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Most attempts to ‘re design’ what has already been designed is nothing else than finding an answer to a question  which has been answered.

Having some practical experience of the results of Russian reverse engineering, I'd not be surprised if Muratov's version of a Stradivarius violin copies the performance of the original about as closely as that of a Kiev 88 medium-format camera matches that of a Hasselblad.   :)

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I don't see Muratov's work as anything more than showing how design aspects of existing violins from early times follow certain geometric patterns. He uses actual violin forms and photographs, especially those of Stadivari to show that.

So I don't see that as redesigning. One thing I find interesting is his long arch drawings for both the front and back plate of a Strad violin. He clearly show how different they are.

 

 

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8 hours ago, sdantonio said:

Hi Mike

 

I went to the site listed above

 

http://samlib.ru/editors/m/muratow_s_w/violin_design.shtml

 

And downloaded the whole book in html format

Thank you, I couldn't find it for some reason.  At one time he had some nice pictures of I think a Guarneri on there.  Also he has a good image of some forms.  That's where I got my copy of the Strad PG form.  

His design ideas seem to me to be just curve fitting not a primary design method.  There are some other better design methods such as those of Francois Denis or going back even farther into the 1700s the design method of Bagatella which is seen in some of the artifacts in the Strad museum in Cremona.   

Clipboard01.png

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14 hours ago, sdantonio said:

...how do they sound?

Probably about as good as the maker.  There is zero in the link about thicknessing, wood selection, or any other method of getting the plates completed.  It's all about the outline and arching, which are basically copied from existing Strads matched as best as possible with curly mathematical thingies... so that part is reasonable in final shape, kinda head-banging way to get there.

Curly.jpg.615c328e99599cb73ed22a1b43382c3e.jpg

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1 hour ago, Don Noon said:

Probably about as good as the maker.  There is zero in the link about thicknessing, wood selection, or any other method of getting the plates completed.  It's all about the outline and arching, which are basically copied from existing Strads matched as best as possible with curly mathematical thingies... so that part is reasonable in final shape, kinda head-banging way to get there.

 

Yup.  The point of my earlier rather flippant observation is that, IMHO, this kind of shape-obsessed exercise tends to capture the form of an original, without reproducing the function very closely.  :)

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I just drew up a half dozen templates of violins and violas. It didn't take long using ratios, and Kevin Kelly's circle technique, that I just learned at the last zoom MVA meeting. I have a couple techniques of my own! Best thing is: 

I didn't have to draw one clothoid! Some of the ratios are helpful.

I did find that the Vieuxtemps del Gesu and the 1700 Gofriller, although very different, are almost the same top and bottom., The f hole placement is almost the same, and even the corners are almost in the same spot. the Vieuxtemps is slightly in on The upper corners. The much wider c bout of the del Gesu creates a much different look.

They were probably built on the same form that everyone had been copying for years. 

 

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I looked into Muratov's form design work at one stage but found it impractical. Kevin Kelly's comprehensive form and sound hole geometry was a revelation to me. But one thing I did learn from Muratov was the importance of  spiral forms which are the basis of just about all violin geometry from scrolls, form outlines and sound holes to arching.

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I have been looking into the Muratov drawings by digitizing them and dropping them into in my CAD system.  Within a millimeter or so the outlines pretty much match the the Bisiach Strad model I have.  (When the drawings are normalized for length, the lower bouts match exactly, the c bout matches to within 1 mm, the the upper bout is off by 2mm - in both cases the Bisiach is larger than the Muratov).  Not sure if that matters at all, I've seem a lot of makers shrink the upper bout down a little in width to make if easier for the violinist to get to the upper part of the fingerboard.  And this doesn't seem to effect the tone quality (of course that could have more to d with the maker and the violinist than the actual instrument. I haven't compared it to some of the other strad drawings yet, but I assume it will match those quite well also. So the more I look at it the more I'm beginning to think that the main advantage of the book is that it organizes a whole bunch of ideas in one place, and it's free (and I'm not sure it the cost reflects the quality of the theory).

 

One of the things we know from the Hill brothers Strad book is the Strad changed his mold every 10 years.  In another part of the same book they say that Strad had a new set of logs floated down from the Black Forest area every 10 years. Somehow Strad new from looking at and feeling the properties of the wood that it was stiffer than the previous log or in some other way different and I believe he changed the mold to compensate for this.  As to why the Hills never put this together is still a mystery to me.  I was hoping for some breakthrough, which I haven't seen in this book (or the Denis) book that could actually explain Strads thinking on this.

 

As to wood selection and building technique, I'm not sure that is has any real place in a book like this.  It does not seem like it was ever designed as a how to build it manual.  And yes, the more I look at it the more it is a curve fitting book that doesn't attempt to explain how the shape and archings correspond to tone quantitatively.  Not even sure if that can be done since so much of the tone depends on the maker finessing the wood and the violinists technique.

 

On a totally different note, for me, as a physicist, the geometry might make an interesting read.  Not sure about that yet.  Geometry like this seems to be better for curing my insomnia rather than keeping me fascinated.  But I can already say that it in no way compares to my favorite violin book, The Physics of the Violin (Lothar Cremer)

 

I'll have to look at the Kelly works now.

 

Steven

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