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Linarol violin

andrea gavagnin

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Hi everybody

Some time ago I discovered in a topic in this forum the Ventura Linarol violin that should be in the Sammlung Alter Musikinstrumente in Vienna. I have found only two pictures of it, but it seems very interesting to me (Renaissance music student) and also a beautiful instrument. A friend of mine could see and try it, but it was not in playing conditions. From the photo, if the sound box is regular size, then the string lenght must be almost in right proportion for  A=466 Hz...

Has it been studied, analysed or at least measured? I guess not enough... Does anyone know anything about it?

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Here's an excerpt from "European & American Musical Instruments," by Anthony Baines, 1966. I believe it's the same instrument you're asking about.

13, 14 Violin. Ventura Linarol, Venice, 1581. Vienna, Kunsthist. Mus., C.96. Name on label, Ventura di Francesco Linarolo. Entirely in original condition, including bridge. Inlaid fingerboard and tailpiece. Length 55.5 cm, body 34.5 cm.

And from the text:

"A surviving violin by the younger Linarol (13, 14) points to a Venetian thrust of independence during this still early time in the instrument's history. The soundholes are most individual, while the curve of the middle bouts at the upper corners points well to the future and the upper bouts are proportionately quite wide. This violin is one which has the additional interest of remaining in its original condition, in this case even to the bridge."

(Note: Sorry about the photo quality. It's not much better than that in the original book.)


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Although I understand the theory of dendrochronology I still have a hard time wrapping my head around how it could be applied with much confidence to the belly of a violin?

I think I understand that the ring count/characteristics are compared to "known/regional" samples?

How does one find that starting point [known sample] from a belly that may well have come from anywhere that particular species of Spruce grew, and presumably from any period in history?

Is it merely a "Match / Don't Match" based on the "belly's" presumed date, and the presumed date of harvest/use and presumed source location?

Obviously in somewhat dire need of education.



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It seems almost like the belly shape was cut very quickly, it is quite asymmetrical, so... should the ribs have been built on the back? And how should the neck be set? 

It would be nice to hear it in playing conditions, and to try making a copy of it. It's a pity that we miss precise measures...who knows, it could come as an alternative to the Andrea Amati and Gasparo da Salò models for music of that early period.


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