Thomas Coleman

The Manual of Violin Making by Brian Derber

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I'm really excited to receive my copy!  Brian Derber is a former instructor at CSVM.  He (along with Tschu Ho Lee) taught the current two instructors and I believe Jeffrey Holmes (correct me if not, Jeffrey) along with many many other students.  He currently runs The New World School of Violin Making in upper WI.  While I was a student I had a chance to read a few pages that he submitted to my instructor for his opinions etc.  I was impressed enough to contact Brian and ask him to let me know when it was ready.  I got an email from him with attached photo and subsequently ordered the book.  When it arrives I'll give a rundown. 

Derber.thumb.jpg.054b37f54a27b67efdee216cad7d71e9.jpg

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Yes,  I contacted him via email.  I don't have his permission (I can't imagine that he'd mind but better safe than sorry) to post his email address but I don't see a problem with you looking up his schools website for contact info.  I do know that he plans to set up a dedicated website for book sales.

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On 10/3/2017 at 1:45 PM, Thomas Coleman said:

I'm really excited to receive my copy!  Brian Derber is a former instructor at CSVM.  He (along with Tschu Ho Lee) taught the current two instructors and I believe Jeffrey Holmes (correct me if not, Jeffrey) along with many many other students.  He currently runs The New World School of Violin Making in upper WI.  While I was a student I had a chance to read a few pages that he submitted to my instructor for his opinions etc.  I was impressed enough to contact Brian and ask him to let me know when it was ready.  I got an email from him with attached photo and subsequently ordered the book.  When it arrives I'll give a rundown. 

Derber.thumb.jpg.054b37f54a27b67efdee216cad7d71e9.jpg

Brian was in the class that graduated just before I did (I think he graduated in '84).  He was a heck of a woodworker before he attended violinmaking school and I understand became an excellent teacher.  He was also the model for label of the school home brew (Geigenbrau). :)   Great fellow too.

 

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Book came in today and I couldn't be more pleased.  It is beautiful and the information is great and dense.  Lot's of stuff here.  Johnson and Courtnall is a great book.  I also like the Karl Roy book.  This is SO much better than either.  Here are a few pics.

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3 minutes ago, Michael Jennings said:

Thomas, do you know if this book is available for purchase?.... how/where?

I went to the school's site and could not find any mention.

Contact Brian via email.  redlake@centurytel.net

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47 minutes ago, arglebargle said:

$325 plus $25 shipping USD.  Anyway, that's what he sold it to me for.;)

When you get it and have time, a book review to add to what Thomas C. has already written would be nice.

-Jim

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From personal experience, I can say Brian's qualities as an individual include, extreme attention to detail, organization of process and method, patience of a rock, and a certain take no crap additude,tempered by a subtle sense of humor and quiet presence. His ability to guide even the most inexperienced through the complete process was the most amazing aspect of the time I was able to spend , could only afforded one semester. Extremely happy and give no small credit to him for showing the critical basics of violin making. If the book in any way is a reflection of Brian ,and his methodology ,as it appears to be , I would not hesitate to encourage any serious student of violin making to at least consider it,s purchace. 

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After having the book for a few more days, all I can say is "wow".  This will become a classic.  As a disclaimer, I have never met Brian and I paid full price for his book.  It was worth every penny.

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What an incredible book. So many details, photos, and drawings. This supplants Johnson and Courtnal for sure. I can see spending many days pouring over this magnificent work.

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I received the book yesterday. 

 At over 400 pages it is massive and a lot to process. The first thing that jumped out at me is that it really is a "manual". This is not a coffee table book. This is an incredibly thorough work. I spent two hours with it last night and barely scratched the surface. This is the first book I've seen that one could actually use to build a violin, raw wood to varnish and set-up, without any help outside of the book and wind up with a real instrument.

Anyone interested in violin making would be very well served to hold off buying more wood or a new plane or more gouges and buy this book. So yeah, Thomas C. and Mike M. hit the nail on the head. This is a book for the ages.

Congrats, Mr. Derber.

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