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Wanted: An inclusive maker/dealer database

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57 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

That’s wonderful. I was just yesterday thinking about compiling a list of makers in the North Texas area, because I could only think of three. While talking with one of the violinists in the orchestra, I mentioned that it looked like he was playing a different violin, and he smiled happily. “yes I just got a new violin by a local maker who just took over the violin making school in Chicago.”

I went blink,blink,”wha...?”

Antoine is a really good maker and teacher. I don't know all the details yet on how the Chicago School managed to pull this off.

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On ‎3‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 7:39 PM, Violadamore said:

 

I find it especially depressing that the notoriously deficient examples you gave are all the produce of paid professional authors, while the millions of pages of hobbyist-generated fan material on fiction, movies, TV shows, video games, etc., is often error-free by comparison  :)

Lütgendorff was an art historian, and a dilletante in the violin world. infact, when I moved to Austria, a decendant of his was Defence Minister here, which has nothing to do with violins, as far as I know. Henley was a Violinist, Quite what Jalovec was I do not know, but probably nothing reputable.

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There is Baxter's database  that catalogs a whole host of makers. I see that you can get it on Amazon. The person (Baxter ?) used to post here as Fubbi2.

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well one thing is for sure, general  information does not hold monetary value like it used to, so it'd need to be done as a labor of love

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On 3/17/2019 at 1:25 PM, Michael_Molnar said:

Actually, I was encouraging you to put down your cheerleader pompoms and get in the game. :)

While I see a very clear need,  I don't know that I'm qualified - either as a scholar or a computer tech...^_^

On 3/17/2019 at 2:02 PM, David Burgess said:

Have you never encountered grumpy women? :P

But of course, I'm one myself, or are you suggesting Mike is a woman?

On 3/17/2019 at 5:58 PM, Bill Merkel said:

Because there's no interest.  To prove that, start a topic on Wikipedia named "American Violin Makers" and see how long it takes you to get around to even that :)

 

I think there's a lot of interest, but it's all over the place.  That's why a quick reference would be useful.  

On 3/18/2019 at 3:00 AM, Andreas Preuss said:

I have made one with over 5000 makers compiled from all available literature sources. Didn't find enough support so I stopped selling it.

Well no...I can't see this being a money maker.  It's also 'alive', in that it needs to be kept updated.  Can't do that with a book.

On 3/18/2019 at 7:40 AM, Brad Dorsey said:

Because it would require so much work as to make it an impossible task.

...

I don't think so.  I think folks would slowly add to it over time.  It might be impossible for one person, but not for a global community.

Just reading through the posts...look how many of you already have compiled your own databases.  Just imagine if we all pooled our resources!

Let's not turn a molehill into a mountain just quite yet...^_^

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2 minutes ago, Rue said:

While I see a very clear need,  I don't know that I'm qualified - either as a scholar or a computer tech...^_^

But of course, I'm one myself, or are you suggesting Mike is a woman?

I think there's a lot of interest, but it's all over the place.  That's why a quick reference would be useful.  

Well no...I can't see this being a money maker.  It's also 'alive', in that it needs to be kept updated.  Can't do that with a book.

I don't think so.  I think folks would slowly add to it over time.  It might be impossible for one person, but not for a global community.

Just reading through the posts...look how many of you already have compiled your own databases.  Just imagine if we all pooled our resources!

Let's not turn a molehill into a mountain just quite yet...^_^

My interest in making a database came mostly from wanting to know master apprentice  relations and further to figure out what can be written in stone and what is only rough estimate for dates related to makers biographies. 

In the end I refined the database to the degree that I could see in which city and which year violin makers were working and if independent or employed. 

Maybe I should revive it now. For maybe 2-3 years I had a short version on the internet under the name 'the new encyclopedia of violin and now makers' it collapsed because I had a fight with the guy who put it on the net. 

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7 hours ago, jezzupe said:

well one thing is for sure, general  information does not hold monetary value like it used to, so it'd need to be done as a labor of love

I suggest that those so motivated investigate how fan wikis are created and maintained, and go from there.  Many of the lurkers here probably have the skills, and each will likely know something useful.  I stubbed my toes rather painfully on trying to synthesize from the ocean of material available, a few years ago, and am of the opinion that any useful product will require the contributions of hundreds of folks who see one tiny niche clearly to combine into a larger picture.  Wikipedia already has a Fiddle and Violin series going., BTW.   https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violin  :)

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39 minutes ago, Rue said:

While I see a very clear need,  I don't know that I'm qualified - either as a scholar or a computer tech...^_^

But of course, I'm one myself, or are you suggesting Mike is a woman?

I think there's a lot of interest, but it's all over the place.  That's why a quick reference would be useful.  

Well no...I can't see this being a money maker.  It's also 'alive', in that it needs to be kept updated.  Can't do that with a book.

I don't think so.  I think folks would slowly add to it over time.  It might be impossible for one person, but not for a global community.

Just reading through the posts...look how many of you already have compiled your own databases.  Just imagine if we all pooled our resources!

Let's not turn a molehill into a mountain just quite yet...^_^

I’m on your side, ma’am. And I have a database that used to be three… Now it’s four! Happy to share. 

:-)

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8 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

My interest in making a database came mostly from wanting to know master apprentice  relations and further to figure out what can be written in stone and what is only rough estimate for dates related to makers biographies. 

In the end I refined the database to the degree that I could see in which city and which year violin makers were working and if independent or employed. 

Maybe I should revive it now. For maybe 2-3 years I had a short version on the internet under the name 'the new encyclopedia of violin and now makers' it collapsed because I had a fight with the guy who put it on the net. 

I would invest in such a move. Every single day Someone create an account here, just so that they can ask about the violin they found in grandmas attic.

Every single day.

There is absolutely no substitute for a trained eye, but a good database  would be incredibly beneficial not just for grandma’s violin, but as a protection against eBay scoundrels. It would also provide a little encouragement to people who are interested in violin making and are looking for inspiration and guidance.

If I did not already have My lifetime cello, I would constantly be here researching makers and seeking information about exhibitions and contests to make sure I could get the best possible cello for the money.

Heck, I’m doing that anyway.

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12 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

I would invest in such a move. Every single day Someone create an account here, just so that they can ask about the violin they found in grandmas attic.

Every single day.

There is absolutely no substitute for a trained eye, but a good database  would be incredibly beneficial not just for grandma’s violin, but as a protection against eBay scoundrels. It would also provide a little encouragement to people who are interested in violin making and are looking for inspiration and guidance.

If I did not already have My lifetime cello, I would constantly be here researching makers and seeking information about exhibitions and contests to make sure I could get the best possible cello for the money.

Heck, I’m doing that anyway.

I hate to say it but after I had done all the work (that's already over 10 years ago!) everybody asked me 'and where are the pictures???' Making me think 'are we living in a porn world??!'

Reviving it makes only sense when there are pictures. I'd love to do it but would need help of a supportive and well educated community. this means in real terms sharing photo material and putting seriously written articles in it. for the moment I can't see that happen. 

If I wouldn't have to work I'd probably sit down and figure out a way to make a violin identification sort of program but hey, I am not blessed like marcel Proust living from the fortune earned by his father to make the most unique and gigantic piece of literature in the world. 

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If 'we' make it too complicated from inception, then for sure it will never happen.  And of course, it would be hard for any database to please everyone - since we all have very different interests, or approaches to our own personal information collection.

Start really really simple...build on that.

I'm not sure why we'd need a photograph of William Wannabee to start out with.  Although, at some point, maybe a photo of an example of one of his violins would be handy.

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This is just off the top of my head...

Required minimum data entered:

Name: 

Dates: 

Location: 

Output:

Additional information:

Last updated:

So, it would start to look something like this - 
 

 

Name: Amati, Nicola

Dates: 1596-1684

Location: Italy, Cremona

Output: Good example of a factoid I couldn't quickly find.  Have to go back to and do some "real" work now...:ph34r:

Additional information: One of the earliest well documented luthiers with instruments still in use.  A great deal of information is readily available on this maker.

Last updated:  Rue 20-3-19

 

Name: Hutchins, Carleen

Dates: 1911-2009

Location: USA, Springfield, MA

Output: 450 instruments (couldn't find the breakdown quickly...)...

Additional information: Best known for her violin octet.

Last updated: Rue 20-3-19

 

Name: Stradivari, Antonio

Dates: 1644-1737

Location: Italy, Cremona

Output: Lifetime production estimate: 1116 instruments.  960 violins.

Extant: 650 instruments, 450-512 violins.

Additional information: Extant instruments are among the most expensive in the world. A great deal of additional information is readily available on this maker.  

Last updated:  Rue 20-3-19

 

Name: Wannabee, William W.

Dates: 1864-1964

Location: Mars, Lake Goodwood

Output: Total: 15, all still in use.

Additional information: Hobby violin maker.  Violins highly regarded by local musicians.  One is on permanent display at the Mars Museum of Music.

Last updated:  Rue 20-3-19

 

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It’s an interesting idea, and I too would enjoy a database that had everything I needed. However, the big question that strikes me is: what is the target audience for this resource? This is an important question because it gets at the difficulty of making something that is useful and appealing to a niche audience.

If the aim is to make something that gives rudimentary biographical info for anyone who has an amateur or casual interest, it might be possible to assemble current source material and get people to upload to the platform. However, something of this nature would have no use to professionals, who rely on source material for different purposes, such as identification, study, and pricing. For this reason it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to get the truly knowledgeable people in the field to participate. 

If it’s intended for the professional violin world, a simple bio just won’t be enough. What makes the best books useful is a combination of quality pictures, measurements, and scholarly analysis of the models and working methods of makers. This information would be more than the average violin enthusiast would want or find useful, so a database with that much specific detail would be unlikely to appeal to those who didn’t work with violins for a living.

Again, this is not intended to be an argument against doing anything, only an observation that there are important considerations to take into account, and the task is inherently complicated.

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The target audience is anyone who needs a quick reference.

Students, professionals - everyone needs a starting point.

Who is a dictionary for?  I use it to look up new words, or to look up words I already know - to double check spelling, pronunciation or additional meanings...

p.s.  Anyone who needs a book on someone, versus a quick reference, wouldn't be accessing this database.  But - if they needed to check a spelling, or dates, etc., regarding something they read in the book, this would still be useful.

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 Google isn't always the best for things like this.  At least that's what I found.

Plus, Google is a search engine (profit driven?), not a reliable database.  

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