Rib Taper hypothesis #43,759


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7 hours ago, Bruce Carlson said:

Violins with ribs of equal height all around or with a continuous taper from the end block to the neck block, IMHO, lack a lot as regards the overall appearance of the violin. This however is a totally subjective aesthetic judgement but in Stradivari it is there, and it is that way. We will never know what Stradivari was thinking but to exclude or ridicule it because we can't get a handle on what the function was is ridiculous. In violin shapes form is aesthetic so if you prefer to use the word form ok. I'll let you figure out the function.:lol: I still don't think you read my explanation very carefully.

Ben's article is a good read even if there are a couple of errors (minor).

 

Sorry, which explanation do you think I didn't read very carefully? Do you mean concerning Roger Hargrave's explanation? He gives alternative explanations of the original necks. I do study them and whatever else there is to give clues.

I have a lot of questions. The instruments that have survived with the least amount of butchery and damage, also haven't shrunk in dimensions in well over 300 years it seems?

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7 hours ago, Bruce Carlson said:

Violins with ribs of equal height all around or with a continuous taper from the end block to the neck block, IMHO, lack a lot as regards the overall appearance of the violin. This however is a totally subjective aesthetic judgement but in Stradivari it is there, and it is that way. We will never know what Stradivari was thinking but to exclude or ridicule it because we can't get a handle on what the function was is ridiculous. In violin shapes form is aesthetic so if you prefer to use the word form ok. I'll let you figure out the function.:lol: I still don't think you read my explanation very carefully.

Ben's article is a good read even if there are a couple of errors (minor).

 

Which explanation do you think I did not read carefully? 

 

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Here is another hypothesis on this theme:

If a violin maker in the 18th century would try to fine tune the air cavity very precisely to whatever he had in mind, how would he do it?

If you make the taper on the top side you can take off the top and plane down the rib height   without going over the upper block area. 

I don't know how much this would change because I never tried it.

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4 hours ago, Bruce Carlson said:

 

Yes I read that thread a few times. I'm not denying the aesthetics proposal. I'm saying it's too reductive to be a sole reason. 

Can we discuss how the belly is affected by the smallest changes over time as they shrink? How much shrinkage is ideal? How much is too much? Etc.

We don't know if they had an intention to introduce a small amount of pre stressing. Can we discuss it?

I could ask you a simple question of science (not related to music or current issues) that could knock your socks off. This would demonstrate how misconstrued ideas become beliefs.

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Stradivari guitars were tapered. 

Modern acoustic guitars also have a taper.

Maybe its just a carry over from other medieval instruments and it was copied over  - "because thats the way it was always done".

Below is a side view of The Rawlins Stradivari guitar in the National Music Museum........

stradivari guitar.jpg

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36 minutes ago, sospiri said:

Yes I read that thread a few times. I'm not denying the aesthetics proposal. I'm saying it's too reductive to be a sole reason.

Then what is the function of the shape of the scroll? Is it shaped to project laser-like sound beams to the ears of the listeners, or is it more aesthetic?

If I were you, I wouldn't mess with Bruce too much. He is one of the most competent observers I have ever been around. When we were both working in the Weisshaar shop, my main focus was delivering good work to a customer rather quickly, while his was more like, "Dave, take a look at this. What do you think those toolmarks mean?"

These were often marks which I had never noticed before

 

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51 minutes ago, sospiri said:

Yes I read that thread a few times. I'm not denying the aesthetics proposal. I'm saying it's too reductive to be a sole reason. 

Can we discuss how the belly is affected by the smallest changes over time as they shrink? How much shrinkage is ideal? How much is too much? Etc.

We don't know if they had an intention to introduce a small amount of pre stressing. Can we discuss it?

I could ask you a simple question of science (not related to music or current issues) that could knock your socks off. This would demonstrate how misconstrued ideas become beliefs.

I have the impression that aesthetic considerations were high on Stradivari's priorities. It's equally obvious that Stradivari didn't invent the violin so a certain number of procedures and notions were certainly carried over from the earlier Cremonese makers. But Stradivari was a thinking violinmaker and I'm sure he was bright enough to question or ponder upon what he was doing as he did his experimentation with new shapes and sizes of violins.

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5 hours ago, Bruce Carlson said:

I have the impression that aesthetic considerations were high on Stradivari's priorities. It's equally obvious that Stradivari didn't invent the violin so a certain number of procedures and notions were certainly carried over from the earlier Cremonese makers. But Stradivari was a thinking violinmaker and I'm sure he was bright enough to question or ponder upon what he was doing as he did his experimentation with new shapes and sizes of violins.

I'm sorry, but the aesthetic consideration doesn't satisfy me, because the plate is bent down. Why?

Why is a bow cambered? Isn't the same springing effect going to apply to this issue too?

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Sospiri,

I'm not one to claim it didn't perhaps also have a physical effect to spme degree.  But why couldn't it have primarily a visual motive?

Also, the broader older version of tapering appears to be one the back, so no torque of top plate there.

There's wisedom in saying we don't know when we don't know.

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16 minutes ago, sospiri said:

I'm sorry, but the aesthetic consideration doesn't satisfy me, because the plate is bent down. Why?

Why is a bow cambered? Isn't the same springing effect going to apply to this issue too?

It's easier to taper from the upper blocks to the top block than it is to taper the entire rib assembly.

So maybe the bending stress is just a by-product - something that wasn't considered a big deal. We certainly have no evidence that it enhances the sound. 

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9 minutes ago, martin swan said:

It's easier to taper from the upper blocks to the top block than it is to taper the entire rib assembly.

So maybe the bending stress is just a by-product - something that wasn't considered a big deal. We certainly have no evidence that it enhances the sound. 

I don't believe it would enhance the tone. But does it give more power? 

Do players even notice the taper unless it's pointed out to them?

 

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9 minutes ago, martin swan said:

It's easier to taper from the upper blocks to the top block than it is to taper the entire rib assembly.

So maybe the bending stress is just a by-product - something that wasn't considered a big deal. We certainly have no evidence that it enhances the sound. 

I don't believe it would enhance the tone. But does it give more power? 

Do players even notice the taper unless it's pointed out to them?

 

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A local player had/has a very fine ancient cello that is like that one at the upper block; I don't remember if it's a composite or an issue with cutting down, but it works fine. :-)

One of the more memorable violins I've seen in this regard was an Alfred Smith (Australian) that was considerably thicker in the c-bouts than at either end to the extent where it was easily visible from a distance. It was a SCREAMER. But I don't know how much of that could be attributed to the strange construction. It would be fun to try, but I haven't.

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38 minutes ago, sospiri said:

I don't believe it would enhance the tone. But does it give more power? 

Do players even notice the taper unless it's pointed out to them?

 

I don't think that everyone who drives a car ponders about the ergonomic design of the steering wheel although many will sense the comfort. There are so many things a violinmaker does that a lot of other violinmakers and musicians don't notice but can contribute to the overall effect of the instrument both visually and tonally.

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