Why do violin plates overhang the sides?


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Just now, Andreas Preuss said:

Would be worth a test by cutting away the overhang (on a Strad:ph34r:) and see how the sound changes. 
 

I’d say that the curtate cycloid cross arching contributes more to the stiffness in that region than the overhang, because it creates a larger horizontal area around the rib contour. 
 

We could theorize if the overhang wasn’t ‘invented’ for more practical reasons than reinforcing the structure. If the instrument was closed, previewing any corrections which made it necessary to open it again, then having plates with overhang would make life much easier. However I think the strongest argument here is pure aesthetics.

Just as a convenience, need to get in to tune the instrument. Easier to slap it on the sides if you don't need to get it precisely in place.

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AngelInGreenWithVielle.jpg

Angel in green with vielle from the Immaculate Conception Altarpiece, once in San Francesco Grande, Milan, painted by an associate of Leonardo da Vinci and Giovanni Ambrogio de Predis, possibly Francesco Napoletano, 1490–99. This vielle has the characteristic low, flat bridge, and 1 of its 5 strings is off the fingerboard as a bourdon.

https://earlymusicmuse.com/lifting-the-veil-on-the-vielle/

I would assume they had a few originals around at the time of the painting that the artists could base it on. Or are the artists transposing current violin making practices on the instrument?

 

The second from the left shows the overhanging plates. Gloucester Cathedral, c. 1280, So nothing to do with the violin access cutaways.

VielleVariety.jpg

A variety of sizes, shapes, strings, and bourdon / fret choices (click picture to open in new window).
From left to right:
Lincoln Cathedral, 13th century: 5 strings, no bourdon, fretless (though, in carvings, frets are often left undepicted on fretted instruments).
Gloucester Cathedral, c. 1280: 3 strings, fingerboard not visible.

I think I will say it is just a style thing, we build them this way, you build them that.

 

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1 hour ago, printer2 said:

I think this is more practical then the current violin shape.

 

il_570xN.2196310050_edhk.jpg

Yes, looks more practical but if you apply the idea of ‘survival of the fittest’ to this, well, in the end it didnt survive and there must have been reasons for it.:rolleyes:

 

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6 hours ago, deans said:

They were certainly not disposable, and there are people regularly work on them. 

I certainly disagree with Mr.Saunders' comment about viols being disposable instruments. I work on them and also build them and can assure anyone interested in repairing them that there are several methods of retaining structural integrity successfully.

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It is slightly dismaying, that I will have to point out, that my jibe about „disposable instruments“, was a tongue in cheek response to the OP query. Over the years, I have done more that my fair share of repairing smashed in Gambas & d’Amores, and know what the “extra work” means.

The point I was making is that the old masters, hundreds of years ago, would surely be flabbergasted to learn that we were still playing their instruments, century's later, and that the back/belly “overhang” was a major innovation, that vastly facilitates repair & maintenance over a hardly anticipated life span.

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It's interesting to consider that (most probably) stringed instruments started in history with an animal skin as front/belly/table, the skin being indeed a disposable, over a hollowed solid piece of wood, or maybe a sort of coconut. I like the idea that the overhang became necessary with the constructional idea of building the separate ribs with corners.

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I understood the disposable comment, I saw a nylon guitar at a clearance center for $50, thought I could build one as good myself. In some ways I wish I bought it, I would have concentrated on playing not building. (It was not a great guitar but I needed a smaller one at the time). Did a modification to a different one, a nylon I converted to steel, along with some comfort additions. Mind you, a cheap and dirty conversion but with some bracing changes, neck reset, fretwork, I made it into a playable guitar.

https://i.imgur.com/kbWnryS.jpg?2

Maybe increased its value by $20, was it worth doing all the work? Absolutely.

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The old string instruments like the cornerless vielle were often held downward like shown in the above posted picture "Angle in Green" .

Later instruments had corners and the bottom plate's overhang on the bottom left corner point was used to hold a stretched rubber band so it wouldn't slip off the rib's corner joint.  The other end of the stretched rubber band had to be attached somewhere so an end pin was stuck in the bottom end of the violin to hold it.  Plate overhang was added to the rest of the perimeter in order to achieve visual symmetry.

Sponges were inserted under the stretched rubber band to act as a spacer between the violin and shoulder so that the violin could be held more horizontally in a new style of playing where the violin was held underneath the chin.

Another way of taking up space is to use a shoulder rest and the plate overhangs were needed for holding the shoulder rest's clamps.

 

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2 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

The old string instruments like the cornerless vielle were often held downward like shown in the above posted picture "Angle in Green" .

Later instruments had corners and the bottom plate's overhang on the bottom left corner point was used to hold a stretched rubber band so it wouldn't slip off the rib's corner joint.  The other end of the stretched rubber band had to be attached somewhere so an end pin was stuck in the bottom end of the violin to hold it.  Plate overhang was added to the rest of the perimeter in order to achieve visual symmetry.

Sponges were inserted under the stretched rubber band to act as a spacer between the violin and shoulder so that the violin could be held more horizontally in a new style of playing where the violin was held underneath the chin.

Another way of taking up space is to use a shoulder rest and the plate overhangs were needed for holding the shoulder rest's clamps.

 

Classic you.  MMMFC.

 

M -Marty's

M -MN

M -Mind

F -fk

C -Comedy

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2 minutes ago, David Beard said:

Classic you.  MMMFC.

 

M -Marty's

M -MN

M -Mind

F -fk

C -Comedy

I have always loved Marty's sense of humor. What has happened in your life, that resulted in your turning into a bitter old humorless codger?

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34 minutes ago, David Beard said:

It's just gotten too difficult to have an extended conversation of actual ideas on MN.

Every thread devolves into squash jokes and STLs.

"Squash jokes"? Aren't you sorry you brought that up? :lol:

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Like Jacob, I too do not know all the meanings of "STL", but upon looking it up just now, it seems to mostly be a reference to the city of ST Louis. Is that what you were trying to put across, and if so, in what way is this significant to the fiddlemaking world? :)

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41 minutes ago, Peter K-G said:

I'm with the "imposter" David B on that it's impossible to have any meaningful conversation on MN.

I believe that's it's much more than possible to have serious discussions on MN, but I also have come to believe that wackos can easily derail even the most informed and serious discussions.

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I agree the moronic jokes are annoying. A joke or 2 might be okay, but not taking over a thread, since lots of people actually want to read about the topic (at least I do if I click on it). I can find better peepee jokes elsewhere.

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17 minutes ago, Peter K-G said:

Let's do that sometime, have a serious discussion about an interesting subject.

Where, on Maestornet, have you noticed a shortage of that?

Sure, some of the discussions will be peppered with some humor. some of the humor being well focused on the upsides or downsides of one position or another. Is that a problem for you?

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1 hour ago, David Beard said:

Don't get me wrong.  We do have plenty of serious discussions.  And, I'm generally very grateful the MN is here as a resource.

Still, many threads go tediously astray.

Yes, mostly when some people, who have little experience, endlessly honk on one pet theory or another.

There are some really good and highly experienced makers and restorers who post here, so my first recommendation would be to put a high priority on their advice.

There are also some who post here who despite not being high-level pros, are just really smart. On a forum, one will always need to have the skills to be able to differentiate between the wheat and the chaff.

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7 hours ago, Marty Kasprzyk said:

The old string instruments like the cornerless vielle were often held downward like shown in the above posted picture "Angle in Green" .

Later instruments had corners and the bottom plate's overhang on the bottom left corner point was used to hold a stretched rubber band so it wouldn't slip off the rib's corner joint.  The other end of the stretched rubber band had to be attached somewhere so an end pin was stuck in the bottom end of the violin to hold it.  Plate overhang was added to the rest of the perimeter in order to achieve visual symmetry.

Sponges were inserted under the stretched rubber band to act as a spacer between the violin and shoulder so that the violin could be held more horizontally in a new style of playing where the violin was held underneath the chin.

Another way of taking up space is to use a shoulder rest and the plate overhangs were needed for holding the shoulder rest's clamps.

 

My violins and violas don't have corner points with plate overhangs and they were criticized by players because rubber band type shoulder rests couldn't be attached.  Some of these players then used sticky pads instead of rubber bands/sponges.

The wide parts of the upper and lower bouts now do have overhangs on the plates so a regular shoulder rest can be clamped on.   

The top plate's c bouts overhangs are cut completely off which gives a small increase in bowing angle clearance.  The bottom end of the lower bout of both plates don't have overhangs and the edges are well rounded to make it less irritating on the player's neck.  This also helpfully makes the instruments feel a little shorter.

 

 

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56 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Yes, mostly when some people, who have little experience, endlessly honk on one pet theory or another.

There are some really good and highly experienced makers and restorers who post here, so my first recommendation would be to put a high priority on their advice.

There are also some who post here who despite not being high-level pros, are just really smart. On a forum, one will always need to have the skills to be able to differentiate between the wheat and the chaff.

Thanks for the...

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