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New scientific article on violin making - anyone else see this?


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The article's conclusion says:

" The final, and probably the most important conclusion of this study, is the fact that variations in the material parameters23 can only be compensated by changes in the outline of the violin,"

That's not very helpful because the only outline changes that can be done are the ones to make the violin's outline smaller.  The resultant violin still has to fit into a standard size case. 

 

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There are probably a lot of non-violin makers that will thoroughly enjoy it. The most intriguing thing about it for me is why would some one spend this much time out of their life doing this. Is there really a market for this type of thing? At least they acknowledged that free plate Hz. do not correlate into a finished instruments success.

I am not dissing it at all, by any means, total respect for them from me,, this is their contribution to mankind, it is their interest, but personally, only for me,, I just don't get it. From my perspective they wasted a lot of time.

I have never been told or shown anything scientific,,to my knowledge,, that made a bucket-o-worms bit of difference in making a violin. The exception being varnish making. After the early catgut info., then working with it and applying it, then realizing that it was only the beginning, it soon becomes apparent that it is also the end. The catgut info. is basically just basic fundamental structural knowledge, a great place to start, as are several other methods, but,,  you can't stop there, that land is enchanted, everything beyond that is a land of experience and developed intuition, as far as I've seen, I stand to be corrected.

To me this stuff is usually non-violin makers that need something to do, and I'm sure some find it quite interesting, but not particularity useful.

But I'll freely admit, just start showing formulas and numbers and long lines of equations and I'm done, cross-eyed, headache,, gone Johnson,, 2+2 is difficult enough,,,,,you've burned the toast, scorched the coffee and tossed the biscuits out the window. If it could ever be explained what a person is to do with all that mess, how to apply it in real time it would be nice. I respect people a lot with that type of knowledge, I was so bored with school, could never sit still long enough to learn any of that,,,  to my regret. I personally don't believe that science and violin making mix very well. Common sense and experience seem to produce good results.

But then,, I'm just an ol' crust,,,,,gimme the granddaughter yanking on the beard, shoving the fingers up the nose, a cup of coffee, sharp tools wood glue and varnish, a set of strings,,,I get that, I'm good to go,,,

evan with a cross-eyed headache, and pie is not square, it are round.

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48 minutes ago, Evan Smith said:

.

lI am not dissing it at all, by any means, total respect for them from me,, this is their contribution to mankind, it is their interest, but personally, only for me,, I just don't get it. From my perspective they wasted a lot of time..

I’d think that for a scientist, getting a  paper published in Nature is never a waste of time.

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3 hours ago, Evan Smith said:

There are probably a lot of non-violin makers that will thoroughly enjoy it. The most intriguing thing about it for me is why would some one spend this much time out of their life doing this. Is there really a market for this type of thing? At least they acknowledged that free plate Hz. do not correlate into a finished instruments success.

I am not dissing it at all, by any means, total respect for them from me,, this is their contribution to mankind, it is their interest, but personally, only for me,, I just don't get it. From my perspective they wasted a lot of time.

I have never been told or shown anything scientific,,to my knowledge,, that made a bucket-o-worms bit of difference in making a violin. The exception being varnish making. After the early catgut info., then working with it and applying it, then realizing that it was only the beginning, it soon becomes apparent that it is also the end. The catgut info. is basically just basic fundamental structural knowledge, a great place to start, as are several other methods, but,,  you can't stop there, that land is enchanted, everything beyond that is a land of experience and developed intuition, as far as I've seen, I stand to be corrected.

To me this stuff is usually non-violin makers that need something to do, and I'm sure some find it quite interesting, but not particularity useful.

But I'll freely admit, just start showing formulas and numbers and long lines of equations and I'm done, cross-eyed, headache,, gone Johnson,, 2+2 is difficult enough,,,,,you've burned the toast, scorched the coffee and tossed the biscuits out the window. If it could ever be explained what a person is to do with all that mess, how to apply it in real time it would be nice. I respect people a lot with that type of knowledge, I was so bored with school, could never sit still long enough to learn any of that,,,  to my regret. I personally don't believe that science and violin making mix very well. Common sense and experience seem to produce good results.

But then,, I'm just an ol' crust,,,,,gimme the granddaughter yanking on the beard, shoving the fingers up the nose, a cup of coffee, sharp tools wood glue and varnish, a set of strings,,,I get that, I'm good to go,,,

evan with a cross-eyed headache, and pie is not square, it are round.

Hi Evan, Good research tends to have a fairly narrow focus to limit confounding variables. One of the goals of a scientist is to add to the body of knowledge that exists. This is done in an iterative process, not in a single comprehensive tome. The basic formula is to ask a specific question (hypothesis), develop a method to answer (test) the hypothesis, then discuss what you conclude from the results which are only applicable to the question asked a priori. In other words, you're not ever likely to see the equivalent the Chilton's manual (for all makes and models) version on the science and application of violin making. You may however get a nugget of information that helps you put a couple of ideas together that you may have been pondering for the last decade, or not.

Cheers,

Jim  

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3 hours ago, ctanzio said:

This was covered in some detail in an earlier post:

Paper: A Data-Driven Approach to Violin Making - The Pegbox - Maestronet Forums

 

"Some detail" is a major understatement.  The topic was posted by one of the paper's authors, Sebastian Gonzalez, and, IMHO, the resulting, often technical, discussion is a valuable read.  :)

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7 hours ago, Don Noon said:

As a technical paper, it's good.  Well written.

As a guide to how to make a great violin, I think this approach has no chance of being useful in my lifetime, if ever.

I have heard some speeches on the web where it was presented and talked about this research project, it seemed interesting and rather original, but also according to the author still in the development phase and that it would have required a lot of work to reach any conclusions. But the press reports seem like they can't do without sensationalism and I don't see all this great fallout on the work of modern luthiers. So I have to agree with Don, this approach has no chance of being useful in my lifetime, and I still see very far the day when violin making will be based on algorithms and artificial intelligence.

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The timescales and physics are different, but to me it is a bit like trying to analyze a hummingbird.  You might figure out a few little things, but you can't beat experience and trial-and-error (over millions of years in this case) for making ones that work really well.

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Thats just a 'modern' disease to believe that 'data driven approach' is the solution to everything.

I had a quick look into it and thought 'using this, it might take a year to complete a violin.'

IMO the thing we really need to learn from makers of the golden age is how to build instruments with a sound-calibrating-concept. Otherwise their success rate of instruments with over average to exceptional sound potential wouldn't have been that high.

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21 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

I wonder if it can or will be applied to making better violins from carbon-fiber or other synthetic materials where you can control material uniformity.

I would agree. Wood has too many variables...each cell of which its composed is unique.

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10 hours ago, Don Noon said:

The timescales and physics are different, but to me it is a bit like trying to analyze a hummingbird.  You might figure out a few little things, but you can't beat experience and trial-and-error (over millions of years in this case) for making ones that work really well.

Bit of a problem might be that no experience has been transmitted and that somehow, nobody knows how, the errored one either managed to fix themselves or where in small enough, again nobody knows why, number to allow marching forward.

The evolution of the hummingbird from a small aquatic marsupial millions and millions of years ago, is still a mystery. 

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10 hours ago, Don Noon said:

The timescales and physics are different, but to me it is a bit like trying to analyze a hummingbird.  You might figure out a few little things, but you can't beat experience and trial-and-error (over millions of years in this case) for making ones that work really well.

Humming birds took millions of years to develop, but how long did it take humans to design, build, and deploy the helicopter that is now flying around Mars? 

By using AI design algorithms (such as evolutionary algorithms) and reproducible synthetic materials, I am quite certain that violins and bows that work "really well" could be designed and manufactured in a fairly short time frame. They might not look like violins that we are used to, however. They might not even be wholly acoustic.

The primary problem is human: there is no agreement on what the specifications for "really well" should be. If a goal cannot be defined, then the neither can the criteria for achieving it. Furthermore, who would fund the research?

I'd propose a "Turing Test" for violins. If audiences of human beings cannot distinguish between an artificial violin and a conventional violin, then it will have succeeded.

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1 hour ago, GeorgeH said:

1. Humming birds took millions of years to develop, but

2. how long did it take humans to design, build, and deploy the helicopter that is now flying around Mars? 

3. By using AI design algorithms (such as evolutionary algorithms) and reproducible synthetic materials, I am quite certain that violins and bows that work "really well" could be designed and manufactured in a fairly short time frame. They might not look like violins that we are used to, however. They might not even be wholly acoustic.

4. The primary problem is human: there is no agreement on what the specifications for "really well" should be.

5. If a goal cannot be defined, then the neither can the criteria for achieving it.

6. Furthermore, who would fund the research?

7. I'd propose a "Turing Test" for violins. If audiences of human beings cannot distinguish between an artificial violin and a conventional violin, then it will have succeeded.

1. How do you know that ?

2. Millions of years. The first couple of millions was used to learn counting to three.

3. Possible.

4. This is at the core of the problem. My observations seem to indicate there is a pretty good agreement on what a good violin should do. But that might not involve "everybody".

5. True. Worth reading a couple of times.

6. I'm sure funding can be found. I'd be more concerned with who would do the research. Some horrible examples around...

7. Sure, that should work. But what's "audiences" ???  Audiences at large can't tell a violin from a clarinet or one "song" from another one. Audiences have become ever more de-sensitized to quality of tone or voice. 

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2 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

The primary problem is human: there is no agreement on what the specifications for "really well" should be. If a goal cannot be defined, then the neither can the criteria for achieving it. Furthermore, who would fund the research?

I'd propose a "Turing Test" for violins. If audiences of human beings cannot distinguish between an artificial violin and a conventional violin, then it will have succeeded.

What you say reminds me of when the Honda NSX came out against the Ferrari 348 in the 1990s. Critics came out of the woodwork to state that Honda had mastered Ferrari's game for a third less cost. And yet, which of the two would virtually anyone prefer in their driveway?

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1 hour ago, Carl Stross said:

1. How do you know that ?

2. Millions of years. The first couple of millions was used to learn counting to three.

 

1. The modern hummingbird has evolved at least over 30 million years.

"The world's oldest known modern hummingbird fossils have been discovered in Germany. The tiny skeletons are also the first modern-type hummingbird fossils ever found in the Old World. These creatures, with strikingly similar resemblances to today's hummingbirds, lived in present-day Germany more than 30 million year ago."

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-05/aaft-wom043004.php

2. No, according to NASA, it took 6 years to develop and build the Mars helicopter Ingenuity.

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