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How does a violin reproduce overtones? - Theorizing a model


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24 minutes ago, uncle duke said:

I was trying to set David up with a step in the pile episode but you saved him - he didn't reply back.

Maybe you were implying something he didn’t understand? You do that a lot. 

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3 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

David, I am surprised that you are making such razor sharp dividing lines. What are 'traditional classical players'? IMO interpretations and the sound ideals linked to interpretations are evolving. Therefore the classical instruments are permanently reajusted for 'traditional classical players' to serve new trends. 

In this sense I wouldn't draw a razor sharp division line between the original Cremona approach and newly developed making concepts. I think successful new concepts are based on the transformations the classical instruments have undergone in the setup over the past 200 years. There is a reason why modern setup became a general accepted standard. (Maybe with the exception of Il cannone:rolleyes:)

We have to be aware as well that 'classical music' as such has undergone enormous changes. Broadly speaking I see very different sound ideals in the music of let's say Mozart and Shostakovitch. Musicians figure out techniques of sound production to give both composers the right expression on classical built instruments. But isn't it time to think about it a little in violin making to support the efforts of musicians?

Personally i see  a small contradiction in the fact that players use for 21st century violin technique instruments designed in  the 16th century essentially for 16th century violin technique.

I see as well that many so called classic players drift in other music regions like Tango, Jazz Pop, or Rock. I see there the desire to redefine our view on a classical music which often fights with its own inflexible viewpoints. 

 

Yes. I guess that's fair.  I do see a sharp divide between classical Cremona making versus any sort of inventive or idea driven redesign approach.

To me, the Cremona making was distinguished by extreme continuity of tradition.  Their development of the instrument was the most succesful ever.  But proceed by experiments with the smallest incremental variations in applying the one and constitent tradtional method.  The variations were minute, and within extreme continuity.  That is way their development looks like and is a cultural evolution of the violin.  The geniuses of the group like Strad and DG did not innovate, they only varied.  The played entirely within the exact same playground of methods that run through the tradition and period.

And besides its prolonged and dominant success, there is another reason that the 'classical violin' for 'classical music' should be treated as a fixed flavor, traditional received.

These are the specific instrument at the heart and root of the develipment of western classical music, from the Ars Nova through Shostakovich.   These are the instruments of Monteverdi and the Ars Nova, of Corelli, etc.

And, one of the great virtues of these archetype instruments is tonal richness and flexibility.  That has also translated into adaptability.  This allowed the classical violin of Italian origin to remain the root flavor behind violins in Mozart's world, Beethoven's, Brahm's, Stravinsky's etc.

Now, I admit that today we face a new juncture in musical tastes, adjuncture were musical values and tools are diversifying.  There is now more need and room for innovating new instrument and flavors than at any time since the Renaissance.

But at the same, classical playing is vital and remains as active as ever.  And even subcategories like Baroque, Rennaissance, and Classical (Haydn era) period playing are gaining strength.

Lastly, I believe that some of us should resume Cremona method making as completely as posssible.  I believe that market of the coming decades will find a little room foe this sort of making.  And I think that it is a very different thing than trying to engineer or achieve a louder or different sort of violin.

 

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5 hours ago, David Beard said:

Their development of the instrument was the most succesful ever. 

Two thoughts on this.

  1. Take out of the equation two names (AS and GDG) and see which ranking it would get. 
  2. Development of Cremonese violin making stopped not for reasons that it couldn't develop further in my view. 
5 hours ago, David Beard said:

Lastly, I believe that some of us should resume Cremona method making as completely as posssible.  I believe that market of the coming decades will find a little room foe this sort of making. 

In a market which is getting very slowly an acceptance for higher diversity. But if you say 'as close as possible', this would actually mean in a radical sense to make baroque instruments and wait for others to transform them into modern instruments.

 

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5 hours ago, David Beard said:

And, one of the great virtues of these archetype instruments is tonal richness and flexibility. 

Yes, definitely.

It is the real question what are the principles or the concept behind it. Generally speaking and to reduce it to one key word I think it is just 'calibration'. (as opposed to 'calculating') I don't think any longer that the Cremona approach is the only path to 'tonal richness and flexibility'.  

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Yes, definitely.

It is the real question what are the principles or the concept behind it. Generally speaking and to reduce it to one key word I think it is just 'calibration'. (as opposed to 'calculating') I don't think any longer that the Cremona approach is the only path to 'tonal richness and flexibility'.  

 

 

I don't believe there were ideas and concepts as much as traditions of work process, shaped by cultural evolution.

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1 hour ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Two thoughts on this.

  1. Take out of the equation two names (AS and GDG) and see which ranking it would get. 
  2. Development of Cremonese violin making stopped not for reasons that it couldn't develop further in my view. 

In a market which is getting very slowly an acceptance for higher diversity. But if you say 'as close as possible', this would actually mean in a radical sense to make baroque instruments and wait for others to transform them into modern instruments.

 

1) If you broaden Classical Italian making to include the mostly strongly linked making, then you have to go many tiers down the list to get to makers outside very direct link to the Cremona/Venice/Brescia center.

2) yes. Economics, industry, politics. Very large scale forces broke the continuity of thier development by cultural evolution.

 

Yes. That would be the ideal.  As a 'reconiled' approach, I've been experimenting with using a complete baroque sequence and process of building, with the exception of installing a Lady Blunt/Vuillaume style neck at the moment the Baroque nailed neck would be installed.  This also requires leaving extra wood above the FB attachment area of the neck.  This way, just as in an entirely Baroque build, it isn't necessary to completely anticipate the neck angle and elevation.

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13 minutes ago, David Beard said:

1) If you broaden Classical Italian making to include the mostly strongly linked making, then you have to go many tiers down the list to get to makers outside very direct link to the Cremona/Venice/Brescia center.

So what I sometimes try to imagine is how would have Cremonese violin making developed if the tradition would have continued. Would they have stopped at late Strads and late del Gesus? I don't thinks so. 

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34 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

So what I sometimes try to imagine is how would have Cremonese violin making developed if the tradition would have continued. Would they have stopped at late Strads and late del Gesus? I don't thinks so. 

I agree.  But we can't find what they would have found by us using inventions of the mind.  We would need instead need to restablish the mechanism of their cultural evolution, a community of makers resuming their traditions of process and conservativism of exploring within the bounds of that.

 

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2 hours ago, David Beard said:

I agree.  But we can't find what they would have found by us using inventions of the mind.  We would need instead need to restablish the mechanism of their cultural evolution, a community of makers resuming their traditions of process and conservativism of exploring within the bounds of that.

 

Impossible. Especially if you see how much violin makers can agree to each other.

But in arts I see often the extension of in idea of a deceased artist continued by another artist into the projected direction the original idea.

Just take Mozart and Beethoven.

if we take social circumstances as a hurdle not to continue what should be continued and is worth to be expanded, then where are we standing?

(Each time I make a Strad copy I feel the master silently sneaking up behind my back watching over my shoulder mumbling ‘What are you doing there??!’)

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Just reading along... 

1)The violin, once carved and assembled ("built"), must be [     ]ed.

2)Once the [    ]ing is done, and excess ____ removed,

3)Then the varnish may be applied.

Somehow, the linseed oil ground theory leads me to imagine that Stradivari made his violins out of Linoleum.

I have to wonder what the Tuscan musicians made often the Medici set. Brand new instruments, of finest wood, in full varnish, decorated with marquetry and pearl, and they were granted the privilege of actually playing them.

After the various and sundry wars (minor skirmishes along borders and incidents at checkpoints; nothing that we fin de XX-ieme ciecle folk couldn't handle), naturally the plebean masses decided that everyone was entitled to own a Stradivarius, and the whole lonely genius in a garret mythos gained traction.

Please, continue. That the truly great instruments are now distinguishable to molecular levels of detail is truly fascinating. 

 

Andreas, Kaffee oder Tee? Ich hab' auch Orangensaft. Leider kein Tomatensaft; ich muß nach dem Marktplatz fahren.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/31/2021 at 3:19 PM, Andreas Preuss said:

Christian doesn't talk about the thickness of his plates. Regardless, with the reinforcement beams carved out of the plate I wouldn't think this is close to a membrane.

It’s the idea, reinforce the places where stress is for have thinner membrane where is less stress.

the final result for weight is the same than my normal instruments 

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On 6/16/2021 at 5:40 PM, christian bayon said:

It’s the idea, reinforce the places where stress is for have thinner membrane where is less stress.

the final result for weight is the same than my normal instruments 

Interesting.

My personal ideas go rather in the direction to have a more solid frame around the top plate. The result is that the top can be made thinner and lighter. 

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3 minutes ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Interesting.

My personal ideas go rather in the direction to have a more solid frame around the top plate. The result is that the top can be made thinner and lighter. 

I believe your approach here agrees with Cremona tradition.  We can observe that a number of details that actually distinguish Cremona making are about making the sides stiffer to out of plane motion, particularly in the cBouts, but still very elastic to in plane motion.

They also create a sort of partial independence between the edges and sides and the central area of the plates, via the channels.

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1 hour ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Interesting.

My personal ideas go rather in the direction to have a more solid frame around the top plate. The result is that the top can be made thinner and lighter. 

 

58 minutes ago, David Beard said:

I believe your approach here agrees with Cremona tradition.  We can observe that a number of details that actually distinguish Cremona making are about making the sides stiffer to out of plane motion, particularly in the cBouts, but still very elastic to in plane motion.

They also create a sort of partial independence between the edges and sides and the central area of the plates, via the channels.

I have made violins with double sides, two sets of ribs glued together with 2mm x 8 mm untrimed linings.

It really wasn't a big deal, it allowed a looser top and back and the sound was deep and large,, very juicy,, thet really had that deep growly yet clear Del Gesu type of sound,, not muddy, or hollow at all,,,very solid.

Not everyone loves that sound, I got the idea because Del Gesu often left his ribs thick,, so I though why not see what it does. Yes it does add strength so other areas may be loosened up with out ruining it.

It allows you to add more depth in a different bandwidth than normal, not good or bad, just is what it is.

I have also taken a stiff fiddles and scrapped the ribs down as I was playing them and watched the changes they go through. It increases the depth of sound, increases the impression of depth, everything is a balancing act. A completely different type of depth than with thick ribs, it is much more delicate.

The brightness and openness can come and go during the process, it's there, scrape, it's gone, then it's there,, you just hope it is good when you stop...just one more scrape,,,it can be hard to stop,,, never as good as it was awhile ago! shucks!

 

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1 hour ago, David Beard said:

We can observe that a number of details that actually distinguish Cremona making are about making the sides stiffer to out of plane motion, particularly in the cBouts, but still very elastic to in plane motion.

I think you reversed the out-of-plane (i.e. normal to the surface) motion vs. in-plane (sideways) motion.  The reverse graduation, leaving the edges of the plate thicker than the center, would also allow more out-of-plane movement vs. in-plane.

11 minutes ago, Evan Smith said:

everything is a balancing act.

Yup.

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5 hours ago, Evan Smith said:

 

I have made violins with double sides, two sets of ribs glued together with 2mm x 8 mm untrimed linings.

It really wasn't a big deal, it allowed a looser top and back and the sound was deep and large,, very juicy,, thet really had that deep growly yet clear Del Gesu type of sound,, not muddy, or hollow at all,,,very solid.

Not everyone loves that sound, I got the idea because Del Gesu often left his ribs thick,, so I though why not see what it does. Yes it does add strength so other areas may be loosened up with out ruining it.

It allows you to add more depth in a different bandwidth than normal, not good or bad, just is what it is.

I have also taken a stiff fiddles and scrapped the ribs down as I was playing them and watched the changes they go through. It increases the depth of sound, increases the impression of depth, everything is a balancing act. A completely different type of depth than with thick ribs, it is much more delicate.

The brightness and openness can come and go during the process, it's there, scrape, it's gone, then it's there,, you just hope it is good when you stop...just one more scrape,,,it can be hard to stop,,, never as good as it was awhile ago! shucks!

 

The thing is they don't make the actual sides thick.  In fact, in cellos they make them thin to the point of nearly failing.  It is the edge sitting across the sides, and the linings, and the mortice of the linings that they enhance.

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5 hours ago, Don Noon said:

I think you reversed the out-of-plane (i.e. normal to the surface) motion vs. in-plane (sideways) motion.  The reverse graduation, leaving the edges of the plate thicker than the center, would also allow more out-of-plane movement vs. in-plane.

[...]

No. I mean out of plane.

If you take the design of the sides and linings without the plates attached, then you can stretch and compress the length and width very freely.  The structure is very free and springy in thoses directions.  But, the height of the ribs and the curving and cornered shape serve to make the sides very resistive to bending of the plane they describe.

However, they are less resistive to twisting of the plane.

When you attach the plates, this resistance to bending the plane remains.  But you can still squeeze in the width at the cBouts with light finger presure.

The edge shape combined with the ribs makes the rib structure basically an I bar.  A curved I bar, but still an I bar.

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4 hours ago, David Beard said:

The edge shape combined with the ribs makes the rib structure basically an I bar.  A curved I bar, but still an I bar.

I agree completely.

i build my instruments like a drum. Rigid belt, holding the strings tension to have the membrane free.

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2 hours ago, christian bayon said:

I agree completely.

i build my instruments like a drum. Rigid belt, holding the strings tension to have the membrane free.

I must say Christian, I think that you New political dysfunctional fiddle is pure genius.

 

 

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6 hours ago, David Beard said:

The thing is they don't make the actual sides thick.  In fact, in cellos they make them thin to the point of nearly failing.  It is the edge sitting across the sides, and the linings, and the mortise of the linings that they enhance.

I really fail to understand what that has to do with my experiments at all.  To do some of the crazy nut-so insane things I've done, I obviously don't care how anybody ever did anything!!!!!

All I can say is,,,,,,,,,,,,,, what they did, accomplished what they wanted it to, or they wouldn't have done it.

I just don't know why they did it,,,,:huh: so I search on,,, just like you.

I wish we lived closer, we could,,hang out. could be fun, or not. I would try,,:lol:

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7 hours ago, Evan Smith said:

I really fail to understand what that has to do with my experiments at all.  To do some of the crazy nut-so insane things I've done, I obviously don't care how anybody ever did anything!!!!!

All I can say is,,,,,,,,,,,,,, what they did, accomplished what they wanted it to, or they wouldn't have done it.

I just don't know why they did it,,,,:huh: so I search on,,, just like you.

I wish we lived closer, we could,,hang out. could be fun, or not. I would try,,:lol:

Yes. I'm sure alcohol would help!!

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On 6/18/2021 at 12:34 PM, David Beard said:

The thing is they don't make the actual sides thick.  In fact, in cellos they make them thin to the point of nearly failing.  It is the edge sitting across the sides, and the linings, and the mortice of the linings that they enhance.

On the background of "sound mechanics" I wouldnt compare cellos with violins. On deep sounding instruments the ribs and the frame must be looser than on a violin. 

If linings were inserted into the blocks with the thought of stiffening the ribs in that area is IMO very questionable. I think it came rather from the fact that removing the completely assembled ribs(with linings glued on both sides) from the mould , risks to break the ribs when linings are not inserted.

Secondly, if Cremonese masters really had the sound in mind I would expect someone like Guarneri del Gesu to exaggerate it on some instruments, but to my knowledge his linings are, if anything, just hastily and unevenly done.

Stradivari, however, certainly tried to counterbalance his thin ribs with pretty massive linings, and there was probably no one who made the dimensions of the linings bigger than Strad.

-------------------------------------------------

I think to understand sound characteristics it is necessary not only to look for proportions which follow rules but also things which dont follow the general rules. 

Recently I was looking for example for areas of (extreme) uneveness of graduations and archings (cautioned by knowing that archings became deformed over time) in violin plates and I think from some of them one read certain patterns which give ideas or hints how they were made and finished.

The procedures you describe in your highly detailed elaborated building process is in my view the base but in order to come to the point it is necessary to understand the minimal alterations.

 

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On 6/18/2021 at 5:02 PM, christian bayon said:

I agree completely.

i build my instruments like a drum. Rigid belt, holding the strings tension to have the membrane free.

A membrane needs tension. And I think it is not logical to have a top without tension on it. 

I tried to hold the neck and the string tension with reinforcing the linings massively on both sides so that the neck wont drop. Impossible, unless you use a steel frame. Taught me a lesson how to see the upper portion of the back. 

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