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Science and "Evidence"


Peter K-G
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Quite often established "evidence" is the truth.

And you don't dare to question The Truth, do you?

Roger Hargrave's site is undoubtedly one of the best sites for the "truth".

However there are two truths/evidences that are established facts that I want others opinions on, regarding old cremonese violins.

1. The purfling and channel  were done after the soundbox closed

=> evidence: end block pins  are under the purfling

Question: this is the only established facts base?

2. Most of them (old Cremonese) has been re graduated

=> evidence ??

 

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As a teenager, I read some quote of Perlman's along the lines of 'have no gods',  question everything. Seek to understand every technique. Choose what to use.

'Truth' with a capital 'T' is underlined with authority.  But authority is the arch enemy of truth with 't', that which is true irregardless of our awareness, opinion, or belief.

The 'Truth' of authority made the world flat.

 

Science is about using repeatable tests and lots of skepticism to collect some 'facts', and from this to hypothesis some theories about 'truth'.   All of science is meant to be questioned, fire tested, reviewed, and revised.

'Science' that 'Knows' the 'Truth' isn't 'science'.

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33 minutes ago, chiaroscuro_violins said:

I recently did a set of plates with the pins under the purfling, before closing the box.  It's fairly trivial.  

Still, it's fair to suggest that Cremona makers didn't neccesarily do it before closing just because many modern makers do.

 

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34 minutes ago, David Beard said:

Still, it's fair to suggest that Cremona makers didn't neccesarily do it before closing just because many modern makers do.

 

Yes, of course.  It is also fair to suggest that they finished the outline before closing, even though many modern makers don't.  

Follow-up: what would be the reason to finalize the outline before closing the box, if not to facilitate doing the purfling before closing the box?  

This is a genuine question.  I only know the process that I was taught.  

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8 minutes ago, chiaroscuro_violins said:

Yes, of course.  It is also fair to suggest that they finished the outline before closing, even though many modern makers don't.  

Follow-up: what would be the reason to finalize the outline before closing the box, if not to facilitate doing the purfling before closing the box?  

This is a genuine question.  I only know the process that I was taught.  

Structuring the edge and channel.  These things depend on the outline.  And the channel is needed for the archings -- so before closing.

 

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7 hours ago, David Beard said:

As a teenager, I read some quote of Perlman's along the lines of 'have no gods',  question everything. Seek to understand every technique. Choose what to use.

'Truth' with a capital 'T' is underlined with authority.  But authority is the arch enemy of truth with 't', that which is true irregardless of our awareness, opinion, or belief.

The 'Truth' of authority made the world flat.

 

Science is about using repeatable tests and lots of skepticism to collect some 'facts', and from this to hypothesis some theories about 'truth'.   All of science is meant to be questioned, fire tested, reviewed, and revised.

'Science' that 'Knows' the 'Truth' isn't 'science'.

Exactly,

So why has it become an authorative Truth like:

As we all know, the purfling was done after the soundbox was closed.

The evidence being pins under purfling, quite a good hint, but shouldn't it be explained instead of being common truth.

Like:

It's likely that purfling was done after closing the soundbox, because many has purfling over the pins.

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21 minutes ago, Peter K-G said:

Exactly,

So why has it become an authorative Truth like:

As we all know, the purfling was done after the soundbox was closed.

The evidence being pins under purfling, quite a good hint, but shouldn't it be explained instead of being common truth.

Like:

It's likely that purfling was done after closing the soundbox, because many has purfling over the pins.

You have to place your bets.  

Many modern makers do the purfling before closing.  I'm not at all convinced it's a unanimously settled question the way you describe.

However, if we're talking about classical examples, the top and back plate outlines and purfling can be quite different one from the other.  And, the overhangs don't reliably run around at a set equal width.   And the sides aren't really square. 

If you aren't doing any of the modern simplifications of the process, you aren't copying the outline from a source, you aren't making fixed width overhanging, you aren't strongly controlling the squareness of the sides, you aren't precise retaining shape from the mold disposition of the sides, you aren't making top and back outlines identical.  If you aren't doing any of those modern things, and you are actively relying on real use of the pegs as part of alignment, then it might be very different to coordinate all these not quite the same shapes in a modern work systems.

But if you work the sides from mold, the back from pinned sides, the top from the sides glued to the back, and the purfling from the final outlines of the installed plates, then all the small different follow naturally off each in a completely simple way.

I for one do believe the box was closed first.  I find it easiest to understand the totality of the evidence in that work sequence. 

But I'm not aware of this being a universal orthodoxy.  

 

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10 hours ago, chiaroscuro_violins said:

 

Follow-up: what would be the reason to finalize the outline before closing the box, if not to facilitate doing the purfling before closing the box?   

Having faith in ones own ability to get the corner profiles right could be a reason and also a reason for not doing the purfling before closing the box.

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1. Purfling, yes, channel not hundred percent clear from pinning under the purfling, but sounds logical.

2. 'Most' is rather 'some'. 

The only proof I know of  that thinning out instruments seemed to have been an 'acceptable' practice is written in the book of Antonio Marchi (1786). He writes that if a customer with a Guarneri del Gesu comes into the shop he gives the following advice: (my wording) after the customer has left the shop, open the instrument and thin it down where you think it is too thick. 

(I can look up the page in the book tomorrow if you are interested)

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1. Real science means peer reviewed journals, doesn’t it?

 

2. These days, I encounter people who want me to watch a video by “ xyz” to prove something. I am sorry. Slick video can be, and often is,  full of total lies. This is a real danger in modern society. People believe video!

3. If anyone objects to this post, I will remove it.

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3 hours ago, violins88 said:

1. Real science means peer reviewed journals, doesn’t it?

 

2. These days, I encounter people who want me to watch a video by “ xyz” to prove something. I am sorry. Slick video can be, and often is,  full of total lies. This is a real danger in modern society. People believe video!

3. If anyone objects to this post, I will remove it.

Well said

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3 hours ago, violins88 said:

1. Real science means peer reviewed journals, doesn’t it?

 

2. These days, I encounter people who want me to watch a video by “ xyz” to prove something. I am sorry. Slick video can be, and often is,  full of total lies. This is a real danger in modern society. People believe video!

3. If anyone objects to this post, I will remove it.

Not really.  That is valid academic process, and a part of today's scientific community.

But science in a more direct sense is the collection of facts and the development of theories about aspects of nature that have a truth independent of us.

Peer review is in that sense not science, but a kind of filtering process.  But like a jury, its conclusions confer authority, but can diverge from actual truth.

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I think science is the discovery, development, and testing of hypotheses, and a hypothesis must be, in the words of Karl Popper, subject to "empirical falsification."  "Empirical falsification" is the idea that a theory can never be proven absolutely true, but that there must be ways to test it to prove if it is false:

"In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable: and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality."

-Karl Popper

I'd also add that the study of science and the study of history are quite different. For example, the order of operations that Stradivarius used in making his violins are more questions of history than of science. 

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6 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

I think science is the discovery, development, and testing of hypotheses, and a hypothesis must be, in the words of Karl Popper, subject to "empirical falsification."  "Empirical falsification" is the idea that a theory can never be proven absolutely true, but that there must be ways to test it to prove if it is false:

"In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable: and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality."

-Karl Popper

I think that is absolutely true.

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2 hours ago, violins88 said:

David,

Do you mean peer review is not necessary? Or important? Please explain.

No. I mean what I said.  It is mechanism for conferring authority and validation.  It is not itself the core of science.

 

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2 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

I think science is the discovery, development, and testing of hypotheses, and a hypothesis must be, in the words of Karl Popper, subject to "empirical falsification."  "Empirical falsification" is the idea that a theory can never be proven absolutely true, but that there must be ways to test it to prove if it is false:

"In so far as a scientific statement speaks about reality, it must be falsifiable: and in so far as it is not falsifiable, it does not speak about reality."

-Karl Popper

I'd also add that the study of science and the study of history are quite different. For example, the order of operations that Stradivarius used in making his violins are more questions of history than of science. 

This is all sound in my opinion.

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Thanks, for all response.

It's understandable that such a mixed subject: Science and "Evidence" goes in the direction of discussing what science is and isn't.

The questions still bothers me though.

Maybe I should ask isn't it common saying/opinion that purfling was done after the soundbox was closed and that many/some are regraduated.

One evidence to each (first time I have heard about Antonio Marchi's writing)

 

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23 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

1. Purfling, yes, channel not hundred percent clear from pinning under the purfling, but sounds logical.

2. 'Most' is rather 'some'. 

The only proof I know of  that thinning out instruments seemed to have been an 'acceptable' practice is written in the book of Antonio Marchi (1786). He writes that if a customer with a Guarneri del Gesu comes into the shop he gives the following advice: (my wording) after the customer has left the shop, open the instrument and thin it down where you think it is too thick. 

(I can look up the page in the book tomorrow if you are interested)

Yes please. The idea that someone thinks they know better how thick the plates in a del Gesu should be is worrying.

Violin making was his life. He obviously knew what he was doing. 

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1 hour ago, sospiri said:

Yes please. The idea that someone thinks they know better how thick the plates in a del Gesu should be is worrying.

Violin making was his life. He obviously knew what he was doing. 

Violin work goes in fashions. 

*Almost all the classic instrument got longer FBs and new necks.

*Some people today believe in plate tuning

*Some people believe a top should be thickest at the center and graduated toward the center.

 

For a time, some people believed in regraduating classical instruments, with Del Gesu considered too thick.

There some story about Paganini seeking more Del Gesu's, but the 'woody' ones.  He wanted them thick.

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17 hours ago, sospiri said:

I want to know more about the unregraduated  ones.

So you follow the "hearsaying/common truth" that they were regraduated.

Based on evidence so far:

1. Antonio Marchi (1786)

- He writes that if a customer with a Guarneri del Gesu comes into the shop he gives the following advice: (my wording) after the customer has left the shop, open the instrument and thin it down where you think it is too thick. 

2. Paganini

Paganini seeking more Del Gesu's, but the 'woody' ones.  He wanted them thick. (Saying nothing about regraduation, only he likes them thick)

 

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And yes, it is frustrating when someone questioning a common truth.

It mIght still be right, the "hearsaying/common truth". But it's so old that not many can defend it with (forgotten) evidence. Annoying isn't it!

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