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Does anyone happen to know the original (or current?) body length, or any other dimensions, of the Maggini viola listed in the Cozio archive as "Giovanni Paolo Maggini, Brescia, date unknown, Viola: 59839"? I doubt it would be acceptable to try to post copyrighted photos, so perhaps this question is just for those with access to Cozio, unfortunately. It is not particularly elegant looking, and might not have drawn my interest, except that I just played an inexpensive new instrument that as far as I can tell was inspired by that viola. It played and sounded *far* better than I could have imagined for the price. The new instrument is made in a wide range of sizes, and I was just wondering how big the original might be. The one I tried was 15-3/4", and to someone who has never been a fan of small violas, it was shocking how good it was.

Or for that matter, the same question about this da Salo: "Gasparo Bertolotti 'da Salò', Brescia, date unknown, Viola: 49143"

I would be thrilled if anybody knows these instruments and could give me a clue as to the actual dimensions.

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1 hour ago, Ethan Ford Heath said:

Does anyone happen to know the original (or current?) body length, or any other dimensions, of the Maggini viola listed in the Cozio archive as "Giovanni Paolo Maggini, Brescia, date unknown, Viola: 59839"? I doubt it would be acceptable to try to post copyrighted photos, so perhaps this question is just for those with access to Cozio, unfortunately. It is not particularly elegant looking, and might not have drawn my interest, except that I just played an inexpensive new instrument that as far as I can tell was inspired by that viola. It played and sounded *far* better than I could have imagined for the price. The new instrument is made in a wide range of sizes, and I was just wondering how big the original might be. The one I tried was 15-3/4", and to someone who has never been a fan of small violas, it was shocking how good it was.

Or for that matter, the same question about this da Salo: "Gasparo Bertolotti 'da Salò', Brescia, date unknown, Viola: 49143"

I would be thrilled if anybody knows these instruments and could give me a clue as to the actual dimensions.

Why don’t you write to Cozio and ask. The Tarisians are probably sitting around and have nothing better to do

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It is very hard to know whether it is cut down or not just from pictures. There are two original Maggini violas in the Brescian Exhibition book that are of quite moderate dimensions. They do not have a lot written about them. The one on page 206 is 413mm with a stop length of 205.3 and the one on page 212 is 411.9 mm with a stop length of 217 mm the short string length of this model they would play like something shorter. I’m fairly sure neither is cut down.

 

DLB

 

This is the book.

C68529AA-45EE-4910-9349-3180B59D0C0C.jpeg

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3 hours ago, Dwight Brown said:

It is very hard to know whether it is cut down or not just from pictures. There are two original Maggini violas in the Brescian Exhibition book that are of quite moderate dimensions. They do not have a lot written about them. The one on page 206 is 413mm with a stop length of 205.3 and the one on page 212 is 411.9 mm with a stop length of 217 mm the short string length of this model they would play like something shorter. I’m fairly sure neither is cut down.

 

DLB

 

This is the book.

C68529AA-45EE-4910-9349-3180B59D0C0C.jpeg

Yes, it is. I enjoy taking it down and reading even now, years after purchasing it.

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Hi Ethan!
Here my two cents about choosing a good viola, as a viola maker. The highest viola technique makes sense only on a fine instrument.
Avoid monochrome instruments. Look for many colours and contrast, you can have that only when you have a generous, wide dynamic range.
With a good viola, you can work with the bow to create colours. With most violas, you will change your bowing and almost nothing will happen in terms of sound change.
With a good viola when you draw your bow from the fingerboard towards the bridge increasing the weight you will notice a big change in volume and colour of the sound. Just good instruments offer that.
The viola must not choke when you play FFF near the bridge.
Avoid hollow sound, look for a focused sound.
Clarity is important too, when playing quick passages the notes should not mix.
Check the instrument in the upper regions of the C and G strings. You may not be using the 7th positions of the C string now but as you start studying more difficult pieces you will have to do that. Just good violas will sound good in high positions of the C string, in general, you will have many wolves and rasped notes there.
Playing comfort: not only the size matters here but also string length, upper bouts width, rib height, weight, feeling "under the chin" neck width and thickness.  Try to play in high positions of the C string.
Look for a quick response too.
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