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Nov 1, 2022 - 11:10:56 AM
971 posts since 3/1/2020

I just came across this study put out by Giovanni Cecchi of Firenze:

publishing.aip.org/publication...-violins/

I would also be interested to see the results if there were a further study in which some old violins that didn’t sound good and some new ones that were outstanding were included along with the good old one and and the mass-produced bad ones.

Nov 1, 2022 - 12:45:21 PM

2332 posts since 8/27/2008

quote:
Originally posted by The Violin Beautiful

I just came across this study put out by Giovanni Cecchi of Firenze:

publishing.aip.org/publication...-violins/

I would also be interested to see the results if there were a further study in which some old violins that didn’t sound good and some new ones that were outstanding were included along with the good old one and and the mass-produced bad ones.


That's an interesting study. I can imagine that "quality" violins might come from all eras including the present. One way I judge a fiddle is by playing double stops and seeing how responsive the instrument is to that. I wasn't aware of the term "combination tones", but always assumed combined notes were complex because of their overlapping overtones would naturally produce further variations.

In one test the strongest tone was lower than the lower tone of the dyad. I have always thought I understood how overtones occur, and have often wondered about "undertones", whether they're possible and how they're produced.

Nov 1, 2022 - 1:14:45 PM

684 posts since 7/30/2021

Yes, interesting!

There is a bias that old violins are better (I thought it was something to do with the wood aging over time, so tone gets richer?) and in this study it WAS a violin from 1700 that was the "winner" ...
but I'm sure there are lots of old violins that sound bad, and new violins that sound great.

If a new violin sounds great...then 50 years from now, will it sound even better? Is that the assumption? Does it always sound better when it gets older?

( I'm not sure mine is getting better...it may be going a bit downhill...it passed its 100th birthday a few years ago...)

Nov 1, 2022 - 2:37 PM

2079 posts since 4/6/2014

I have a feeling that why certain old violins sound good is that they where made well by masters in the first instance. Then great players and  master luthiers have kept them in top condition and tweaked them for 200/300 years or so.Then they have settled into their shape and become great sounding violins. While lesser  fiddles have faded into obscurity ....Or worse.... They have been acquired by folk such as myself.

Nov 1, 2022 - 10:41:02 PM
like this

971 posts since 3/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by NCnotes

If a new violin sounds great...then 50 years from now, will it sound even better? Is that the assumption? Does it always sound better when it gets older?


A good violin will only improve with time as the wood ages and matures and the whole system stays vibrating under regular playing.

Some violins will deteriorate in sound, but that's usually the result of making them too thin in an effort to make them speak more easily. Violins like this will be loud and edgy at first but will eventually lose power and focus as the wood suffers from weakness. As a result of this, some makers have moved more toward the opposite extreme and have begun making their violins quite thick, which makes them hard to play for years before they open up. Finding the right balance is where the magic lies.

Condition is extremely important. If the instrument is cared for well, it will mature nicely. If it's neglected, the damage that can result may harm the functionality and tonality of the instrument. However, restorations can often bring them back from the brink.

Nov 2, 2022 - 6:48:21 AM

684 posts since 7/30/2021

Thanks, interesting info...and interesting about the thickness!

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