The Italian bow maker Giovanni Lucchi has died at the age of 69.
Born in Romagna, he originally trained as a double bassist before
becoming a bow maker. He founded a school of bow making in Cremona
in 1976. His reputation as a bow maker was such that he made bows
for Rostropovich, Pinchas Zukerman and Gary Karr, among
In 1983 he patented the Lucchi Meter, an ultrasonic device to measure the speed of sound in wood. Bow makers have used the device as a way to help appraise the sound characteristics of raw pernambuco.
Lucchi's research into violin acoustics resulted in the development of his Lucchi Sound spectrum analyser. This software analyses sound played into a computer through a microphone. The program produces a graph displaying the fundamental tone and harmonics of a note so that players can see how close their tone is to the ideal and then experiment with their playing to improve it.
Lucchi's method of repairing a broken bow using a toothed patch was featured in The Strad's October 2008 edition, which also highlighted his 'Minipalm' device for choosing construction materials. The Lucchi Sound spectrum analyser was chosen as the magazine's Product of the Month in March 2010.