All Lutherie articles

  • 3. Glass slides & pigment samples
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    Seeing red

    2019-12-06T11:00:00Z

    Madder root has been used since ancient times to provide a deep red pigment – but the process of making it remains mysterious. For the past three years Hugh Withycombe and Guy Harrison have tested different methods to get the recipe just right – and can now reveal their findings ...

  • Video

    My Space: Stephen Quinney

    2019-11-13T15:10:00Z

    The Toronto luthier gives a demonstration of his craft in a 2017 episode of the series History in the Making

  • atelier E.F. Ouchard
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    Like Fathers, Like Sons

    2019-10-31T09:05:00Z

    This year marks the 50th anniversary of the death of Émile Auguste Ouchard, as well as the 40th of his son Bernard – both regarded as among the 20th century’s finest bow makers. Thomas Martin, Andrew McGill, Martin Lawrence and George Martin examine the legacy of the Ouchard dynasty, particularly ...

  • Figure 1
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    Views on the Bridge

    2019-09-27T11:21:00Z

    In the second of two articles on set-up, Joseph Curtin investigates the acoustical role of the violin bridge and the interconnected relationships between mass, frequency and resonance 

  • CF050719-Kopie©RüdigerSchestag
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    The Fab Four

    2019-09-04T12:00:00Z

    At this year’s Suntory Hall Chamber Music Garden festival in Tokyo the Kuss Quartet performed a complete Beethoven cycle on the ‘Paganini’ quartet of Stradivaris, on loan from the Nippon Music Foundation. Gavin Dixon spoke to the players about this very special project – and learnt a little more about ...

  • Figure-1
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    A Master Copyist

    2019-09-04T11:00:00Z

    Gaetano Sgarabotto was renowned for making replicas of old Italian instruments – and left numerous records of his research on their makers’ styles. Focusing on his replica scrolls, Andrea Zanrè examines the secrets of Sgarabotto’s success 

  • Set up 3
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    All Set up and Ready to Go

    2019-09-04T09:00:00Z

    In the first of two articles looking at instrument set-up, Joseph Curtin examines the acoustic roles played by the tailpiece and fingerboard in affecting vibration, frequency and resonance 

  • Tim Phillips Revolin 2
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    Life out of balance

    2019-07-31T15:25:00Z

    While many luthiers are happy making stringed instruments to the standard form, others are keen to explore the possibilities of alternative patterns. Peter Somerford discovers how asymmetric designs can affect tone quality, projection, acoustics and player comfort 

  • Joseph Tarr_Scroll Side 2 1
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    Northern double bass makers: Northern lights

    2019-07-17T00:07:00Z

    The 19th century witnessed a thriving double bass making scene in the Manchester area of England. This northern school, which had its own distinct style points, flourished for a longer time than its southern counterpart, as Thomas Martin, Martin Lawrence and George Martin explain

  • fig 2 Monochord (1618) section horiz
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    First principles of violin making: Music of the Spheres

    2019-07-17T00:03:00Z

    In an age of little numeracy or literacy, how did luthiers settle on the proportions of stringed instruments, with hardly any variation in their basic design? François Denis shows how the principles of the classical Greeks – notably Pythagoras – informed their thinking

  • 1672-1713
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    Curiouser and curiouser

    2019-06-01T13:36:00Z

    Was the 1672 ‘Mahler’ the first viola ever made by Antonio Stradivari? As Jonathan Marolle explains, this is just one of the unanswerable questions that arise when studying this fascinating instrument

  • 00 Chamfer by Knife, Dominic Wilson
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    Inside information

    2019-05-10T18:18:00Z

    Very often neglected, the chamfers of a bow head can give intimate clues as to a maker’s working style and personal characteristics. Anton Lu and Dai-Ting Chung compare and contrast bows from the Baroque era to the present day