Making Matters: The Sound of Science

Screen Shot 2020-01-03 at 16.49.13

Tom Croen reports on a 2019 experiment to discover how much variation in sound can be gained from fingerboard ‘tuning’ – and how alternative materials fare against traditional ebony

The space between what we know and what we think we know is a treacherous place. When we make choices as violin makers, we usually build on past experience to guide us, but we are sometimes confounded by unexpected outcomes. 

At the 2019 Oberlin Acoustics Workshop I participated in a project designed to learn more about how the neck and fingerboard assembly influence an instrument’s sound. The workshop had a brilliant team making precise analytical measurements with very sensitive equipment. We sampled fingerboards made from both ebony and alternative materials in the hope of discovering something meaningful…

 

Sign up for a free 7-day trial to read this article in full

Strad subscription

 

This article is usually available exclusively to subscribers.

For a limited period, you can enjoy all the benefits of an online subscription free for 7 days. Sign up now to read this article in full and to enjoy unlimited access to all premium online content, a digital edition of the latest issue, plus an online archive of more than 100+ back issues.

 

If you are already a subscriber, sign in here.