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John Morris

The Art of Violin Making

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9780709058762_p0_v1_s600x595.jpgFor the past few weeks I have been completely engrossed in a book "The Art of Violin Making". Been reading it every night, pouring over the text, and the images, it is a wonderful book that starts off with the history of the violin, the main characters or makers, and of course, eventually a quarter of the way through the book, you get to the actual making of the violin. I love this book, my interest is completely peaked, and I want to make a violin in a big way. I have my violinist daughter encouraging me on my way as well.

 

I have one burning question thus far. I have read in depth about the early makers from Amati, Stradivari, Guarneri, and Stainer. They all used Amati's designs and styles in way or another, and etc etc. It's a great book, so back to my burning question. There is no place in this book that states if these greats ever played a single note on the violin, if they ever slid the bow across a single string. From what I could read, they depended wholly on the feedback of the artists who purchased their violins.

 

So, my question to you is, can you come up with any research, googled, or otherwise, that declares that any of the greats mentioned above, actually played the violin.

It's amazing, I have this wonderful book, and again, no where does it state they ever played a violin, or any other stringed instrument.

I know if I spent some time I could find the answer, but I just thought it'd be a fun discussion to kick around here.

 

Back to my new thirst for making a violin, it looks incredibly fun, and a complete challenge. Not a single powered tool is needed, obviously, nor is a single powered tool used even by the great makers of today, but they may use a band saw to re-saw their logs for the tops or backs. Beyond that, it's all hand work, I love it.

 

Woodworking, in a big way.

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John, I work with a gentleman who used to repair instruments. The part that I found amusing was that he did not play either.

 

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Wow John, so it is true!!!

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I only did a quick Google search John.

I am sure your read this link

were it says he could have been a woodworker before he word as an apprentice in making the violins. Possibly he decorated them when inlays before he actually started making them.

Could be some interesting research. Hey you could always be the first to make one and not play and be in the history books.

 

 

 

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I don't think I'd be the first to make and not play John! No where in the Wiki research did is state he played either! The greats I mentioned above, nowhere can I find that they actually played their instruments. Go figure!!

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Another what I feel is a great topic, and fun! Brought this back up from the archives too folks, so what do you say? Any one have any answers, did these greats actually play?

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I built a Harp for a musician that wanted me to. I have never picked up or played any musical instrument in my life. We did,the musician and I ,spend several sessions together after it was built revising certain aspects of it before he was happy with the sounds it played. So then I made one for myself just for a conversation piece in my living room.

 

I think David Falkner makes Guitars.

Herb

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I'm pretty sure Amati and Stradivari played. Possibly not with violins, though. Amati was reportedly in to ping pong and, IIRC, ole Strad loved Beach Volleyball.:lol:

 

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If anyone could do it, you could, John. You have the determination when you set your mind to it. look what you have done with this web site,it is humming right along. With the help of your talented daughter you could make a violin , she could do the testing,you do the wood working,and who knows maybe she would pick up on the woodworking as well and carry on the business.

Herb

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2 hours ago, Gene Howe said:

ole Strad loved Beach Volleyball.

So you think Stradi was into "varius" projects?  I know, sorry.

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49 minutes ago, Gene Howe said:

Don't fret about it, John. Pull the right strings and when you retire, you can make that spruce bow to your will. B)

You have a way with words, Gene.:lol:

HErb

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I think I saw a video with all 4 of them playing! It was for a fundraiser for Christopher Columbus to find a quicker route to the West Indies! Of course I believe it was Abe Lincoln that said you can’t believe everything you see on the internet. LOL On a serious note I would love to follow the progress of the violin if you choose to accept the challenge. To my inexperienced eyes, this would seem a project that transcends woodworking.  

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GO ARTIE: URGE 'M ON, DON'T LET'M QUIT OR AS ONE OF MY BROTHERS USTA SAY SKITTIME, BOY.

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