A new instrument that sounds like the violin that inspired it.Instruments: Should I really be so surprised that a violin based on mine sounds very much like it?
From Graham Clark
Similarly, I have always pooh-poohed the idea that particular makers have a particular sound.
However, something has happened to make me re-think. A maker who lives near me was very taken by the mid-nineteenth century Mittenwalder that I have used since 1985. He loves the sound, and wanted to build an instrument based on my violin. He made the outline slightly smaller, also altered the corners, but the ribs are on the same form, so while back length is less, internal volume is the same. He copied the f-holes and the back arching, while changing the front arching a little. He changed the scroll. He didn't copy the thicknessing, though he did leave more wood in than normal for him.
I have played it twice this week. It sounds almost like mine. I am astonished by how similar it is. There is some new fiddle out of focus-ness, but what a violin! As you go up the register, its character becmes slightly less like mine - the G is almost the same, D ever so slightly less so, A, a little less still, and the E is nearly like mine. But the differences are very slight, and I should think that they will lessen with playing.
One swallow does not a summer make, and the maker would have to produce several more with the same result for either of us to be totally convinced that it wasn't a fluke. But we know that this violin, at least, shares a great deal in its sound with the violin it is based on.
From David Beck"One swallow does not a summer make"
Posted on May 26, 2012 at 08:16 AM
Gulp. I am as surprised as you are Graham.
I'm reminded of that schoolboy conundrum :-
From Carlo BallaraWith the number of changes you described to the original model it sounds like a happy coincidence.
Posted on May 26, 2012 at 09:59 AM
From John CaddHe made a lot of changes really. Get him to go all the way next time .You can reach inside with some special tools to check the thicknesses. Those were big differences . While on this subject of the arching ,I question how good Maria Callas would have been with a different shaped mouth and structure inside the mouth. The hollow space and it`s shape could combine vibrations in certain ways to affect the sound . Something called standing waves will let some vibrations out and keep others bouncing around inside . So the soundhole shape makes a difference (probably ). Put a "probably " on everything I just said .Or even just a "possibly" to be safe .
Posted on May 26, 2012 at 12:44 PM
The back length is shorter .Pity that , because the length (about 14 inches end to end ) controls a fundamental vibration frequency in a violin . That would definitely change the sound . Straight up and down body length is one bit , but if you measure at a tilted angle between the upper and lower curves you may still have that length contained inside so don`t despair . Air vibrations jump all over the place . (Possibly ).
The old lady that used to live next door used to sing in a very quavery old lady way before she died. She used to be a fine soprano . Her younger sister ( who was not so good ) sang at the funeral and she sounded fantastic. Wonderful pure tone and dead in tune . Same family , same kind of voice box you see .
From Marc ButterlinGraham, considering the number of changes from the original, I'd have to agree with everyone else here that it's a happy coincidence. Your maker seems to have changed pretty much everything that would affect tone (other than f-hole placement / shape from what I understand). It's hard enough to make two violins of the same size, based on the same form, with similar archings and plate resonances sound the same, let alone two of different sizes, different archings, different thicknessing, from wood cut 100 years apart, ...!
Posted on May 27, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Enter to win Leonidas Kavakos' recording of the Brahms Violin Concerto.
Please consider supporting Violinist.com by becoming a sponsor, and reaching our dedicated community of violin professionals, students and fans!