From Andrea Amati to Stradivari and del Gesù in 12 minutes
I found this video on Reddit the other day and I thought some of you here might find it interesting as well:
It describes the geometry of the pattern of the violins of those three makers using a remarkably small number of variables; he also shows how a few changes lead from Amati to Stradivari and Amati to Guarneri.
Kevin Kelly's 4 circle method is an awesome way to play with the artistic style of the violin while staying within the few geometric parameters that have been standardized over the centuries.
Oh, after seeing all these complicated system I am glad a viola maker working with a personal model.
But how did they design the first model? They probably got a compass out and traced somethings out on paper or a scrap of wood.
Steward Pollens wrote a book about the violin forms of Antonio Stradivari in the Cremona Museum (sold out).
I wonder if Leonardo da Vinci could have put the geometric idea into local luthiers' heads some years before? After all, he was the greatest polymath of his day, had the mathematics, engineering know-how, and artistry of the highest order, and would have known craftsmen personally. However, if this was indeed so, it would surely have taken many years of experiment and development after Leonardo's death by a number of people before Andrea Amati made the first successful violin using the geometric construction.
The fact is that patrons in Italy during the Renaissance and Baroque were very demanding.... everything had to be beautiful and functional.
Luis, the sketch on folded paper and then cutting method could yield something a lot like the formal geometry in the video; when combining that with modifications done via outline on older forms and then more folding and cutting, I think you could do exactly what is outlined in the video. Very neat, thank you for sharing.
The creation of the violin may be related to the change in musical taste, the wide dynamic range and "dramma" that the violin provides perhaps was linked to a new kind of music, expression and dance of the period.
"...the violin was born as a clean looking instrument, and in that time most things were highly ornamented..."
The oldest known violin is the "Carlo IV", now in Cremona's Museum, dated 1564, and it was made for the King of France. There are no violins of this time made for humble musicians, on the contrary, they were commissioned by nobles, Kings, and the Church.
I wonder where I heard or read that idea of humble origins--can't remember. Thanks for your historical perspective Luis.
Yes, I've heard that too, but what we see is that violins were very expensive, they were produced for rich patrons, and no "popular" violins survive from this time.
Stradivari's sons may not have been very active in the actual making process. And unlike the Amati shops, there is no record of non-family members having been employed there. The same goes for Guarneri Del Gesu, I believe.
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