Violin acoustics Handbook
The other day, while unsuccessfully looking for my copy of Harold Berkley's Bowing book, I came across my copy of a "Violin Acoustics Handbook"
( http://www.schleske.de/en/research/handbook-violinacoustics.html )
that I must have downloaded and printed 13 years ago. It seems a bit more difficult to print a volume (as I did back then) now - but it is still possible. The only addition I find since my original download is a rather lengthy chapter on "Sound Analysis Examples" that can also be downloaded.
German luthier Martin Schleske's website is certainly informative and (in my opinion) enlightening. It certainly helps to explain string-instrument experiences I had in ages past. I'm sure wider distribution of the information therein would have improved the focus of the record-length discussion of the "Paris Experiment." So, I link to it above for those who might be interested in some accessible scientific information relevant to discussion of violin tonal properties and human perception of them.
The only thing that needs be added to this reference is information on "psychoacoustics," which can also be found on line.
Certainly not the whole story, but better than we have done so far.
Thanks a lot for that Andrew - I'm anticipating total enlightenment/bafflement.
Martin Shleske has certainly been a valuable contributor in the realm of violin tonal research. Whether his investigations have resulted in an ability to make instruments which sound better on average than those of other makers, I do not know. I've only heard two or three, and only from recordings. (Don't recall ever having played one, or hearing one "live".)
Unfortunately total bafflement easily won the day. To comprehend and digest this would cost even a scientifically minded lay-person like me an immense effort. Some kind of summary of findings and conclusions is surely desirable. How much of it is actually important and how much simply "Here is a graph" I have no idea. To start the Handbook on violin acoustics with a section on fingerboard acoustics seems particularly perverse, leading me to suspect an abstruse joke...
Steve, I agree digesting and comprehending all of this would be a time-consuming and major course of study. However, within the topics presented are many accessible ideas about violin physics/engineering that most violinists are completely unaware of and that critically influence the acoustic results of their violin-playing techniques.
@Andrew. Many thanks for bringing this research to our attention. The only small fly in the ointment is that the chapters on the Bridge and the FF-Holes refused to be translated into English on download. So back to the technical German I've forgotten since I went on a course all those years ago!
Could it be Stradivari's secret?
A few of the things I have learned over many decades of string playing came mainly from cello playing, where the vibrato is bigger and bolder and the effects of weight changes to the instrument are larger and a bit more numerous.
This sounds interesting; I will read the material. You might also add this resource for practical violin acoustical advice, from tap tone tuning for specific parts of the violin to wood selection using Wood Tone and Rub Tone information. About 300 pages and 100 videos accessed through several methods. Might just answer some age old questions... see www.violinresearch.com .
@Graeme, in my experience the cello's end pin connecting with the floor can enable the floor to act as a resonator for the lower frequencies. This depends on the floor structure - floorboards on joists, good; concrete, no. When I played cello in a dance band I was the only one who usually didn't need a mic, depending on the platform we were playing on.
Schleske has definitely done a lot of good technical work. I have read it all and understand what he's done... but the problem with all of this (and all other) research is that, in the end, it's all personal taste about what is good or not. And the other problem that personal beliefs trump someone else's facts and logic.