Talk:Violin making and maintenance

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Varnish gets one short sentence in the current rev. of the article, and deliberately so. While "many will agree" (see me weasel out of that one?) that a thick, durable varnish has undesirable acoustic effects, the Cremonese masters of the 17th century aren't talking, and living masters are typically vague on the subject when asked.

Some will say that varnish's acoustic benefit is enormously exaggerated in violin legend, since there are Stradivarius violins extant with not a scrap of original varnish left, and they still sound like Strads. No direct experience, merely repeating what I've read from someone I believe to be a credible source in this matter. Such sources maintain that wood choice, shape (i.e. arching), system of graduation thickness, and age have more effect than varnish, so long as the coating is not so thick as to bind the sound of instrument.

There is a bit more that could be written here on varnish as applied to violins. I hope someone comes along who knows enough to write it. Just plain Bill 22:56, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

I just removed a sketchy reference to vernice bianca from the body of the article. Not all makers use it, I don't believe it is ever used as a top coat, and the varnishing of a violin is best viewed as a process with compatible parts or stages. Various makers use(d) different processes... __Just plain Bill (talk) 04:42, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not an instruction manual[edit]

As you may already know, WP is not an instruction manual. I'm thinking about rewriting this article. Comments? Frosty 12:22, 23 June 2006 (UTC)

The Making section is hardly a how-to manual, but more of a skimpy overview of the process. The Maintenance section, however, is full of "shoulds." Be bold!
__ Just plain Bill 00:25, 24 June 2006 (UTC)
your right but it is about information and this is a little understood and little known piece of information... Do you think I should remove it or should I just make it less instructive?
Alan Kroeger 22:39, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
Well someone did a nice polish up on it which is much better then my text I hope it considered acceptable now
Alan Kroeger 22:45, 15 January 2007 (UTC)
I agree that the article sounds too much like a manual, especially in the "Making a violin" section. We need to reword this section to emphasize the importance of stating such facts in an encyclopedia. How anything is constructed should be restricted to importance, and notability only. Wiki has sister projects for manuals so this information is highly irrelevant here.
--Xavier (talk) 09:57, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Separate Article or One big article[edit]

I love the recent edit(s) on the sound post adjustment section but now the separate article needs a bit of a re-think. Should the very nice details in this main article be moved to the topic Sound post adjustment and reduce the details here then add a link to the separate article? Alan Kroeger 18:57, 16 January 2007 (UTC)

Yes. +ILike2BeAnonymous 19:52, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Alright sounds like a plan but I think I will wait for Bill to chime in since the recent alterations were his and I want to see what he thinks. I don't want him to think I make decisions for him ;) Alan Kroeger 20:14, 16 January 2007 (UTC)
Fine with me. I had much the same question, tending to the exact same answer. If somebody gets there and does it before I get back to the home machine, so much less work I need to do. While I'm at it, I may move all the stuff in Sound post adjustment to Sound post, which is looking awfully stubby. Do we really need a separate article for its adjustment? What do you think? _Just plain Bill 00:55, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
No. +ILike2BeAnonymous 01:59, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Actually Bill maybe just add the link to sp adjustment to sp as a See Also would probably be good enough I added one to the Violin construction and mechanics topic yesterday Alan Kroeger 02:18, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
I added the link to sound post adjustment in the topic sound post Alan Kroeger 02:35, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
These should not be two separate articles. Could someone please combine them (that is, move the stuff on adjustment into the sound post article)? This only atomizes the topic and makes it harder to find information, not easier. +ILike2BeAnonymous 02:39, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Perhaps you missed it but the sound post article references sound posts in instruments other then violins so there is a little bit more to this then I first realized. My topic should have been named Violin sound post adjustment not Sound post adjustment Alan Kroeger 02:45, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
The violin SP adjustment stuff pretty much also applies to violas and cellos, & probably will be at least marginally interesting to folks looking for info on archtop guitars & such. It will be easy enough to let Sound post adjustment redirect to Sound post, and given the size of the sound post stub, the adjustment info is not likely to be lost on a huge page. I'll just go ahead and make the adjustment suggested by L2BA, and if you totally hate it we can work out something else. Stay tuned... _Just plain Bill 04:27, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

OK, the deed is done. Sound post adjustment now redirects to Sound post, and the sound post adjustment section of this article, Violin making and maintenance, has been reduced to its bare essentials to fit this context, with a link to the sound post article in line. Hope I didn't miss much. Go nuts, guys! :-) _Just plain Bill 06:15, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Looks fine to me no big deal at least I got a chance to author an initial page once and it helped me get a better understanding of the wiki markup syntax so how does it look to you ILike2BeAnonymous? Alan Kroeger 10:50, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


Hmm I wonder is having two topics like Violin construction and mechanics & Violin making and maintenance this topic a bit redundant? might be time to talk about a merge to say a topic name like Violin Construction & Maintenance Alan Kroeger 02:27, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

While the titles may sound a bit alike, the intent is to have Violin construction and mechanics be about the anatomy and acoustics of the instrument, while Violin making and maintenance is more about making and about the practicalities of keeping an instrument fit to play. The first line of the construction article tries to point out this distinction.
This article (making) seems to be lacking an intro, and could probably use a similar clarifying bit right at the top. The reason for splitting them up had to do with the original Violin article getting larger than what's considered optimal for the 'pedia. Happy medium between a lot of small atomic stubs and a few huge unwieldy articles is what seems to be the aim here... _Just plain Bill 04:37, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
Alright Bill sounds fine to me I guess I am just not clear on the criteria for atomicity and sizes but it isn't like I have an agenda beyond just adding useful information Alan Kroeger 10:46, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Question about[edit]

Removing the stub tag from the recently extended Sound post article, any objections? I posted the question here but also at the talk page for Talk:Sound post this article seems to be tracked and the discussion might be overlooked over there... Alan Kroeger 14:01, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

Merging the pages[edit]


I would like to propose to merge the pages:

I'm happy to put some time and energy into this, especially sourcing references etc. How do others feel about this? WietsE 14:05, 19 July 2007 (UTC)

The making article is pretty short right now; a print preview here shows it's about 3 pages on US letter-sized paper. The construction article looks like about 7 pages that way. A Wikipedia guideline says:
One rule of thumb is to begin to split an article
into smaller articles after the readable prose
reaches 10 pages when printed. Articles that
cover particularly technical subjects should,
in general, be shorter than articles on less
technical subjects.
Merging the two articles will put the size pretty close to that choice point. In my opinion, a better idea would be expanding the making aricle, which is pretty skimpy considering its subject.
Sourcing references is a fine idea, I believe. __Just plain Bill 17:02, 19 July 2007 (UTC)
I take that on board, but I guess my point is that 'violin making' and violin contruction' is basically the same thing, so they should be one article, rather than two seperate ones. That just seems to be doing the work twice. WietsE 16:11, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
Not exactly. Even though the titles sound like similar topics, "Construction" is about "anatomy" or "what the structure of a violin looks like" while "Making" is about... well, violin making: what someone does to produce one. My feeling is that the "Making" article is in the early stages of its growth, not yet really fleshed out, so combining the two (different but related) topics may lead to a bulky article in future. Not hugely invested in one way or the other... __Just plain Bill 23:58, 24 July 2007 (UTC)
I agree, one article looks at the process of making and the other from a structural point of view. Yes, there is a lot more to say about "making". we need to expand this article, not assimilate it. Eratangos (talk) 17:34, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
Support - There seems to be some redundancy in having the two articles - Nmnogueira 19:26, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
Support - 'Construction' and 'Making' seem synonymous, and the latter article needs lots of work. Merge! CharlieRCD (talk) 09:36, 3 June 2008 (UTC)
Disagree - I've addressed the "seem synonymous" issue above. Similar names for different topics. Making and Maintenance is still in early stages, with plenty of potential for growth beyond the size of "half an article." __Just plain Bill (talk) 01:39, 14 June 2008 (UTC)
Both of these articles should be deleted. Wikipedia is not a manual, they have sister projects for that.
--Xavier (talk) 10:44, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

Room for expansion here[edit]

This article could use a few more headings, for example:

  • Wood choice
  • Wood treatment and finishing (sealers, grounds, varnish coats, polishing, antiquing...)
  • Choice of model, outline, arching...
  • Methods of building: inner mold, outer mold, "on back" without a mold...

As soon as I can gather some stuff on varnishing I will put that one in, but it could take a while before that happens, so feel free to jump in... __Just plain Bill (talk) 04:42, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Loosen the strings?[edit]

The Bow (music)#Maintenance section says that "Careful owners always loosen the hair on a bow before putting it away." Is this practice common with the violin's strings too (loosening tension)? Either for long-term storage, or travel to different climates, or any other reason? I couldn't find mention anywhere. (talk) 19:54, 2 July 2008 (UTC)

No, it is not a common practice. Generally the strings are always left at or very near full tension for two reasons: 1. reduced tension can cause the bridge and soundpost to fall down and 2. some types of strings cannot tolerate frequent changes in tension and will go false. Chickpeana (talk) 21:46, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Links deletion[edit]

I am deleting the link to Dimitri Mustafia. I feel that that is self promotional and not appropriate. I question his even having a Wikipedia article himself. I am also re-deleting the link to vernice bianca for the same reasons mentioned above in the #Varnish section. Chickpeana (talk) 21:46, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Article should be deleted[edit]

This article sounds too much like a manual, especially in the "Making a violin" section. We need to reword this section to emphasize the importance of stating such facts in an encyclopedia. How anything is constructed should be restricted to importance, and notability only. Wiki has sister projects for manuals so most of this information is highly irrelevant here. --Xavier (talk) 09:58, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

This entire article should be deleted basically, for being a manual. Wikipedia is not a manual. --Xavier (talk) 10:35, 4 November 2015 (UTC)