Violin Making: Step by Step, 2nd Edition (Book Five of the Strobel Series for Violin Makers)

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9780962067365: Violin Making: Step by Step, 2nd Edition (Book Five of the Strobel Series for Violin Makers)

A complete, traditional method. Includes brief descriptions of alternate methods. Photo-illustrated, from sharpening tools to varnishing and adjustment. Includes full size drawings for making a Stradivari model violin. Illustrated with 115 photographs of the model violin (Leandro Bisiach), and of the demonstration violin as it was made, step by step, by Henry Strobel. For the beginning or advanced maker or the interested violinist.

The Strobel books for violin makers are professional, concise, and convenient, reflecting traditional, conservative, and artistic work. Some forty thousand sold, they are used internationally by student, amateur and professional makers in shops and schools, and referred to by manufacturers, sellers, users, and lovers of bowed instruments. High quality 8.5 by 11 in. paperbacks made to lie flat and last on your workbench.

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About the Author:

Henry Strobel is the author-publisher of seven books on violin, viola, and cello making, repair, and adjustment, which are used worldwide. He recently published a video Watch Me Make a Cello, Step by Step. Born in Indiana in 1936, he had a first career as an electronic design engineer, and was one of the founders of Digital Telephone Systems, Inc. in California, which manufactured transmission and switching equipment. He served in the US Air Force service in Scotland as a communications officer. He studied violin as a schoolboy, made his first over thirty years ago, and has had his own violin business for twenty years, fifteen at his current full service violin shop in Oregon, where, with his wife and sons, he also makes violins, violas, and cellos, and writes books.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Preface to the First Edition This is a simple, short, practical handbook. It outlines the essential steps in making a violin. Six years ago, in the preface to Useful Measurements for Violin Makers, I had suggested that there were already enough "how to make a violin" books. I know better now, although I was not eager to begin this book that so many of you suggested. It's even harder to write down these "steps" with inspiration and freshness than it is to make a violin that way. Simplicity and brevity preclude completeness, except in essentials, and every established maker already has his own methods that perhaps differ from those selected for this book. To keep it simple and short, but still clear and consistent, I have presented primarily one way - certainly not the only good way. At least this was my original intent, but as I wrote, I frequently found myself mentioning alternate ways, in brackets and small type, [like this]. The methods given are simple and mostly traditional, but do not necessarily follow any one school to the letter. The outline pattern offered here is simply a good example, taken from a violin that was at hand; use any other that you like. Although I have made relatively few instruments, I have examined or repaired a multitude, and studied in depth much of the literature of violin making. "Ars longa, vita brevis." There is little new here, but the organization and writing are my own, grounded throughout on my own experience. I include references to my other books in this series, which many readers already have, to avoid duplication of material. This book is basic and reliable, unburdened by conjecture, "secrets", or "science". I did my best, within the limits of my knowledge, expertise, and time. I welcome your suggestions or corrections for future editions. Far better craftsmen than I have been making violins this way for hundreds of years. But most of them didn't write books. Countless violins, superficially similar, have been made by thousands of makers, whose relative artistry is restricted to a narrow range and then subjectively judged. It is hard to stand out when we are all making essentially the same thing. Violin makers, rather rare fifty years ago, are everywhere today. A school can teach technical competence, perhaps not artistry. A book can insure neither, but it can help some readers avoid obstacles and eccentricity in reinventing this wonderful wheel. Making a mere fiddle is a trivial task, making an artist's instrument is not. This book does:

Provide the beginner a consistent, convenient outline of the essential steps.

Organize and review the process for the experienced but occasional maker.

It does not:

Specify details of style and finish that are properly personal to the individual maker.

Insure making a beautiful or good sounding violin, which depends on many things.

It assumes that:

The maker is a dedicated, disciplined craftsman and a student of art, whatever his age.

He has the artistic taste, musical sensibility, and interest to pursue his art. Making a fine violin is more than copying, more than following directions. It is the individual completion of an artist's plan. It fills two needs: that of the violinist who wants a special instrument, beautiful in form and function, and that of the maker who is moved to create it.

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