Violin’s inner mold, an essential factor in developing the idea of violin

Violin inner mould, an essential factor in developing the idea of violin

A part of the secrets of the masterpieces from the golden era lies in the special design of the instruments, as a result of a profound insight to and awareness of the significance of the precise calculation of the various components of the object of arts being created, such as making a violin or a bow.
Golden age luthiers, such as Amati, Stradivari & Guarneri, each had their own gold standard method to develop the geometric pattern of their instruments.

Today, especially in the case of the remaining golden age instruments, we are faced with the fact that extracting the correct pattern from the standpoint of science, geometry and aesthetics is more difficult than ever due to aging, certain inaccuracies in craftsmanship of instruments, and the distortions which deliberately or inadvertently affected the available resources.

Then again this ‘piece de resistance’ can also be made since the creator artist applies his/her scientific and empirical potencies to analyze these brilliant instances of artistry, together with practice and diligence to gain the real and authentic knowledge, far from hidden prejudices and dogmatism.
An important question is that: Which factors had purified the intuition of Golden age masters, and allowed them to create such eternal pieces of art? What kept them safe from aberration, and what gave them the power to follow up on their efforts tirelessly?
Due to the specific circumstances of our era, now any attempt to answer such questions by referring to available resources will lead to serious contradictions. The fact which regrettably represents the incapacitation and imperfection of our modern approaches…
Considering the main characteristic principles of the phenomenon called violin, we realize that aesthetics along with knowledge and experience have provided the foundations for creating a magnificent work of art. As the cornerstone of this action, referring to reliable resources for extracting the correct pattern is always necessary. In Reza Ziaei Workshop, we have collected and evaluated many Golden age patterns due to the scientific and empirical potentials that are available, and extracted the optimal geometric design off each, due to the principles of physics and mathematics. Henceforth, an exact geometric output can be extracted using high-tech computer-aided design tools (CAD), which itself requires another field of technical ability. This special service is appropriate for professional violin makers and other makers who would like to apply their artistic skills on an exact and correct pattern.
But when it comes to applying the pattern on a new instrument, then the artist’s abilities to implement his/her idea becomes particularly important. For the maker who has chosen the correct pattern, the prior step must be taken by providing a mediate tool, called mould.
An ideal mould, particularly “Inner Mould”, makes it possible to attain the compliance of circumferential forms and proportion of different parts of the structure, based on the applied pattern, and also to assemble the various components of the ribs’ structure with high accuracy.
In the meantime, for making an inner mould based on a particular pattern, both empirical knowledge and proficient skill, and also well-understanding of the concept of mould is required to create a delicate and accurate piece. The mould actually defines the primary quiddity of the instrument and also, it is the substantial element on which the geometric qualities of the instrument depend directly. So, it must be done with a masterful precision, together with high technical level and great understanding of the process to attain a final product which can properly guide the further steps ahead.

Main properties of an ideal mould are as follows:
1- Correct circumferential form, based on the geometric design, with a maximum acceptable error of 0.1(mm).
2- Symmetry in circumferential form of the mould, exclusively for moulds which are based on symmetric patterns.
3- Exact reliable symmetry line to refer in the steps ahead.
4- Accurate thickness of the mould to refer in the steps ahead, with a maximum acceptable error of 0.1(mm)
5- Correct right angles of the circumferential span for complete compliance with the ribs’ surface.
6- High quality of material, due to the aesthetic characteristics and also the least amount of deformation over time.
7- Exact devising of the various components, including the placement of blocks, etc.

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History’s Impact on Evaluating a Work of Art

With this description, we have automatically included a criterion called “History”, Until we know the time of the creation of a work of art, we cannot judge whether it has been easy to create or not. Suppose that, in a historical study, we find a musical work that is similar in compositional techniques (including form, melody, context, and orchestration) to a minor work of the nineteenth century; however, our research proves that, this work dates back to 200 years prior to that date. Can we still consider this work insignificant? Definitely not! So this is where the first use of history-based judgment comes into play.

Farhad Poupel’s piece, Road to Bach, performed at Suntory Hall

On June 19, 2021 , young Iranian composer and pianist, Farhad Poupel’s piece, Road to Bach, was performed at the prestigious Suntory Hall by the great Japanese pianist, Kotaro Fukuma. The piece was commissioned by Kotaro Fukuma to have its world premiere in Suntory Hall during a concert by the same name.

From Past Days…

Gholam Reza Khan Minbashian: a pioneer in Iranian music (I)

Gholam Reza Khan Minbashian, a.k.a Salar-Mo’azez, was a pioneer in several domains in the history of the Iranian music. He is recognized as the first Iranian musician who was educated in classical music. He is also the first Iranian the score of whose works were published in Europe. He is the first Iranian to have launched courses on Western classical music and was also the first Iranian teacher of classical music. Moreover, he is the first founder of a string orchestra in Iran, the first author of the Iranian Radif which was available in oral form. Minbashian is also the first Iranian who studied music in Europe.

Principles of Violin Playing (VII) Regarding the great linear distance and the unusual distance between the first and forth fingers, the first finger while playing the doubles of ninth and tenth interval, can be twisted in the knuckle area and the point mentioned in paragraph in relation to the way first finger is placed indicating that the first joint of this finger in back of hand must be in line with the direction of forearm and left hand is not true here.

Parviz Meshkatian’s Heart Beat for People (II)

As such, the young Meshkatian reached the position of a great maestro in the Iranian music. Up until 1997, Meshkatian remained prolific and composed many pieces which were characterized by progressiveness while drawing on the music of the past Iranian musicians. In some of Meshkatian’s works, one can trace the influence of maestros such as Faramarz Payvar; however, this influence is so balanced that one can neither say that Meshkatian is a progressive and deconstructionist composer nor does he use cliché forms in his compositions.

Polyphony in Iranian Music (VI)

Torqeh or jal is the same bird (Bimaculated lark) and is the name of a muqam which is well-known in Torbate Jam and those areas. Jal muqam is called Torqeh in Esfarayen and Bojnourd. This muqam which was used to be played by Bakhshis/Bagşies (dutar-players) in the past is seldom performed today.

Principles of Violin Playing (IX)

4.3.1. To practice playing of doubles of notes involving two different fingers, each note is played at separate bows with slow tempo, each note is played perfectly regarding its bass and tenor sounds and then the considered double is played at another bow while considering the resulted sound of the double.

New Technique for Playing Classical Guitar (II)

When the author was working on the piece “Playing Love” by Ennio Morricone (from the legend of 1900), he realized a failure of the Lip Technique. Needing to play a chord in the 14th position of the guitar and in order to complete the harmony, it is necessary to play a harmonic note on the 7th or 5th position; it was not possible to touch the string to play this harmonic note, because the Lip Technique is used for getting the notes and not to touch the string and producing harmonic notes. Naturally, the only possible way to touch the string was to use the nose at the required position and playing the note with the right hand, and this was the best option the author found to how to play such harmonic notes, and where the Nose Technique was generated.

Interview with the Makers of the New Qeychak (III)

In this project, my specialized responsibility  was the basic drawings of the desired instrument with the help of engineering and mechanical software.  I have also the carried out phases related to engineering designs, related variables, and volume and weight calculations under Mr. Ziaei’s direct supervision from the very beginning. Regarding the challenges of this work, suffice it to say that the set of designs for the instrument lasted more than 9 months in the final stage of the project only.

Principles of Playing Violin (V)

3/1/2/5: When the first finger lands next to the nut, continuation of first phalange of this finger, on back of the hand, should be in line with continuation of the back of the wrist and the left hand; moreover, it should not pass them and bend at knuckles. Otherwise, an uncommon stretch is created in first finger’s knuckle also reducing the freedom of other fingers (especially the fourth finger) in finger placement.

Polyphony in Iranian Music (II)

With regard to each polyphonic form, only one specific and distinguished example is analyzed. These polyphonic forms are as follows:

Principles of Violin Playing (VIII), a player, due to different reasons, may decisively want to play continuously two notes with a half-step by means of the same finger, in such a case, it’s necessary to open the interior curve of the finger like a spring. Naturally coming back, the curve of finger should be closed and the finger should become curved shape again (see paragraph