Founding a Family of Fiddles

by Carleen M. Hutchins
from Physics Today, Vol. 20 No 2, February 1967

Abstract: New measurement techniques combined with recent acoustics research enable us to make violin-type instruments in all frequency ranges with the properties built into the violin itself by the masters of three centuries ago. Thus for the first time we have a whole family of instruments made according to a consistent acoustical theory. Beyond a doubt they are musically successful.

Catgut Acoustical Society
Who's who in Catgut Acoustics
Research and new fiddles
What is good?
First musical success
End-of-scale problems
Current design practice
Fitting fiddles to players
Traits of family members
How good are they really?

Octet rehearsal
Rehearsal for a concert with Henry Brant conducting an octet of fiddles. Photo by J. Kellum Smith.

This work has received support from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, the Martha Baird Rockefeller Fund for Music, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, the Catgut Acoustical Society and private contributions.

Reprinted by permission from Physics Today.

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