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Chinrest

The violin or viola chinrest - a wooden or plastic "cup" attached to the violin or viola on the left of the tailpiece or above it - is now an essential attribute. This was not the case before about 1820 when it was invented by Louis (Ludwig) Spohr, an outstanding German violinist, composer and violin teacher. Before that, all violinists, including the greatest, like legendary Niccolo Paganini, could do without this device. It's funny that Spohr did not come up with this thing for convenience at all and it was not because the violin repertoire required more and more technical perfection. His goal was ridiculously trivial. Being a large and physically strong person, as well as having a massive chin and...

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Luby - Austrian Cremona

A small and very beautiful town called Luby, located on the western border of the Czech Republic, with a population of only 2,100 people, until 1946 was known as Schönbach, which means "Beautiful stream" in German. The German name is due to the fact that until 1918 Bohemia was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Schönbach or Luby has been well known for its violin-making industry, and it was once dubbed the "Austrian Cremona". The first manufacturers of musical instruments settled in Luby in the first half of the 17th century. The oldest surviving instrument from this region is the viola by Johann Adam Pöpel, dated 1664.JAPöpel was the first known violin maker in this region and the founder of the Guild of...

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Make Your Violin Sing: Rosin

To produce any musical sound we need: 1. Something that can vibrate with a particular frequency 2. Something that can make the 1st something vibrate 3. Something that can amplify the sound produced by the 1st something with the help of the 2nd something, preferably making it pleasant to hear  That's pretty much it. In a wind instrument the sound producing part is a mouthpiece or a reed. In a drum it is a membrane. In a singer's body it is vocal cords. In a violin, as in any other stringed instrument, this is a string set in motion with a bow. The rest of the violin increases the level of the sound made by the vibrating string and "enriches" it...

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Make Your Violin Sing: Bow

The modern bow was designed by the French craftsman François Tourte at the end of the 18th century. Bending the stick to the other side - towards the string - was a revolutionary change, which considerably increased the tension and dramatically raised  the maneuverability. Tourte defined the ideal  parameters for the weight and length of the bow. The material he chose after years of experimenting was Pernambuco.

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