Experimental fiddles

Off-beat Violins

June 17, 2021

A collection of instruments for tonal and aesthetic exploration. This began as a Covid project. I’d long wanted to make […]

In part 1 of this post I discussed the ideas behind the hybrid “Tabolin”. The instrument is part violin, part […]

Following on from earlier experimental fiddles I’ve been thinking of making a violin with very thin areas or cells in the upper and lower bouts. This has led to the idea of a violin with many drum like panels.

Carving the plates Carving the plates for the X and O fiddles was fairly straight forward.  The basic design of […]

When I presented the first two unusual fiddles on social media people naturally wanted to know how they sound.  Here […]

 Longtime violin-maker Andrew Carruthers has struck on an idea: that perhaps new violins can be inspired by something other than old violins.
Not that the San Francisco Bay-area luthier has any problem with old violins — he’s studied the great masters and reveres their work. In fact, he’s made hundreds of stringed instruments based on Guarneri del Gesùs, Stradivaris, Montaganas and more.
But these days he also has been looking to nature, geometry, architecture for inspiration in his instrument-making.

In part 1, I described a plan to make a pair of violins with structural features that I think will have effects on the way those instruments sound.  I decided to base the designs for the two violins  around two of the vibrational modes that have been studied and used as tools by many violinmakers in an attempt to control the tonal qualities of our instruments.  This second part describes the designs that I came up with for the two fiddles I intend to build. 

The idea of  “Cellular Fiddles” has evolved out of two earlier projects. The Dimpled Viola  made a feature of some […]