Basic knowledge of violin wood 3: the wood of the violin


There are many kinds of trees on earth, and there are wide varieties suitable for violin. But the violin is a beautiful musical instrument, and each part of it has unique requirements for materials, so it does not mean that suitable wood can make a good violin, which requires the luthier to have a correct understanding of the use of the wood.

Top plate:

Almost all violin top plate are made of spruce due to their unique acoustic properties and material. Its texture is light and hard. The sound transmission speed can reach 5116 meters per second, which is more than 14 times faster than the conduction speed in the air, and it has a damping effect on high frequencies above 3000-5000 Hz and has strong damping on uncoordinated high-order harmonics. This makes the sound of the violin clear and bright.

There are suitable spruce species in various regions. Generally speaking, when selecting spruce, the wood grain of the longitudinal plane should be straight, without bending and vortex. The spruce wood grain for the panel should be selected between one to two millimeters per millimeter. (For bass beams and sound posts, choose spruce species with one grain per millimeter)

The more common spruce are:

Europe: Picea abiesPicea excelsa, and Picea omorika.

North America: Picea sitchensisPicea engelmannii and Picea rubens.

China: Picea jezoensis and Abies holophylla.

Back plate:

People love violins with beautiful patterns, so patterned maple is used when choosing a back plate. Many kinds of maple can be used to make violins. There are hundreds of varieties in the northern hemisphere that meet the requirements. As long as the hardness is moderate, the texture is not too hard, and the maple with beautiful patterns can be used (in fact, the selection of maple mainly depends on whether the pattern is not beautiful, and nothing else).

The very famous Bosnian maple is produced in Yugoslavia. Acer pesudoplatanus is a typical European maple used by luthiers. Acer saccharum and Acer macrophyllum are more suitable in North America. Acer mono, Acer mandshurium, and Acer sp from China are all very good violin materials.

Headstock and rib:

To pursue the same color and pattern, the same material as the backplane is often selected. Therefore, when purchasing a violin at the Fiddlover Violin Shop, you will see that there is no detailed description of the headstock and rib.

Accessory wood:

There are many kinds of wood for accessories. Generally speaking, Fingerboard and Nut are made of ebony. In order to keep the tone of the violin consistent, the chin rest, Peg, and tailpiece are generally made of the same wood, such as ebony or red sandalwood, or jujube. The bass beam and the sound post can be made of the same wood as the panel but must require fine-grained spruce wood, preferably spruce with an annual ring of one millimeter. The wood used for the inlay is mainly maple. The requirements for the bridge are relatively high because it has a great influence on the sound of the violin. Generally speaking, maple with hard, no pattern, and vertical wood grain is used. For the manufacturer, the selection and processing of the piano code are also very important to work.

Follow Fiddlover to learn more about the violin.

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