|| A few years ago I
decided to try this approach, and started the test by reading Dietrich Kessler's
famous article (1) on the "Early musich magazine and another one (2),
written and kindly provided by Tillman Muthesius. After having decided to
reproduce a 5-piece belly like the one on the Henry Jaye viol in Parisf
Instruments Museum, I built a few tentative bellies following the method
described by Kessler, but it was very tricky to reproduce the archings according
to the relief in a completely satisfactory way.
From what I understood from the articles mentioned above, the proposed procedure allowed me to obtain archings with steep transversal ascent, but I could never obtain archings with more gradual curves toward the upper and lower bout.The center bout is a particularly difficult area, since the arching rises rapidly in its very middle, but takes on a more gradual ascent right before and after it. As a matter of fact the templates for the bellies of a few originals, including the Jaye viol and two by Colichon which I personally traced, plus several more in my possession, show sort of an gintermediateh arching, which can be obtained only with some difficulties following the method I illustrated above, therefore I thought I could try and tackle experimentally one of the possible solutions of this problem.
At last I was able to perfect a sequence of procedures, which led to the desired results, and I'm going to describe it to you.
(1) Dietrich M. Kessler
Viol construction in 17th-century England: an alternative way of making fronts.
Early Music July 1982
(2) Tilman Muthesius
Die gebogene Gambendecke: Eine andere historische Deckenkonstruktion im 16. und 17 Jahrhundert
Bericht uber das 11. Symposium
zu Fragen des Musikinstrumentenbaus
Institut fur Auffuhrungspraxis Michaelstein, 1994
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