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Tech: Tenor violas

beardedbruce 21 Mar 13 - 03:05 PM
JohnInKansas 21 Mar 13 - 06:26 PM
Jack Campin 21 Mar 13 - 08:01 PM
beardedbruce 22 Mar 13 - 08:57 AM
Dave Hanson 22 Mar 13 - 10:38 AM
GUEST 22 Mar 13 - 10:57 AM
Jack Campin 22 Mar 13 - 11:15 AM
JohnInKansas 22 Mar 13 - 12:08 PM
beardedbruce 22 Mar 13 - 12:14 PM
Jack Campin 22 Mar 13 - 01:05 PM
beardedbruce 22 Mar 13 - 01:09 PM
Dave Hanson 22 Mar 13 - 04:17 PM
Dave Hanson 22 Mar 13 - 04:18 PM
GUEST,A. Hirt 09 Apr 13 - 08:43 PM
beardedbruce 10 Apr 13 - 03:06 PM
beardedbruce 25 Apr 13 - 11:11 AM
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Subject: Tech: Tenor violas
From: beardedbruce
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 03:05 PM

I am now making Tenor Violas (FCGD) as well as octave violins and chin cellos. I was reading about pre 1820 composers who wrote for them, with the parts later converted to cello.

Has anyone ever heard of a high soprano violin, above the "standard " GDAE ( DAEB)?
I am looking into modifying a 3/4 into one, but wonder if there is music written specifically for it.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Tenor violas
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 06:26 PM

The Harvard Encyclopedia of Music mentions a Violino piccolo tuned either a third or a fourth above the violin, known to have been used in the 16th and 17th century. It's reported that Bach wrote a part for it in the first Brandenburg Concerto, tuned a third up.

The instrument was described as about the same size as "a child's 3/4 violin," and it's mentioned that an authentic instrument is difficult to identify due to similarity to small violins intended for children.

The Brandenburg part by Bach is the only composition mentioned in that article.

The instrument fell out of use when violinists in general learned to play in second (and higher) positions, allowing them to use the same pitches as the violin piccolo. Since finger positions get closer nearer the bridge (and the shorter the string), it may have been quite difficult to play above first, or possibly second, position on the little one, so it probably didn't extend the range much beyond what violinists could do just as well once the techniques were developed and taught (and once the wire wound gut strings were improved a little).

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Tenor violas
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 08:01 PM

Look up Carleen Hutchins and the "New Violin Family".

There's a full set of them here in Edinburgh. The tenor is great. The rest seemed nothing special to me.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Tenor violas
From: beardedbruce
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 08:57 AM

Re New Violin Family

Interesting ( two sets in the US that I know of) but
1. They are limited in distribution
2. they are very pricey!

I can make an octave violin or tenor viola conversion and have a decent sounding instrument I can sell for hundreds, ($250 to 1500) rather than tens of thousands of dollars.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Tenor violas
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 10:38 AM

I don't get this, a viola is already a tenor instrument, tuned at, ADGC

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Tech: Tenor violas
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 10:57 AM

http://www.maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/321820-soprano-violin-from-new-violin-family/


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Subject: RE: Tech: Tenor violas
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 11:15 AM

I don't get this, a viola is already a tenor instrument, tuned at, ADGC

The viola (tuned C,G,DA in ABC pitch names) is an alto instrument (it's even called "alto" in French). The tenor violin from the New Violin Family is tuned G,,D,A,E - an octave below the violin. It looks like a small long-necked cello and sounds wonderful.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Tenor violas
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 12:08 PM

It's been a while, but I believe (but have no documentation) that Carleen Hutchins was the author of a series of articles published in Scientific American magazine (in the 1950s?) on the theoretical requirements for building a "full set" of violin family instruments with consistent properties and "optimized" tonal and performance qualities for all the instruments in the "set."

At the time, I didn't subscribe, but heard about the articles later (late 1960s?) and managed to find them at a library, but never at a library with copy/reproduction facilities to make a personal record of them.

While she and her associates built instruments for their testing, and a few of them were displayed, I don't recall hearing that they made any for sale. With the exception of museums(?) anything that claims to be a "Carleen Hutchins" instrument probably would be like the numerous fiddles that say "Stradivarius" inside, with the meaning of "made in Taiwan in the style of Stradivarius/Carleen Hutchins."

I can't be sure that there was NEVER a commercial venture to make instruments under her name - 60 years is long enough for anything to be possible - but I never heard of one.

Most luthiers are not mathematicians, and scaling instruments from one size to another is done largely by trial and error, or with simple formulas that assume "everything is linear." Simple algebra is sufficient for truly linear systems, although tossing in an occasional Fourier Transform may be helpful.

Unfortunately, mother nature is almost never completely linear, and adjusting for the details suggests Bessel Functions (at least) and a few other tricks should be helpful. Recollection is that the analysis attempted to produce a coherent set of principles for scaling instruments within the violin family, and some "interesting" suggestions were given, but since Sci Am is written for general public consumption IIRC what was reported there was "slightly watered down" for the readers.

Some additional references, that have been retrieved fairly recently, are given at the Wikipedia: Carleen Hutchins.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Tenor violas
From: beardedbruce
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 12:14 PM

The NEW VIOLIN family Tenor is as described- the OLD Tenor Viola was used before 1820 ( along with the current "Alto Viola" The Tenor was FCGD, the alto was/is CGDA. Standard "old" violin is GDAE.

I think the New Violin family Tenor is played vertically, like a cello.

I am moving in the opposite direction- The octave violin, Tenor viola , and chin cello are all played under the chin, and can be played while walking...

Think string quartet at a Ren Fair....


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Subject: RE: Tech: Tenor violas
From: Jack Campin
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 01:05 PM

Octave violins are fairly common. Heavy strings and usually helped out by electric pickups. The NV tenor is very different. It works brilliantly as a purely acoustic instrument.

They aren't exactly a commercial product but plans are available: http://www.nvfa.org/

I imagine you'll have a fun time trying to source strings for one.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Tenor violas
From: beardedbruce
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 01:09 PM

None of mine are electric- the Octave violin is either a modified ( new bass bar,, hollow out pegbox, refit nut and bridge, modify tailpiece) or 14" viola ( same, except no mod to bass bar) .

The tenor violas and chincellos are modified 16" violas. I tried a 17"but it did not work as well with the strings I can get.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Tenor violas
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 04:17 PM

My mistake.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Tech: Tenor violas
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 04:18 PM

Although the tenor banjo is tuned A D G C this is what fooled me.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Tech: Tenor violas
From: GUEST,A. Hirt
Date: 09 Apr 13 - 08:43 PM

Hey Jack,

Fiddle and violin are the same words. A viol is an instrument with 6 strings. A violin is a little viol ("in" being the diminutive-having 4 strings). So fidheal and viol are the same (f is an unvoiced v).

You might get a kick out of this: http://www.academia.edu/2627765/The_European_Folk_Music_Scale_A_New_Theory

It seems to work, but it hurts your head. To hear the sound, go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a3scougnTfA

You can make or buy one of these things (they still sell them in the Eastern block countries) and play some tunes. You can only play in one "key" but as you end on different notes, you have different "modes.". The 7th partial is really weird.

Cheers,

Andy


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Subject: RE: Tech: Tenor violas
From: beardedbruce
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 03:06 PM

..What I am trying out

DAEB    Up a fifth from standard violin   High soprano violin based on 3/4 or 1/2 violin body
    (GDAE    standard violin)
    (CGDA   standard (alto) viola)
FCGD    Down a fifth from the Alto viola- Tenor viola based on 16" viola
    (CGDA   Down an octave from the Alto Viola- Chin cello)(16 viola body) )
BFCG    Down a fifth from the Tenor Viola- Baritone viola, based on 17+ viola

I have seen music for the violin, alto viola, and tenor viols, and the chin cello has standard cello tuning.

Anyone have anything written for the others?


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Subject: RE: Tech: Tenor violas
From: beardedbruce
Date: 25 Apr 13 - 11:11 AM

refresh


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