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Title: Bridge location on the early Italian violin
Authors: Petersen, G.D. 
Keywords: David Boyden
Early Italian violin
Giovanni Marchi
Musical iconography
Shrine to music museum
Violin bridge
Issue Date: 2007
Citation: Petersen, G.D. (2007). Bridge location on the early Italian violin. Early Music 35 (1) : 49-66. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: For some 200 years the position of the bridge on the violin has been standardized, but where was it placed on the early Italian violin? In his late 18th-century treatise Giovanni Marchi writes that many of the violins he has seen have bridge imprints in the belly because the bridge feet were carved incorrectly; he also observes that placing the bridge somewhere other than between the f-holes can improve the instrument's tone. To follow up on Marchi's comment a detailed evaluation is made of surviving early Italian violins at The Shrine to Music Museum in Vermillion, South Dakota.David Boyden has commented that most early paintings which include a violin show the bridge located closer to the tailpiece than between the f-holes. The article goes on to examine a corpus of Italian paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries to find what light they shed on the issue. Some care is taken to determine the extent to which we can trust these as evidence on violin construction: which painters used artistic licence, which were accurate reporters?The evidence of both surviving instruments and iconography suggests that the position of the bridge on the early violin was not standardized. © The Author 2007. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Early Music
ISSN: 03061078
DOI: 10.1093/em/cal125
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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