...The VSA is the leading American violin making society. They provide an organization to focus attention on stringed instrument making and appreciation. Besides hosting an every two year instrument contest, they also provide education and sharing of information forum for the advancement of the art of violin making.
... The annual VSA journal is a premium quality publication for their members that often includes information on subjects of interests to makers. For an article to be considered for publication, it is submitted to a panel of experts (perhaps three members) for review. At lease two of the three must approve the proposed article. This is called pier review.
...It is good concept, but their can be a flaw if the established experts have a strong bias toward certain approaches in their area of expertise. For instance in the area of acoustics, if several of the panel have done a lot of high tech computer analysis of vibrating (violin) plates, they naturally feel that is the direction where future understanding lies.
..Now, say, along comes an 'amature' enthusiast who suggests that a practical acoustics approach has particular value; naturally they would be pretty skeptical!
..In this instance two of the three rejected a proposed article along these lines simply stating that 'small changes can not make significant improvements'. I agree that a healthy degree of reserve is called for and also that if you made such a small change on an instrument that was far from an ideal acoustical state, it would not make a significant improvement.
...TTT comes into its own when the entire system is applied to an instrument. When the entire insturment is working together, then a wonderful thing happens...wonderful violin music, music that can sway the emotions and keep the interest.
..Unfortunately, unless all the parts of the stringed instrument are working together at their highest level, the sound output is harmed. This is why there are only a handful of truly wonderful violins, and these tend to be used by the best performing artists and they are forced to pay huge prices for these rare instruments.
...If this concept proves to be as useful as it appears it might be, then many more of us will be able to play and hear acoustically excellent violin music in the future.
(c) David Langsather Salem, Oregon, USA 6/2014.