|OverView of Tap Tone Project....|
|..1709 Georg Klotz German violin. It had so much dust collected inside the box that you could not see the label! It was much worn, but the historical aspect increased my interest in both the history and art of violin making. It had the very high plate arching, (very attractive). It retained its Baroque length neck.|
..The incident that began this tap tone project occured with this violin. I got an idea for a student shoulder rest that would connect to the violin to help keep it from rocking side to side for beginning students (like me) and to attach it, I drilled a small hole into the end pin and epoxyed an 1/8" diameter steel pin (sort of like a minature cello end pin) sticking out about 1/2".
.. The big surprise was that this completely ruined the violin tone (such as it had). How could a change that minor have such a major effect? This began my first tap tone investigation to determine what tap tone (the sound made by tapping the end pin from the side, gently striking the head of the ebony wood end pin, that the tail gut wraps around to anchor the tailpiece in place) ideally should be to maximize the sound developed by the violin when played. This naturally meant that I had to experiment to determine how to reshape or modify the end pin to produce different changes up or down of the tap tone.
..Eventually I determined a basic understanding of end pin tap tone tuning. Perhaps most importantly, realizing that there might be an optimum tap tone for other parts of the violin as well.
..I selected another violin part and investigated the tap tone performance until I had a good initial understanding; and then another part and so on until after many years and thousands of hours, we arrive at this point where the major parts of the entire instrument has been covered.
..The next phase, the focus of the intense effort of the past three years, became: are there ideal overall relationships between the various parts and possibly, could there be ideal absolutes for a full sized violin; the attributes that the finest instruments in the world would be shown to exhibit?
..For example, are there ideal tap tones for the top and back plates?
...Are there parts of the violin that should match one of the plate frequencies?
..What parts combinations will produce the best overall tones for performance?
..The violin parts studied and analyzed thus far are these: The top and back plates, the ribs, the neck, the scroll, the bass bar, the nut, the fingerboard, the bridge, the string bar of the tailpiece, the tailpiece proper, the saddle, the end pin and finally the sound holes. Also developed is a technique to measure and adjust each part to the required frequency along with necessary tools...refined over the years.
.. Finally through a set of listening evaluations, followed by more testing and adjustments; I believe there are specific ideal frequencies for the plates and scroll. They appear to be: 176 HZ for the scroll, tapped from the side and 198HZ when the scroll it tapped from straight above or below; 176 HZ for the center tap of the top Plate; 198 HZ for the center tap of the back plate (with both plates having that tone evenly all over the plate surface.
..The parts that sould match the top plate ( 176 HZ) are these:
The neck, the bass bar, the sound holes, the nut, the saddle, the end pin, the fingerboard (all over the top surface evenly), the string bar of the tailpiece, and the bass bar all along its length.
..The parts that should match the center tap of the back plate ( 198 HZ ) are these:
the bridge, the tailpiece proper, and the sound post, the tail gut, the tuning pins (tapped inward on the end), and the ribs all over.
..The related efforts that have lead to this point can be studied through the history pages of this website, showing this development, step by step.
..This study is so complicated because all the parts interact and only the perfect combination of all the parts, all working together will give that mysterious magic wonderful sound we all crave and can identify when we hear it. The sound that makes us close our eyes and let our souls drink up the beauty of the music.
(c) David Langsather Salem, Oregon, USA 12/ 2015