Learning to Make, Repair and Restore Violins

Learning to Make, Repair and Restore Violins

For anyone who hasn’t yet heard the EastCastShow radio interview with Gary Bridgewood the first part of it gives an interesting, surprising and humorous insight into the beginnings of Bridgewood & Neitzert. Here’s the link again:  http://www.eastcastshow.com/2013/12/behind-scenes-at-bridgewood-neitzert-in.html. The show covers Gary’s memories of the first workshop above a betting office in Dalston in 1982 and a rather unexpected and frightening encounter with the machete-wielding ‘Captain Kirk’ from the flat below!

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Temperature, Humidity & Your Instrument

At this time of year it’s often worth bringing your instrument in for a check-up.  If you’re feeling too cold then so too is your instrument. Numerous complications that can occur in winter could be prevented by simple maintenance/repair steps in autumn when the central heating is soon to be turned on and the humidity is dropping like a stone. Wood shrinks in the cold or dry air conditions and

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Further Restoration to a Thomas Kennedy Cello 1811

Further Restoration to a Thomas Kennedy Cello 1811

This cello by Thomas Kennedy, London 1811 has progressed well although very slowly as is the way when making arching corrections.  Virtually the entire front and especially the bass side has had corrections made to the cast and then pressings, using sandbag methods, to re-establish the arching which had considerably flattened over time.  The results are extremely successful and I am very pleased.  The pressings went well and many were

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Copying a Bass Viol Bridge – Interview With Gary Bridgewood

Copying a Bass Viol Bridge – Interview With Gary Bridgewood

 I recently completed a bass viol bridge which is a copy of one from the Kessler collection – Richard Meares c.1660 bass viol now housed in the Royal College of Music.  Here’s an interview with me about the process; Copying a bass viol bridge – an interview with Gary Bridgewood Background I’m the lucky owner of a bass viol that Dietrich Kessler made for me in 1983; it’s a copy

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How To Tune a Violin

How To Tune a Violin

This is an essential activity before playing anything. Bear in mind that your violin is basically constructed from materials that can react to changes in temperature, humidity etc (it is wood), and is built with some flexibility in its structure. Add to this the variables of the strings – new or old? (new strings need to settle down a little before the stay in tune). Metal core, synthetic core or

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Where Gut Violin Strings Really Come From

Where Gut Violin Strings Really Come From

Getting that truly Classical, Renaissance or Baroque sound from a violin really requires the use of ‘gut’ strings. The combination of rich, deep tones and complex overtones give a unique authenticity that only good gut core strings seem to come close to. So, you’ve heard the terms ‘gut’ or ‘catgut’ – but where do these strings really come form, how are they made and what’s behind their unique sound and

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What Wood Makes Your Violin Special?

What Wood Makes Your Violin Special?

Knowing about how the violin is constructed can give you a better understanding of where its beautiful sound and individual ‘voice’ comes from. Wood obviously makes up the most part of the violin, and seasoned wood from older trees is preferred by violin makers. It is also important that the wood used in violins cut in a way that gives it extra strength e.g. the wood used is ‘quarter sawn’

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