New 16″ viola

Posted on | September 23, 2015 | No Comments|

This month I started making a new viola for a member of the National Art Centre Orchestra.  We talked together about what kind of viola he was looking for and agreed on a comfortable 16″ size, based on the violas by Andrea Guarneri from the late 17th Century. The original design is slightly larger at 16 3/8″, so I scaled it down to 16″.  The Andrea Guarneri viola is a fairly wide model and is an acoustically forgiving design that accommodates these types of changes very well.

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Above shows the design of the viola drawn out on paper with a ruler and compass, together with a poster of the original Guarneri viola.  (for more information on the drawing techniques -see Francois Denis’s website) From this drawing I made my templates and form, which I’m now using to make the sides of the instrument.

Next the client and I worked together to decide the string length (length of the strings from the bridge to the nut) and also the neck and fingerboard dimensions.  He has fairly large fingers and so the neck won’t be as narrow as my usual viola neck. We wanted to make the viola as comfortable as possible for his left hand. All these custom elements and the freedom to adapt designs are some reasons I really enjoy making violas.

 

 

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    About

    Guy Harrison Violin Maker
    792 Gladstone Avenue
    Ottawa, Ontario
    K1R 6X9
    Tel: 613 569 4803

    1997 Silver medal for viola in the Mittenwald International Violin Making Competition, Germany.

    2010 Bronze medal for violin in the Mittenwald International Violin Making Competition, Germany.

    2014 Workmanship award for violin in the Mittenwald International Violin Making Competition, Germany.

    2016 Silver Workmanship medal for cello in the VSA Violin Making Competition, USA.

    Member of the American Federation of Violin & Bow Makers and Violin Society of America.

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