Hello today I am carrying on with my series everything you need to know about violin from A-Z. We are now on L for luthier. A luthier is someone who builds violins and other stringed instruments such as guitars, mandolins, lutes and cellos. The art of the luthier is divided into two categories those who make instruments that are plucked and those who make instruments that are bowed this second category also contains a further specialization known as an archetier, a person who makes bows.
|Varnishing a violin by Hildegard Dodel, luthier in Cremona |
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The violin as we know it today was created by Andrea Amati of Cremona Italy. Amati was originally was lute maker and gave birth to an entire family of renowned luthiers, his son also becoming a master with several noted apprentices.
The most famous of all luthiers is undoubtedly the legendary Antonio Stradivari also of Cremona Italy. Stradivari started out as a student of Amati but soon eclipsed him. To this day Stradivari is still known for his violins which are now worth millions.
Violin making is an art and science. The luthier must have many skills he must be a wood sculptor delicately carving the shapes of the instrument. He must be an engineer designing and constructing the lines and surfaces of the piece. He must be an acoustician, improving the sound and design of each instrument that he makes. Using his experience and technique to refine the subtle nuances of every instrument built.
Lastly the luthier must be a musician if he cannot actually play the instruments that he produces then his skill is less than worthless. The luthier must understand the musician's needs and wants and must be able to supply them.