Power efficiency in the Violin – Rebuttal

Check out Stewart Pollens rebuttal to the MIT paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society, titled “The Evolution of Air Resonance Power Efficiency in the Violin and Its Ancestors” in the opinion section of April 2015 issue of The Strad.  Primarily he challenges the MIT paper’s argument that “small accidental” changes to f-hole shape caused the evolution of the f-hole to its modern shape.  This is contested on two grounds, firstly that f-hole shape and placement have been governed by ascetic geometric principals, not merely happenstance, and that ‘acoustical power’ is not the sole objective of the violin maker.  He contests that:

“If the researchers’ graph of the f-hole length were to extend to instruments made after the death of ‘del ‘Gesu’ and include makers besides those of Amati, Stradivari,and Guarneri families, it would revert to the mean, and the lengths of the late ‘del Gesu’ f-holes would just be a blip on the curve.”  – Stewart Pollens, The Strad, April 2015, Vol. 126 No. 1500 p 29

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