The Violin Makers Journal

The Violin Makers Association of British Colombia is a violin making club located in Vancouver, Canada.  The club has a long history dating back to its founding in March 1957.


I’ve recently become involved with the club and discovered the 60 issues its journal published from November 1957 to August 1964.  The Journal covers topics from editorials on violin making, violin making techniques and science, as well as the usual discussions on plate graduations and violin finishing.  The journal even includes direct correspondence from notables such as Carleen M. Hutchins.

I’ve begun digitizing and placing the editions on the club’s website, located here.  The remaining editions will become available as they are scanned.

This is a fascinating look into the recent history of violin making.  I’ll also be placing interesting articles from the journals here in the future.

Chladni and the his infamous patterns

Chladni patterns are visual representations of the nodes of vibrations setup in the a surface while it is subject to a specific frequency.  This and more on modern acoustics is found in Chapter 5 of Erik Jansson’s publication “Acoustics for Violin and Guitar Makers” here.  A good overall description of Chladni patterns can be found on the New South Whales University website here.

Ernst Florens Friedrich Chladni has been around a while and published a book on the patterns seen in vibrating plates in 1787.  His original publication is on Google Books here, however, a knowledge of old German and a Ph.D. in physics are prerequisite.  It’s reported that his interests in the patterns were inspired by George Christoph Lichtengberg’s earlier experiments on electrical figures[1].  Interest in this visual representation of sound waves was such that Chladni demonstrated it for Nepolean in 1809[2].  A plate of the image of Chladni is seen below [2].

Brain, Robert Michael, Robert S. Cohen Ole Knudsen, Hans Christian Orsted and
the romantic legacy in science: Ideas, disciplines, practices, Boston Studies
in the Philosphy of Science (Springer: 2007) p238

Stockmann, Hans-Jurgen, Quantum chaos: an introduction (Cambridge Univeristy
Press, 1999) p15