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Violin Parts

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Violin Parts
Top Template Logo Back Chinrest Chinrest bracket Ribs Neck and head Tailpiece Bass Bar Fingerboard Top nut Pegs Purfling Bridge Endpin Saddle Blocks Linings Tail gut Soundpost F-hole Chinrest bracket

Top

Other Names: Belly, Top plate

Function: The top is the main sound emitter of the violin

Description: The top of the violin is made of a wood that is very stiff for its weight. This quality  allows it to vibrate easily  yet be strong enough to withstand the forces created by the taught strings. Traditionally violin tops come from Spruce trees growing in the European Alps.  Redwood appeared to be the best locally available substitute for Spruce.  It is about 40% lighter than Spruce and the top of the violin ended up being 40% thicker than normal.

Local Significance: The Region around Sonoma County is known a "The Redwood Empire".  The economy of the region was founded around the logging industry in the mid to late 1800's.  Early San Francisco and surrounding towns were largely built of Redwood from here.

Template

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Logo

Violin Parts by Andrew Carruthers 2020

Back

Other Names: Back plate

Function: The back is the structural foundation of the violin. It anchors the neck and supports the top via the soundpost. It is also a significant sound emitter.

Usual material : Almost exclusively European maple, usually with the recognizable "fiddle-back" stripe. Occasionally fruitwoods are used

Redwood Violin material: Applewood

Source: Sebastopol Apple orchard

Supplier: Steve Wigfield, Wigfield Woodworking, Petaluma

StoryMaterial for the back, sides, neck and scroll 

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Chinrest

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Function: Helps the player hold the violin

Usual material : Ebony, Rosewood, Boxwood

Redwood Violin material: To be decided

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Supplier: Mike Center

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Chinrest bracket

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Usual material : Chromed steel, Titanium.  Cork liner

Redwood Violin material: To be decided

Source: Import

Supplier:  Machinist needed

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Ribs

Other Names: Sides

Function: The ribs enclose the resonant air space of the body

Usual material : Almost exclusively maple. Occasionally fruitwoods are used

Redwood Violin material: Applewood

Source: Sebastopol Apple orchard

SupplierSteve Wigfield, Wigfield Woodworking, Petaluma

Story:  Material for the back, sides, neck and scroll 

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Neck and head

Other Names:

Function: The neck gives access for fingering  the strings. The head houses the tuning pegs

Usual material : Almost exclusively maple. Occasionally fruitwoods are used

Redwood Violin material: Applewood

Source: Sebastopol Apple orchard

SupplierSteve Wigfield, Wigfield Woodworking, Petaluma

Story:  Material for the back, sides, neck and scroll 

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Tailpiece

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Function: Anchors the strings

Usual material : Ebony, rosewood,  boxwood. Sometimes metal or plastic

Redwood Violin material: Not decided

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Bass Bar

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Function: Supports the top and helps control the top vibrations.

Usual material : Spruce

Redwood Violin material: Redwood

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Fingerboard

Other Names:

Function: Provides a platform for changing the pitch of the strings

Usual material : Ebony

Redwood Violin material: Manzanita

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Supplier: Mike Center

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Top nut

Other Names: Top nut

Function: Spreads the strings  and holds them in place

Usual material : Ebony

Redwood Violin material: Manzanita

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Supplier:  Mike Center

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Pegs

Other Names: Tuning pegs

Function: To tension and tune the strings

Usual material : Ebony, rosewood, boxwood

Redwood Violin material: Manzanita

Source: Mike Center

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Purfling

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Function: Visual enhancement. Prevent end grain cracks

Usual material : Often dyed pear wood blacks, with poplar center, but many materials are used including ebony, whalebone, resin impregnated paper

Redwood Violin material: Ornamental pear wood

Source: Santa Rosa

Supplier: John McFarland

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Bridge

Other Names: Bridge

Function: Positions strings at the correct place above the top. Transmits the vibrations of the strings to the top of the violin for amplification

Usual material : Maple

Redwood Violin material:  Undecided

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Endpin

Other Names: End button

Function: Anchors the tailpiece

Usual material : Ebony, rosewood, boxwood

Redwood Violin material: Manzanita

Source: Santa Rosa

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Saddle

Other Names:

Function: Prevents the tail gut from cutting into the soft top

Usual material : Ebony

Redwood Violin material: Manzanita

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Blocks

Other Names: Top, bottom & corner blocks

Function: Joining points for the six pieces of the ribs.  Anchor points for the neck and endpin

Usual material : Willow, poplar or spruce

Redwood Violin material: Undecided

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Linings

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Function: Increases the gluing area of the ribs, for attaching the top and back

Usual material : Willow, poplar, or spruce

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Tail gut

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Function: Attach the tailpiece to the endpin

Usual material : Plastic.  Used to be gut

Redwood Violin material: Gut?

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Soundpost

Other Names: In Italian: L'Anime "the soul" . The name reflects the importance of this little piece

Function: Supports the top. Controls some resonant frequencies of the body, allowing tone adjustment

Usual material : Spruce

Redwood Violin material: Redwood

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F-hole

Other Names:

Function: Some sound emission.  Allows freer vibration of the center of the violin

Usual material : No material, It's just a hole!

Redwood Violin material: Negative redwood

Source: Universally available

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Chinrest bracket

Function: Clamps chinrest to violin

Redwood Violin material: Titanium, stainless steel, cork liner

Story: This is one of the few parts on the violin where the raw material did not originate in the county.  The brackets on the Redwood Violin were designed and machined  by peddle-steel guitar builder Ross Shafer of Petaluma.  The cork for the liner was harvested from a cork oak in Santa Rosa.