Ecole de lutherie Internationale "Gauthier Louppe" - Marche-en-Famenne | Belgique | Tel: +32(0)

artistic violin-making

The trade of luthier begins with an assiduous professional training, which requires a lot of technique, passion and several years of learning.
This craft, whose manufacture is artisanal, requires a mastery of the material, as well as tools, specific to the manufactured instruments.
The art of luthiers, begins with the choice of wood, for the realization of instruments, determining the aesthetics of these, but also and above all, for their sound quality. 

The lutherie is an art, not just a craft. To create instruments, the luthier expresses himself, and applies his knowledge and his personality in his gestures, for manufacturing.
This subtle art is recognized in the sculpture of the volute, in the cutting of the f-holes and in the finishes.
The instrument is a work, a single piece. Artisanal production maintains the fact that no instrument is identical to another, be it at the visual or sound level. Each instrument produces a sound, and an original timbre. One can compare this to Men, no one has the same voice for example.

Although the luthier creates a utilitarian object as opposed to the sculptor or painter who expresses himself through pure art, the greatest creation is sound. The work and the difficulty are not to go from a piece of wood to make it an object, but to carve a piece of wood to make it "a sound" and not any one: hot, deep, powerful, that knows how to transmit emotion, feeling, and make the listener vibrate.

It is necessary to know that the violin is the fruit of the instruments of the past, the Antiquity and the Middle Ages. It is at the renaissance that the great upheavals have occured. The mutations are great: one approaches the violin with the viol. The first violin appeared in the first half of the 16th century and found its apogee in the Baroque with the great Italian masters : Amati, Guarneri and of course Stradivari. for example.

And there ends the evolution of the form of the violin. Since then, the instruments have evolved according to the musical needs of instrumentalists and composers. Great musical changes upset the world at the beginning of the 19th century: technical requirements, virtuosity, power ... Everything is increasing. The luthiers had to carry out research and modify the violin to meet the musical requirements. The main transformations are the extension of the harmony bar, the elongation of the key, the locking of the handle, the increase of the reversal, the modification of the bridge. 

All these modifications contributed to the evolution of the violonistic virtuosity and the sonority. But is the art of lutherie at its summit? Can the lutherie still evolve? Or should it remain locked in canons inspired by Baroque models?
During the 19th century, many experiments were carried out on the form of the violin, vaults ...

Great luthiers, such as Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume, lent themselves to this "game". The work carried out was intended to go further in the search for sonority and performance. Many ingenious instruments did not have the success that they deserved and found themselves in museums.

A few last appeared at the beginning of this century and after the Second World War, such as chin strap, spun strings of metal (aluminum, steel, silver, oc ...) and the shoulder pad.

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