The Health of the Violin, Viola & Cello: Practical Advice on the Acquisition, Maintenance, Adjustment, & Conservation of Bowed Instruments

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9780962067341: The Health of the Violin, Viola & Cello: Practical Advice on the Acquisition, Maintenance, Adjustment, & Conservation of Bowed Instruments
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Henry Strobel's translation from the original French is the first appearance in English of this classic from 1910. The Strobel books for violin makers are professional, concise, and convenient, reflecting traditional, conservative, and artistic work. Some forty thousand sold, they are used internationally by student, amateur and professional makers in shops and schools, and referred to by manufacturers, sellers, users, and lovers of bowed instruments. High quality 8.5 by 11 in. paperbacks made to lie flat and last on your workbench.

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About the Author:

Henry Strobel is the author-publisher of seven books on violin, viola, and cello making, repair, and adjustment, which are used worldwide. He recently published a video Watch Me Make a Cello, Step by Step. Born in Indiana in 1936, he had a first career as an electronic design engineer, and was one of the founders of Digital Telephone Systems, Inc. in California, which manufactured transmission and switching equipment. He served in the US Air Force service in Scotland as a communications officer. He studied violin as a schoolboy, made his first over thirty years ago, and has had his own violin business for twenty years, fifteen at his current full service violin shop in Oregon, where, with his wife and sons, he also makes violins, violas, and cellos, and writes books.

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Preface to the First American Edition

Several months ago I chanced to find the original of this book. It seemed to me full of good sense and insight. It remains substantially valid, although the specifics of, say, string manufacture, have advanced since 1910. As far as I know, it has never before been available in English.

This is the third book in my series for violin makers and those with related interests. Unlike the others, this is not a reference book, but a background book to read for pleasure and knowledge, and a book to have as an unusual - and unusually good - example of the literature of the violin maker and violinist. Whether you agree with him on particular points is up to you. In most cases I do. The best reasons for reading it, apart from its sound information, are its perspective and direct, pithy, even earthy, manner. Vannes' Dictionnaire Universel des Luthiers says he was an "Alsatian writer (musicographe alsacien), an author of very interesting works on lutherie."

For utility and economy the format here is similar to the previous books, although I have used typefaces and a column width more reminiscent of the original. The original has 121 smaller pages followed by a table of contents (now moved to the front). This is M. Greilsamer's book, not mine (except for translation errors). Any editorial comments I have added are within brackets, as [. . . ].

The illustrations and plates have been reproduced full size. The plates have been renumbered for a more logical placement within the text.

I confess I am not a speaker or student of French, so this translation became a challenge and perhaps a modest personal tour de force. It has given me welcome breaks from the boredom of bridge fitting, although I could spare relatively little time for it. My bookshelf happened to hold a venerable leather bound Spiers and Surennes's French and English Pronouncing Dictionary of 1898, which has surprisingly survived my countless consultations. I trust you will find the translation, if imperfect, at least useful, and retaining some of M. Greilsamer's Gallic flavor.

I have appreciated his wit and wisdom and wish you the same.

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