Thurmond Knight
Maker of Violins, Violas and 'Cellos

Traditional methods of building for optimum sound production:

Trained in the traditional methods of building instruments, I find the use of my senses to be the best method in searching for the production of optimum sound quality. I had a brief exposure to electronic tuning techniques used by some makers, and I found these methods less useful. I feel that all I need to know about the wood can be found in the flex and feel of the plates, using my hands, eyes and ears.

To some extent, I do some matching of tones from the wood of the top and back plates. I let the wood do the talking while I am listening as carefully and precisely as possible. The air volume inside the instrument is critical. I also find that matching sound from the fingerboard and the tailpiece is necessary. The outside archings of the top and back are modeled closely to traditional makers and are responsible for the way the sound is shaped. Critical to sound are the soundpost and bass bar. Literally everything on the instrument, including the pegs and chinrest, can influence the sound production.

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Thurmond carving a violin scroll

[Picture] Cello body and scroll in the white, with the mould around which the cello was constructed

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