The Violin Family and Its Makers in the British Isles: An Illustrated History and Directory

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Clarendon Press, 1995 - Music - 432 pages
The contribution of the British Isles to the history of the violin family has been consistently under-estimated. For over 200 years England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland have produced many fine makers and an abundance of quality instruments and bows, now sought after around the world. In addition London has for over 100 years been an important centre for restoring, dealing in, collecting, and exhibiting the finest products of Stradivari, Guarneri, and other Italian masters - an importantsource of inspiration. Professor Harvey explains in detail the history of violin-making in Britain, from one of the earliest extant English instruments made of iron by John Bunyan in about 1647, to the extensive British craft industry of today, including within his book a comprehensive directory of violin-and-bow-makers of the British Isles, with auction prices. The book includes numerous high-quality colour and monochrome illustrations, including samples of the work of the major craftsmeninvolved. Throughout most of this history the scene has been dominated by the Hill family, which for over 250 years has produced instruments and bows of the highest quality, and their influence is fully assessed. The book is also a social and economic history of stringed instruments, showing how in England in particular the violin was slow to win acceptance by association with gypsies and the devil, and how the cello became the instrument favoured by royalty and the aristocracy. The demandfor instruments at any particular time is gauged against musical activity in the country. The book is the first in any language to deal with the vast and fascinating subject in this way and in such depth. As such, it will be welcomed by makers, dealers internationally, auction houses, collectors, teachers, players, and students of stringed instruments.

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Contents

Artistry and Acoustic Design i The Violin World 2 The Significance of Demand
5
Pr1ces and Econom1c Background to Engl1sh
6
Early Bowed Instruments of the Violin Type 10 Introduction of the Violin into
34
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

Brian W. Harvey is at University of Birmingham.

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