Posted on August 12, 2021August 19, 2021 by Dale Phillips Musical Strings Musical Strings by H.E. Huttig Originally published in American Lutherie #9, 1987 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume One, 2000 In the realm of stringed musical instruments, logically enough, the quality and strength of the sound produced is largely dependent upon the strings that the instrument maker must use. To be sure, a string tensioned between two fixed points with no sounding box will scarcely make an audible response when plucked. On the other hand, the sound made by a finished instrument varies widely with the qualities of the strings that are used. There is a Persian legend to the effect that the stringed instrument concept was discovered by a person wandering in a desert. He came upon the shell of a tortoise. The bottom was lost but the top part still had dry sinews stretched across the hollow shell. The wind blowing across them made a musical sound. The Chinese gave us the idea of strings made of silk. There is still controversy as to whether the hunting bow with its vibrating string gave man the idea of a musical application or whether it was the other way around, the stringed instrument providing the idea of the archer’s bow. Become A Member to Continue Reading This Article This article is part of our premium web content offered to Guild members. To view this and other web articles, join the Guild of American Luthiers. Members also receive 4 annual issues of American Lutherie and get discounts on products. For details, visit the membership page. If you are already a member, login for access or contact us to setup your account.