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Review: Research Papers in Violin Acoustics 1975–1993

Review: Research Papers in Violin Acoustics, 1975-1993 edited by Carleen Hutchins and Virginia Benade

Reviewed by David Hurd

Originally published in American Lutherie #59, 1999 and Big Red Book of American Lutherie Volume Five, 2008

Research Papers in Violin Acoustics 1975–1993
Carleen Maley Hutchins, Editor
Virginia Benade, Associate Editor
Acoustical Society of America,
ISBN 1563966093

It is with some trepidation that I pen this, my first book review for American Lutherie. As I noted to Tim Olsen, “But I’ve never made or even played a violin. How can I review such books and do them justice?” “Well,” he replied, “most of our readers are in the same position. And, having written the review, you can keep the books.” So began several months of fascinated reading of this two-volume set of violin research papers.

A little over half of the papers in this collection are from the Journal of the Catgut Acoustical Society, Series 1 or 2 and the Society Newsletter. Both the Society and the journal are still alive, well, and active in mostly violin family instrument research. The remainder of the articles come from such technical journals as: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Acustica, Journal of the Acoustical Society of Japan, Journal of Audio Engineering, Journal of the Violin Society of America, Scientific American, Wood Science and Technology, Acoustics Australia, Acta Metallica, Music Perception, American Journal of Physics, Interdisciplinary Science Review, Strad, and Physics Today. Papers from the proceedings of several conferences on acoustics and modal analysis are also represented.

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