|Bow Wound Strings: our criterias|
Picture nr. 1 : Making a Cello 4th wound.
Picture nr. 2 : 18th C.manual winding machine (Diderot & Alembert's "Encyclopedie", 1750-60 ca.).
Picture nr. 3 and 4 : Old winding machines of 1st half of the XX century (Sant'Eufemia a Maiella-museum, Abruzzo- Italy 2007).
Picture nr. 5 : Stradivari wound strings, Museo Stradivariano Cremona. Our traduction: "these are the examples of the thick strings; the string that show its gut inside must be made wound like the Vitalba's plant".
Picture nr. 6 : This is the Vitalba's plant.
Pictures nr. 7 : 18th C. open wound bass lute strings on a Raphael Mest's lute.
Pictures nr. 8 : Copia of the Raphael Mest's lute bass open wound strings.
Picture nr. 9: Copia of the Raphael Mest's lute wound strings on a d- minor baroque lute.
Picture nr. 10 : Joahn Kupezky (1667-1740); portrait of a luteplayer. In the original, the last bass string seem to be an open wound type.
Picture nr. 11 : Claude Perrault, "Ouvres De Pysique", Amsterdam 1680.
Picture nr. 12 : Viola's old wound strings (Bruxelles, Museum Royal Instrumental, 2007)
Picture nr. 13 : Antonio Gabbiani (1685 ca?) 1st know example of a 4th Violin wound string.
Picture nr. 14 : Antonio Gabbiani (1685 ca?) 1st know example of a 4th Cello wound string.
Picture nr. 15 : A.Gabbiani (1687 ca?): other example of a 4th Cello wound string.
Picture nr. 16 : Francoise Puget (1687 ca.): wound strings on a Bass-violin.
Picture nr. 17 : G.B. Forqueray, 1750 ca: detail close and open wound strings.
Picture nr. 18 : Horemans (1770 ca): detail of a Violin (4th silver/silver plated wound).
Picture nr. 19 : Nicolas Henri Jeaurat (1756): detail of a Violin open wound 3rd string.
Picture nr. 20 : Modern winding machines.
A FEW HISTORICAL NOTES
The earliest mentions known to us of wound strings dates back to 1659 (Hartlib Papers Project; Ephemerides: "Goretsky hath an invention of lute strings covered with silver wyer, or strings which make a most admirable musick. Mr Boyle. [...] "String of guts done about with silver wyer makes a very sweet musick, being of Goretskys invention”) and 1664 (John Playford: "An Introduction to the Skill of Musik...") :
WHICH SORT OF WOUND STRINGS WERE IN USE IN THE LATE 17th TO 19th CENTURIES?
1) Close Wound: the single wire spires are tightly wound touching one another. It is the still commonly used sort.
2) Double Wound: a second close wound layer is laid over the first one.
3) Open wound (demifilè): the single wire was wound so that the spires would not touch one another but with a space in between equal or slightly wider than the wire diameter (see Francoise Le Cocq, Paris 1724); these strings were in use exclusively in the in 18th century as transition between plain gut mid-register and close wound basses, e.g. Bass viol 4th, violin 3rd &c and D minor german baroque Lutes.
18th C. harp with open wound basses. Note the Violin with a a 4th silver wound and three upper gut strings
Hear their sound on a 13 course D minor baroque lute (712 KB)
WHICH ARE THE TECHNOLOGICAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MODERN AND HISTORICAL WOUND STRINGS ?
THE HISTORICAL WOUND STRINGS PRESENT THE FOLLOWING GENERAL FEATURES
a) medium or high twist gut core.
MODERN WOUND STRINGS:
a) flat metal winding.
CLOSE WOUND GUT STRINGS
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS AND FIELD OF APPLICATIONWe conceived our "F" (pure silver close wound), "FD" (pure silver open wound); "A" (silvered copper close wound), "AD" (silvered copper open wound) type-strings with the aim of recovering the typical materials and proportions of the wound strings in use in the 18th and 19th century (round wires, no silk between the metal wire and the gut-core): rather different from modern strings, as supported by historical sources and by measurements taken from many original string fragments in museums.
Hereby we would also like to remind you to use our "C" type loaded gut strings when performing late 16th and hearly 17th century music; our "FD" and "AD" types on French 18th Century-repertoires (3rd D Violine; 4th Bass Viola da Gamba C); in the strictest respect to historical authenticity.
Pure silver or silvered copper wires?
This means that in a few weeks or few months (depending on how and how much you press the string and the type of sweat) in the contact point with your fingers the deposit of silver is consumed, leaving out the copper.
At this point, the string begins rapidly to become brownish- green. In the case of strings wound with pure silver this does not happen.
PRICES : SEE SETS FOR BOWED INSTRUMENTS
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