Construction Analysis

Construction analysis of bowed stringed instruments as used in the MARTIN SCHLESKE MASTER STUDIO FOR VIOLINMAKING is a computer-assisted measurement technique that produces a detailed assessment of how a given instrument is made.

The construction of a bowed stringed instrument can be comprehensively described based on the model (contour), the arching shape and the thickness graduation (thickness graduation of the plates). Together with the properties of the wood, the construction as characterized by these three areas is responsible for the stiffness-to-mass distribution of the plates (top and back plates). The stiffness-to-mass distribution in turn is the source of the eigenmodes of vibration and thus the sound of the instrument..


The „classical“ analysis covers the following areas: arching, thickness graduation and contour (model).

Besides "classic" analysis of the arching, thickness graduation and contour (described in detail in separate sections), the MARTIN SCHLESKE MASTER STUDIO FOR VIOLINMAKING also cooperates with various medical practices to analyze outstanding reference instruments using computer tomography (CT). On the one hand, this helps to reveal the "guts" of the instrument such as the size and shape of the blocks. On the other hand, this also allows us to have a look at the arching profile, thickness graduation, shape of the ribs, etc.

The example below is for the "Schreiber" Stradivarius. We see a top view and also a cross-section in the region of the stop. Both images were produced using computer tomography:

CT Umriss
CT Quer

Construction analysis using computer tomography. Here, a top view of the "Schreiber" Stradivarius. The shape of the ribs and corner blocks is visible in this high-contrast image.

Construction analysis using computer tomography. Here, we see a cross-section at the level of the stop for the "Schreiber" Stradivarius. The arching shape as well as the position and curvature of the ribs is clearly visible. One thing we can see here is that over the centuries, the arching height of the top plate has increased while at the same time its width compared to the back plate has decreased somewhat. The ribs are strongly buckled outwards and slightly drawn inwards on the top plate side.

Arching | Thickness Graduation | Contour (Model)