This Handbook contains, in form convenient for everyday use, a
comprehensive digest of the knowledge of making Violins and
other Stringed Instruments, scattered over more than forty
thousand columns of WORK — one of the weekly journals it is my
fortune to edit — and supplies concise
information on the details of the subjects of which it treats.
In preparing for publication in book form the mass of relevant
matter contained in the volumes of WORK, much had to be arranged
anew, altered, and largely rewritten.
From these causes it is difficult to distinguish the writings of
individuals for acknowledgment, but it may be said that
contributions from the pens of Mr. David McSkimming and Mr.
Robert Ford are incorporated in this work.
The early chapters of a handbook on the making of stringed
musical instruments must almost of necessity be devoted to the
violin, which takes preeminence, of course, of all other
instruments of its class.
While it is not purpose to trace the history of the violin,
it must yet be said that the instruments which came from the
workshops of the Cremonese masters, some 300 years ago, have
not been surpassed or equaled, by any which have since been
Although the science of acoustics has kept pace with other
branches of knowledge, the efforts of the great masters have
not been improved upon, and the best results in violin
making have been obtained by following as closely as
possible the lines laid down by the Cremonese makers.
Though opinions differ as to the relative merits of the various
outlines and models, it will be
taken for granted here that the outline, measurements, and /
holes of the "Stradivarius" are the best.
Accordingly the necessary diagrams and patterns used in making
an instrument of this class will be given, together with all
needful instructions on the methods of using tools and
Readers who may desire additional information respecting special
details of the matters dealt with in this Handbook, or
instructions on kindred subjects, should address a question to
The Editor, WORK, La Belle Sauvage, London, E.G., so that it may
be answered in the columns of that journal.
Paul N. Hasluck