Frequent Questions and Subjects of general
In addition to the information that you can find in these pages, we have
selected a wide range of
about, musical instruments and instrument making. Not only design and technique,
you will also find some books about the history and collections. And some theory
necessary to deep in the knowledge.
is Early Music?
Early music commonly designates either music which is chronologically early
or an approach toward the idea of performing any old music more "authentically"
(known as "Historical Performance", "Period performance" or "Authentic
performance"). Frequently it is both.
(before AD 500)
Common practice (classical music)
Modern and contemporary
20th century (1900–2000)
European musicians began to discover the musical riches from earlier
centuries in the 19th century, and the idea of performing early music more
"authentically", with a sense of incorporating performance practice, was
more completely established in the 20th century, creating a modern Early Music
Revival that continues today.
All over the world, there is in the 21st century a great flourishing of
ensembles, training programs, concert series, festivals, organizations and
recordings devoted to promote the study and performance of ancient and early
The general topic overcomes the intention of this website.
More information in the following links:
changed in the Renaissance?
Emancipation of instrumental from vocal music. Methods and
compositions only for instruments and orchestration in the second half of the
Contrast and blend of timbres, as a vital part of music. The new
delight in timbre acted as a strong stimulus in making instruments. All
instruments were made in families or consorts, that is, in several sizes. They
extended the lower limit of medieval music with basses and contrabasses. Never
before and never since has the palette of musical hues been as rich as in the
sixteenth century. In contrast to the following centuries, there was a
prevalence of wind instruments (80%) over stringed (20%). Comprehensive and
reliable, the Syntagma (Praetorius 1571-1621) is the standard reference book on
sixteenth century instruments.
The beauty of musical instruments has never been so much appreciated
before and since. At that time the violin and most other instruments were given
their classical shapes. Moreover, many instruments of that time were carefully
joined, turned, carved and inlaid; precious material was used; harpsichords and
spinets were decorated by first-rate painters. For the same reason instruments
were collected by art lovers and preserved in museums.
Typical instruments by musical era
Medieval (476 – 1400)
Citole, Gemshorn, Gittern, Harp, Lute, Lyre, Mandora, Rebec, Recorder ,
Bassoon, Cittern, Clavichords, Cornamuse, Cornet (zink), Crumhorn (Cromorne),
Curtal (dulcian), Dulce Melos, Flute (one handed flute, tabor and pipe),
Kettledrums, Lira da gamba (lirone), Lute, Organs (big ones), Rankets,
Rauschpfeifen, Recorder consorts, Regals (small reed organs), Schryary, Shawms (Bombardes,
Pommers), Sordone, Spinets, Virginals and Harpsichords, Transverse flute,
Trombone, Trumpet, Viols
Archlute, Baroque Flute, Baroque Oboe, Baroque Trumpet, Baryton, Bow,
Carillons, Chalumeau, Citterns, Clavichord, Cornetto, Cortol (Cortholt), Curtall
(Dulcian), Fortepiano, Guitar, Harpsichord, Horns, Organ, Rackett, Sackbut,
Serpent, Slide Trumpets, Viola d’Amore, Viola Pomposa, Violin
Classical (1750 – 1820)
Basset Clarinet, Basset Horn, Buccin, Chalumeau, Clarinette d'amour,
Classical Clarinet, Clavichord, Fortepiano, Harpsichord, Ophicleide (Serpent
replacement, precursor of tuba)
instrument is this?
Musical instrument classification
Making an instrument
The Secrets of our Ancestors
Musical Instrument Making is a Science
Old materials and old techniques
The First Time
Why should I build musical instruments?
I want to build a
perfect musical instrument even though I have
no experience as a woodworker or instrument maker.
When I should
Can I build it
Can an instrument built from a kit be good enough for musical
purposes or be as good as a professionally made by an expert instrument maker?
Can an occasionally builder get the same quality that a
professional builder gets?
Can an occasionally builder at home, with the same kit, get the
same quality that an experienced builder with a well equipped workshop?
decided that building instruments is
what I want to do for a living. What's the best way to get started?
Can I take on a
particularly challenging project like an spinet, hurdy-gurdy or a guitar as my
Should I build my
first instrument from scratch, or should I buy a kit?
provider do you recommend?
Can I modify the kit
I buy to make it a different shape or size?
What are the chances that woods can cause an allergic reaction to
should I use for my instrument?
ready to build my first instrument and I don't want to ruin an
expensive piece of wood. Can I use MDF (medium density fiberboard)?
ready to build my first instrument, and I have access to some timber locally. I don't want to ruin an expensive piece of wood on my
first instrument. Can I use cheap wood?
hardware store has lots of cheap pine/spruce/fir. Can I build my acoustic guitar
entirely from these woods?
What is "quartersawn"
Do I have to use
quartersawn wood for the back and sides of my acoustic guitar?
wood I just bought for my acoustic guitar has cupped. Can I still use it?
Should I use
flatsawn or quartersawn wood for my guitar neck?
I don't have
any quartersawn spruce for bracing my acoustic guitar soundboard, but I have
plenty of other scrap wood on hand. Can I use it as soundboard bracing?
I bought wood
from a lumberyard/hardwood yard, and the instrument I made from it appears to be
cracking. What did I do wrong?
I've read about
steam bending, and it sounds like it would be easier to build a steam box than
build and learn to use any kind of bender. Can I steam bend the sides?
What are the minimum
essential tools to build a instrument?
Does it take a
fully-equipped woodworking shop to build stringed instruments? I don't have that
much money to spend on expensive power tools.
I'm putting together
my first real shop and am planning on a dust collection system. Do I have to
Can I use a
hand-held power planer for flattening or jointing plates?
I can't afford a
drill press. Are those portable drill guides any good?
I need a bandsaw but
can't afford a 14" model. Can you recommend a good bandsaw that's smaller and
Glues and adhesives
I've read that you
should wipe the surface of rosewoods and other oily tropical woods with acetone
or naptha right before you glue them. Should I prepare the joint this way before
Do I have to use
epoxy to glue rosewood and other oily tropical woods?
What's the best
Varnishing and Finishing
How can I finish my
musical instrument quickly and easily, with a minimum of preparation?
I don't have any
spray equipment. Do I *have* to use nitrocellulose lacquer on my instrument?
I don't have a spray
booth. Can I spray my instrument with nitrocellulose lacquer outside or in an
unheated garage, then bring it into the house to dry?
I finished my
instrument weeks ago. Why won't the finish dry?
Can I leave my
instrument, or just the neck, unfinished?
Can I stain/dye my
instrument with clothing dye/food dye/any other kind of stain or dye not
originally intended for use on wood?
I have a
vintage/collectible instrument. I want to refinish it, what should I do?
I have an
average/low-value/worthless instrument. I want to refinish it, what should I do?
I'm building my
first instrument, a guitar, and I don't want it to look and sound like everyone
else's. What can I do with shape or materials or bracing patterns to make it
Can I make a
change in the design?
Can I build my own
case? Where can I find plans?
Scale length and Compensation
What is scale
How do I
determine in advance how much compensation I need?