Mudcat Café message #1689004 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #89392   Message #1689004
Posted By: JohnInKansas
09-Mar-06 - 05:49 AM
Thread Name: Difference in fiddle bows?
Subject: RE: Difference in fiddle bows?
Bert -

I don't think that the curve matters too much

The specific curve probably doesn't matter too much. The point of the curves is that without destructive tests, that's likely to be the only way to record enough information to be able to analytically determine the separate longitudinal, lateral, and torsional stiffnesses and strengths you need to reproduce to get a bow that feels like a bow.

It is not sufficient to provide for just a "stiffness" at each of the several details. You must also provide a proper rate at which the stiffness changes when each detail part is deflected in use of the bow.

Respected and well known bows that are individually named and that demand astronomical prices vary in overall weight by at least a factor of 3, probably more. Center of gravity positions vary roughly over a third of the length of the bow for these same ones. There are apparently some general trends that say the cg is in one direction for heavier bows and elsewhere for lighter ones, indicating that there is nothing unique about any specific value of either; but that the two must be balanced to work together. If you change one, you have to make a compensating change in the other; but there are no established formulas to tell you what the compensating change should be. It's a matter of "feeling," and we have not yet found a musician who can feel it who can also write the equations.

If it looks simple to you, then find a good bow and make your "alternate technology" copy.

1. Get it made.
2. Sell it to someone, preferably to a well known performer.
3. Contribute a learned paper to a reputable publication describing how good it is. (perhaps an optional step)
4. Wait for someone else to appear to ask you to make another.

John