"BACK TO FRONT" MEDIEVAL LUTHERIE: CETRA AND VIELLA

"BACK TO FRONT" MEDIEVAL LUTHERIE: CETRA AND VIELLA

Two samples of our  method in medieval instruments making.

First, the reconstruction of a Cetra  from XII century sculpture by Benedetto Antelami in Parma Baptistery,

 

 second, a reconstruction of a Viella from Moissac Abbey XII century doorgate.

In both cases the same proceeding has been followed:

  1. Carving the instrument “back to front” in one piece of Fir
  2. Refining carefully the soundboard inside and outside, following a curved profile
  3. Gluing a flat back (Poplar, Fir).

 

CETRA

  Copying a traditionally carved medieval Cetra outline

 

Inside view of soundboard

Carving the soundboard outside.

 

An elegant back added (Poplar)

Diapason cm. 34,5

total weight gr.790

Listen to the sound of italian Cetra:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4aAYOYmaxuc

 

CONCLUSIONS:

This method allows us:

1. to shape a rounded surface, as in Violin making, instead of getting the usual easy-to-make  flat sound-board, 

2. to reproduce  a curved body  from a curved plank, as in the case of Moissac Viella:

 

 

VIELLA

 

PROPORTIONS: (vibrating string lenght being the fundamental parameter)

BC / AB = 2/1

BC / AC = 2/3

EF / AD = 1/4

EF / AB = 4/5.

 

 

 

I cut the soundholes approx. at the right depht previously.

Drawing the inner space of soundbox

 

 

Here we got very close to the right thickness of the soundboard.

 

The soundboard is finished

Back is ready to be glued

The instrument is almost finished

 

Brown colour added. Almond-oil and wax coating, no varnish.

Diapason cm.30

Total weight gr.220

 

Salva

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