Violinmaking: Why Bosnian Maple Wood Is King

It’s a tiny metropolis with a huge claim in first-class stringed devices. The Klotz family began it a long term ago and brand new luthiers nonetheless learn their craft there.

When vacationers travel to Germany, have to-visit cities are Hamburg, Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt. Unless, that is, the vacationers are musicians of the string range, basically violinists, violists and cellists. If no longer musicians, then simply pupil luthiers – violin makers – who have flocked to the small village of Mittenwald in which Klotz-crafted contraptions were made since the mid seventeenth century.

The Klotz circle of relatives is historically on the coronary heart of the violinmaking history of Mittenwald municipality in Bavaria (Garmisch-Partenkirchen district). Beginning with Matthias I (1656-1743), and later his sons Sebastian and Georg, the violinmaking craft that in the end became the precept enterprise of Mittenwald became born. Matthias himself had studied to be a Geigenmacher (luthier or violin maker) in Padua, Italy in the 1670s as a pupil of Jacob Stainer, whose popularity on the time changed into he made first-rate violins that rivaled the paintings of Stradivari. By 1856, the Bavarian government mounted a faculty of violinmaking in Mittenwald, the rolls of which listed extra than 25 artisans with the Klotz surname.

The Klotz family’s upward push is due in carbon fiber cello bow element to their craftsmanship, however also to where the metropolis is located. High inside the Karwendel mountains, the maple and spruce timber there yielded very good tone timber, the sort acceptable to violins, cellos, and violas, just because the violins from Stradivari came from the Fiemme Valley inside the Italian Alps.

Mittendwald became also on a change path (stretching from Augsburg to Bolzano and Venice), which allows distribution to other factors north and south. The metropolis turned into the violin shop to the world at that factor. But to be clear, Matthias Klotz discovered his craft from the northern Italians in Padua.

Today, Mittenwald remains a tiny town (population 7,410) with a massive reputation due in no small element to the school mounted in 1858 and nonetheless teaching Geigenmachers nowadays. The Staatliche Berufsfachschule für Musikinstrumentenbau Mittenwald, a fulltime vocational faculty, offers schooling in violin, plucked instrument, woodwind tool, and brass instrument making.

The village additionally celebrates its history, specially in violins, at the Geigenbaumuseum in Mittendwald. The museum consists of reveals that specify how violin specialists, sellers, and auctioneers distinguish the valued Mittenwald violins from inexpensive, inferior knockoffs, as there had been many even 150 years ago. Those differences are found in production of the tool, unique sizing, the flare of the scroll, the width of the f-holes, the tightness of the wood grain, and the hue of the varnish.