Terry Borman violin maker, violinmaker

Modal Animations

For each set of animations, there is an overview tab explaining the
animations, then actual animations. Although greatly exaggerated,
one can see how the plates are moving to create sound.

Click through the tabs to see how each frequency affects the vibration of the instrument.

1741 Vieuxtemps Guarneri del Gesu
  • Overview
  • 281 hz
  • 386 hz
  • 419 hz
  • 454 hz
  • 582 hz
  • 717 hz
  • 887 hz
  • 985 hz
  • 1102 hz
  • 1247 hz
  • 1463 hz

The following animations are of the ex "Vieuxtemps" Guarneri del Gesu 1741 and present integrated data from quantitative CT analysis and modal analysis.  The violin plates are the actual thickness maps of this instrument (the lighter color denotes thicker wood) as derived from over 200,000 thickness measurements. For the actual thickness maps with scale see this month's (January, 2011) Strad Magazine.   The plates are situated to highlight the bassbar movement at each of the vibrational modes up to 1500 hz.  The movement has been greatly exaggerated and the Z scale (the up/down plane) is not identical mode to mode. Rather, it has been adjusted to show an approximately similar amount of movement between the modes.

Vieuxtemps 1741
1741 Vieuxtemps
1741 Vieuxtemps
1741 Vieuxtemps
1741 Vieuxtemps
1741 Vieuxtemps
1741 Vieuxtemps
1741 Vieuxtemps
1741 Vieuxtemps
1741 Vieuxtemps
1741 Vieuxtemps

Modern Instruments
  • Overview
  • Viola Top and Back Plates
  • Violin Top and Back Plates
The viola top and back plate tab is a modal animation of an instrument that I made roughly 20 years ago and was in the shop recently for varnish touch up. The violin animation (the tab to the right) is of a recently completed violin. These animations are of one of the primary modes of vibration, i.e. a large contributor to the sound of the instruments.

1714 Stradivarius Belly
  • Overview
  • 392 hz
  • 444 hz
  • 547 hz
  • 759 hz
  • 858 hz
  • 1000 hz
  • 1089 hz
These images show vibrational characteristics of a 1714 Stradivarius belly plate at various frequencies.

1715 Stradivarius Belly and Back Plates
  • Overview
  • 457 hz
  • 545 hz
  • 723 hz
  • 849 hz
These images show vibrational characteristics of a 1715 Stradivarius belly and back plates at various frequencies.

1743 Guarneri and 1715 Stradivarius
  • Overview
  • Guarneri 288 hz
  • Stradivarius 274 hz
These animations show the movement of the violin at its primary air mode, A0 which accounts for much of the resonance and fullness of sound the musician experiences.  This quality does not necessarily project to the audience but nonetheless enhances the musician's aural feedback.

  • Overview
  • 174 hz
  • 273 hz
  • 567 hz
  • 2428 hz

Although many people aren't aware of this, the fingerboard also vibrates with the instrument. This may or may not contribute to the overall sound characteristics. However, by tuning a fingerboard to a specific frequency that matches/couples with one of the primary body frequencies, it is possible to greatly enhance the "feedback" that the musician receives from the instrument.

The images shown span from the top of the scroll to the end of the fingerboard. So, in the images, at approximately 1/4 the length you will see a small black line which denotes the beginning of the fingergboard and with that in mind, it's fairly easy to estimate the point at which the fingerboard leaves the neck and extends over the belly of the instrument.

These animations also help us to understand why an instrument may feel quite different after having the fingerboard dressed.

  • Overview
  • 198 hz
  • 427 hz
  • 565 hz
  • 714 hz
  • 843 hz
  • 1721 hz

The role of the tailpiece is often underestimated and yet, it too is vibrating and either enhancing or detracting from the musician's experience. The following animations show the tailpiece vibrating at various frequencies.

The black line seen on the screen denotes the location of the tailpiece saddle. Changing the tailpiece will obviously change the vibrational feel of an instrument.

The animations on this page are made possible by the work of instrument maker George Stoppani who has put untold hours into creating and developing software specifically targeted towards furthering the violin maker's art.  Testing is done in my shop but would be impossible without his work. His website is:  http://www.stoppani.co.uk/index.htm

If you want to learn more about modal analysys please visit this site http://www.lmsintl.com/modal-analysis

Borman Violins 1221 E. Rodgers Dr., Fayetteville, AR 72701
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Copyright 2014 Terry Michael Borman, violin maker

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