Best of the internet

The BVMA guide to further resources about violin making from around the world.

If you have any suggestions, please get in touch. we take no responsibility for external content or the views expressed therein (but most of it’s rather good).

magazines and online articles

The Strad. The stalwart of the worlds of violin maker and musician. The Strad has been dropping though our letter boxes since 1890. It also turns up in our inboxes since the internet was invented. Much to read, plus the Strad have been great supporters of ours since we began and there’s a 20% discount for BVMA members. Digital subscriptions to be found at

Strings Magazine. It comes as a surprise that the culture of the violin could be so much the same, and yet different on the other side of the pond. Strings Magazine captures the difference. Apparently getting to Carnegie Hall is what happens if you practice, and NAMM is the centre of the musical world. Who knew?

The Violin Mag. Chicago based luthier Michael Darnton has been writing a violin making book for a few years. Progress is slow, but he’s in no hurry. At this point there are a few easy chapters, to yet illustrated. You can see what’s already completed at TheViolinMag:

Techniques. Jerry Pascewicz is based in North Carolina and is a well known teacher on the Oberlin summer courses. His company, Triangle Strings has a growing blog on restoration and setup.

Violins and Violinists. When BVMA chairman Benjamin Hebbert gets bored he blogs on anything from how to buy an instrument to the sounds of gut strings in the sixteenth century, even though he isn’t quite old enough to remember.

Elbow Music. Ariane Todes is a journalist, copywriter, editor and communications consultant specialising in classical music and editor of The Strad for 8 years. As a journalists she loves interviewing musicians and finding out what is special about them and what makes them excited and excited.

Luthiers Library. There are more than 445 instruments currently in the site with additional instruments being added regularly. For each instrument there are more than 250 measurements and a minimum of 15 photos. Interior pictures are included whenever possible. The selection runs the gamut from 17th Century Italian makers to 20th Century makers from a number of countries including Egypt. Several important instruments from the National Music Museum in South Dakota are included within the data.

Violin Society of America Papers. Once you’ve joined the BVMA, consider joining the VSA for a valuable alternative perspective on our wonderful world. They also provide a peer reviewed journal. This went fully digital in 2018, and is open access.

News for Cellists. Robin Aitchison and Sarah Mnatzaganian publish a quarterly newsletter which is archived online and provides some useful technical cello articles. Fingerboards, wolf notes, what is a full sized cello? Worth a read. Dive in at:

LiutaiWiki Pure Italian Violin Making. Like Ronseal. It does what it says on the packet.

Carteggio. Articles on a myriad of old makers from

Maestronet. Don’t do it. It’s a wormhole you may never escape from, and if you do your mouth may be full of sawdust for time to come. Sometimes it offers an incredible forum to thrash out issues that don’t have another place.

MIMO Musical Instrument Museums Online. Welcome to the world’s largest freely accessible database for information on musical instruments held in public collections. The database contains the records of 75305 instruments.

MINIM The UK’s largest online collection of historical musical instruments is to MIMO what the people’s front of Judea is to the People’s Judean Front… There are 307 “Necked box lutes necked guitars sounded by bowing with a bow” (321.322-71’s if you didn’t know). If you’re not particularly interested in searching by makers names it’s great.

Royal Academy of Music Instrument Collections: The Rutson, Beckett and Cavella collections range from some of the most significant Stradivari violins in existence to works of outstanding contemporary makers. Use the “search the collections” box to discover more than 300 instruments in the entire collection.

Royal College of Music Museum: In preparation for the reopening in 2020, a fabulous online catalogue has gone online. If you love viols, dig pochettes, or simply want to gape in awe of the Enrico Catenar viola… voila!