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PDF about bows

Discussion in 'Bows and Rosin [DB]' started by ingo62, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. ingo62


    Mar 15, 2005
    Emden, Germany
    I don't know if it was mentioned here before:



    is a nice PDF about bows, written by the bowmaker Andreas Grütter. The author lives in the Netherlands, the PDF is written in English.
    There's a HTTP-Version on his page, too.

  2. jfv


    May 5, 2003
    Portland, OR
    This is one of the most informative and interesting
    things on bows that i've yet seen. Many things I
    had not thought about before, like the physics of
    the interaction of the bow, string, instrument...

    Well worth the read... thanks for the pointer :)
  3. Very interesting read...And not just a bunch of dry physics equations, either. Very well written.
  4. Kam


    Feb 12, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    Very cool!
  5. neat.

    that was informative.
  6. bassbo


    Jan 27, 2005
    Thanks INGO for sharing the site. I'm one of the guilty ones who had a German frog put on a French stick that I liked. I realize something "just ain't right", but I've kind of gotten used to it. Funny, a bow maker did it for me. As of right now I'm in the market for a fairly nice German.
  7. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    Big thank you to ingo for sharing this with us, but I must disagree with those who think this is a good source of fact.

    I dislike greatly that he is a proclaimed "why" type, a psychologist of bowmaking and goes on to offer quasi-scientific explanations of the "what" and "how" issues which he begins by saying are the realm of people who think in such a way (that is, of musicians and craftsmen).

    If all that was being offered was some psychological theory about what makes good bows, that'd be fine, but he seems underqualified to offer many of the explanations he does for the mechanisms of the bow.

    There are wiser folks than me on this board for sure, but it doesn't take an engineer to pick out a "pseudoscientist" ;)

    People should stick to what they know.
  8. jfv


    May 5, 2003
    Portland, OR

    He seems "underqualified" you say? With your great devotion
    to true 'science' I'm sure you researched the matter, can you
    give us the results of your efforts?

    Naturally with the depth of your years in acoustics and the
    physics of solids I'm sure you are going to give us a terse
    summary of the true 'facts' of the matter.... because if you
    cant then arent you little more than a <SHUDDER>
    pseudoscientist yourself....

    Go find www.talk-wannabe-intelectual.com, I'm sure
    you'll find a calling there.
  9. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Perhaps you could articulate the differences between what he says about the workings of the bow and the words of Pickering on the same subject.
  10. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    I'd rather follow my own words and stick to what I know. I didn't claim to be an expert on bows, but rather pointed out that this fellow is really saying a lot of things that don't sit well with me.

    It was really the "Concerning the Author" that set me thinking that I might not like his writing, and as I read on, I came to statements such as:
    in which he admits these things which are bound to cause problems. Statements such as the following are vague at best...

    I didn't mean to offend anyone, but rather meant to point out that what this fellow says may be interesting, but it is certainly very subjective and should be taken as such.

    In fact, my original post probably just should have been:
    I'd rather the equations.


  11. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    This reflects nothing so much as general societal left-hemispheric bias which has grown unabated for a century.
    Equations are really swell. I imagine alot of them were used in designing the Edsel and the Hindenburg.
    If you haven't figured it out by context, Pickering is an engineer. There's not a whole lot of difference between what he says and what Grutter says.
    If engineers could make better basses, they would. They don't.
    I'm reminded of Jung: "It is fashionable stupidity to regard everything one cannot explain as a fraud."
    The Schnitzer ergonomic basses are a triumph of intuition dictating to technology. Each is one of a kind, each was snapped up by a major orchestra player.
  12. Jeff Moote

    Jeff Moote Supporting Member

    Oct 11, 2001
    Beamsville, ON, Canada
    I really don't see the problem with such a bias, as long as it is recognized that it exists.
    Your points are well taken. The idea I was hoping to get across is that a craftsman, perhaps more an artist himself (or herself) than anything else can create a great instrument - and they do, but to write an essay which attempts to explain the principles which make a good bow (in this case) yet avoid fact very carefully is not to my taste.

    I think such folks who make these great instruments should continue to do so, and to explain their method in no different a manner than they were taught - as craftsmen: artists with their tools.

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