Fitting the soul of a fiddle

Friday, 24 February, 2012

According to the violin care experts: “The fit of your soundpost inside your instrument is crucial for good sound production. Each post is custom cut to fit precisely in a specific position. A poorly fit soundpost can impede the transference of sound energy and can even damage the table or back of your instrument.” The soundpost is called âme in French, a word which means soul”. In Italian, it’s anima, and the meaning is the same. So what does one do when the soundpost collapses and professional luthiers like Guy Rabut, with their professional soundpost replacing instruments, are not in the neighbourhood?

The answer, in a word, is family.

Using a piece of string and expertise inherited from his late fiddle-playing mother, cousin Mike Daly performed the remarkable feat of introducing the soundpost into the body of the instrument, moving it under the bridge and, most impressive of all, bringing it from a horizontal to a vertical plane and then pulling it firmly into place. All of this was done by feel, as opposed to sight. The violin-playing Albert Einstein once said, “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious,” and we are greatly indebted to our passionately curious cousin.

Mike Daly fixing the fiddle

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