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An Introduction to the Old Italian Violins - Simplified Mandarin


About the book

300 years of violin history​ at a glance​.


Amati, Stradivari, Guarneri, Bergonzi, and many more Italian violin makers have made history. From Cremona, violin 's cradle, to the major European capitals, discover the evolution of the violin family instruments through some 180 makers and 600 illustrations , learn how to chose the best violin and how to take care of it.

Authors: John Dilworth, Simon Morris, Steven Smith

Prefaces by Ning Feng & Prof. Zheng Quan

Translated by Niyu Lin and Andrew Guan

在中国,提琴是门外来艺术,提琴演奏方面发展相对较迟,提琴的制作则更晚。但通过几代人的努力,我们已经培养出了很多优秀的提琴演奏家,制琴家,和广大的群众基础。现在,大家可以经常通过唱片,图片,和现场演奏,从感观层面欣赏到不同时期的名琴的声音和外观。但不论对于我们国内专业的提琴制作者、演奏者,还是普通的提琴爱好者来说,想要理性的去详细了解和学习提琴的制作工艺以及发展历史,途径却还并不多。现在,我们非常幸运 ——英国的 J & A Beare,这家国际上最负盛名的百年提琴鉴定交易机构,为我们中国的提琴爱好者出版了《正弦定律——意大利古琴入门指引》这本书,通过他们多年来积累下来的经验和知识,把提琴制作的历史与发展深入浅出的介绍给我们,使我们能够更客观的了解欣赏前人留下的这些艺术瑰宝。


Preface by Ning Feng

Ning Feng portrait

Cremona, the birthplace of the violin, from 16th to 18th century


Starting in Cremona with Andrea Amati, widely acknowledged as the father of violin making, the reader is introduced to the work of other great masters such Nicolò Amati, Antonio Stradivari, Giuseppe Guarneri “del Gesù” and Carlo Bergonzi, who have set the golden standards for stringed instruments.


How did violinmaking spread in Italy and throughout Europe


Following the example set by Cremonese makers, the book explores how the craft spread across other Italian cities, and throughout Europe. Each violin-school is presented within the political and cultural context of its time. The numerous biographies of the makers reveal the close links that existed between musicians, composers, master-luthiers and their apprentices.


The violin as a masterpiece of geometry


The violin, with its distinctive shape and voice, has become deeply rooted in almost all cultures of the world. However, the origins of its underlying geometry are drawn from the scientific and progressive thinking that shook western Europe during the Renaissance in the 15th and 16th centuries. In the third part, the book explores the rationale of its construction and evolution.


Understanding the current market


Co-authors of the book, Simon Morris and Steven Smith of the London-based dealership J&A Beare, have established themselves as reference experts and dealers in fine stringed instruments. In the book they provide valuable insights into the current violin market and advise on the care of the instruments.


About the authors

The book is a collaboration between the violinmaker and writer John Dilworth on one hand and Simon Morris and Steven Smith of the London-based dealership J&A Beare on the other. Niyu Lin and Andrew Gwen have worked on the translation into simplified Chinese.

“This book is simply stunning. It contains incredible photos of the instruments taken from the most professional of angles as well as providing rich content on the histories of the makers. “正弦定律” should be on the shelves of any professional musician, serious amateur and collector. It’s a huge contribution to the world of strings.”


- Wei He -

Violinist, Dean and Artistic Director of Tianjin Juilliard School 

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