Viola da gamba is one of the most representative instruments of Renaissance and Baroque music
ACADEMIA CREMONENSIS MASTER
HISTORICAL INSTRUMENTS MAKING
Viola da gamba is one of the most representative instruments of Renaissance and Baroque music, periods in which it finds a place of honor in the main European courts. Its versatility leads it to develop different timbral and functional characteristics and its workmanship changes from the absolute austerity to the stylistic and ornamental refinement typical of Rococò.
Defining it organologically is not an easy matter, as it includes a number of variable aspects depending on the area and the time of origin. However, today several studies allow us to distinguish a great wealth of different models with very precise characteristics.
The change in musical taste starting from the second half of the eighteenth century leaves the viola da gamba in disuse for a long period of time. Furthermore, many of the few surviving examples have undergone irreversible interventions thus losing valuable information on how they were built and how they had to respond to musical needs when they were conceived. It is precisely in this lack of information where we find the charm that attracts us to continue the research. While the trend of modern violin making leads us to the standardization of instruments, we believe it necessary to persevere in the research that helps to faithfully interpret one of the most important instruments of the Baroque period.
In recent years, in the context of historical performance practice, various researches have found inspiration that offer us new information for the musical interpretation and construction of this instrument. This need for specialization and continuous updating is increasingly contributing to the raising of the professional level in all areas of early music.
Today the viola da gamba is taught in the main conservatories and music schools in the world, thus generating an increasingly solid job offer. The historical instruments making course involves the construction of a bass viol following the construction methods and the main characteristics of the different styles of the European Renaissance and Baroque.
The course will teach skills such as:
• design, draw and build a Viola da Gamba.
• differentiate the main organological characteristics according to the region, era and style of the main European luthiers.
• use one of the three main methods for the construction of the violetta soundboard (carved, with bent staves with bent iron, or steam bent) why they are used and what are the results.
• work with gut strings as they will affect the entire setup of the instrument.
• build all the accessories of the instrument (except the strings and the bow).
• make a technical drawing of an instrument, in order to make a reproduction of it.
• recognize different styles, construction methods and techniques.
• create specific tools that can facilitate their work by developing creative and practical skills.
• develop the craftsmanship and the thinking of the craftsman.
• find the (personal) compromise between historically informed doing and the needs of today's musicians.
WHO IS IT FOR?
In recent years, in the context of historical performance practice, various researches have found inspiration that offer us new information for the musical interpretation and construction of this instrument. Today the viola da gamba is taught in the main conservatories and music schools in the world, thus generating an increasingly solid job offer. The Historical Instruments Making course involves the construction of a Bass Viol following the methods and the main characteristics of the different styles of the European Renaissance and Baroque.
- Official undergraduate degree/diploma in violinmaking, engineering or architecture, technical engineering and technical architecture or, for foreign qualifications, the equivalent qualification awarded by an accredited higher education institution). Qualifications can be in the following academic areas: Violinmaking, Fine Arts, Design, Music, Engineering, History of Art, Languages and Literature, History, Education Sciences and Architecture.
- Academic transcript of the accredited official training with the average grade at the university of origin
- Curriculum Vitae in English or Italian
- A study proposal in English or Italian (600 to 800 words)
- Language skills declaration
- Identity Card or Passport
- A letter of recommendation
- Professional experience in any of the fields related to the master’s programme
- Research experience
- Teaching experience
- Additional academic training in areas related to the master’s programme
- Additional professional experience
In addition, the Departments’ selection committee may decide to interview the candidate
- Enhance all the phases of the violinmaking process by:
- The application of traditional techniques
- Players-centered design solutions
- Creation of a personal method.
- Develop an eye that recognizes key details in historical instruments
- Know the current situation of contemporary violinmaking, participating in the course through some of the most relevant international masters.
- Experience the knowledge acquired through the realization of professional instruments and participate to competitions.
- Learn about the technological properties of the wood and the production costs of an instrument to take the best decisions in the course of its development.
- Study and evaluate the concrete decisions that are made on a product development project through the exposure and discussion of real projects made by the Greatest Masters.
- Ability to work with multidisciplinary teams to manage different aspects of violinmaking
- Ability to identify various methods and styles
- To design, draw and build a bass viol.
- To differentiate the main organological characteristics according to the region, era and style of the main European viol makers.
- To use one of the three main methods for the construction of the viol's soundboard (carved, bent staves with bending iron, or bent with steam) why they are used and what are the results.
- To work with gut strings as they will affect the entire setting of the instrument.
- To build all the accessories of the instrument (except the strings and the bow).
- To make a technical drawing of an instrument, with the aim of making a reproduction.
- To recognize different styles, construction methods and techniques.
- To create specific tools that can facilitate their work by developing creative and practical skills.
- To develop the craftsman's manual skills and thinking.
- To find the (personal) compromise between historically informed making and the needs of today's musicians.
Whether you are interested in a career in traditional violinmaking , as well as in Historical instrument-making, employers in all areas appreciate our graduates for their rigorous academic training, broad perspective and well-developed practical skills in organizing, teamwork, workshop work and equipment maintenance. Our graduates have an excellent reputation for securing adequate employment and developing successful careers.
We offer each candidate a wide range of modules and teach a flexible and diverse set of skills on which they can draw on in almost any career.
A Master in Historical Instrument-making can help prepare you to be a:
Instrument-making teacher at professional musical instrument-making institutes in the world.
Maintainer of private collections and Museums.