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Violin changes by 1800

In the late 18th century and perhaps the early 19th the neck of the Violin was slightly lengthened,made slenderer ,and thrown back at a slight angle the fingerboard was lengthened and its shape somewhat altered ; the bridge was made slightly higher and with a more pronounced arch ; and stronger strings were favored in order to bear higher tensions(the wound G string had long been in use , but it is not clear whether the D and A strings were generally wound in the 19th century ; the E string was normally gut until the 20th century , when it was replaced by steel ). These changes were made because of a need for greater power (and possibly to accommodate a higher concert pitch).The lower and heavier strings increased the pressure exerted downwards on the belly as well as the longitudinal string tension from nut to bridge. Consequently, the bass -bar had to be lengthened and made thicker and stronger , and the diameter of the sound post was increased for added strength . Because the longitudinal tension was now too great for the old-type neck (emerging straight from the body), the new neck had to be thrown back and mortised into the top block for greater strength. Throwing back the neck entailed dispensing with the old wedge inserted between the neck and fingerboard.Various clues indicate that the modern violin as just described had come into being by about 1800 , yet it is very difficult to document exactly when and by whom the changes were accomplished. The new - model violin was complimented by the new and more powerful Tourte bow.
The old bows were gradually discarded since they could not be remodeled ; hence comparatively few genuine old bows remain.Those that were saved were , as a rule, of intrinsic worth apart from thier musical value-those ,for instance, with ivory, gold or special fittings.

Old violins,on the other hand, could be strengthened and refitted without too much difficulty by an expert craftsman. Consequently , most of the better instruments were modernized and preserved. The more valuable the violin, the more likely it was to be refitted and modernized. As far is known , not a single Stradivarius violin has come down to us in completely original condition ,an ironic endorsement of excellence.