Violin Bibliography
Roy, Karl, (2006) The Violin Its history and Making.
Comprehensive history and technical details on making a violin. Roy’s history is illustrated with full color prints of paintings and artwork showing instruments of various ages. The history focuses on the violin construction methods used in various schools and times.

The violin making process is documented with sufficient detail for one to follow Roy’s procedures to complete a violin. The process follows an thin internal mold after the Mittenwald fashion.

Luthier and author Karl Roy has died aged 80. For two decades he was director of the Mittenwald School of Violin Making in southern Germany, which he joined as a tutor in 1960.

Born in 1933 in Potsdam, Roy grew up and went to school in Hanover. From 1952 to 1955 he studied at the Mittenwald School, and worked in the town at Lothar Franke’s workshop until 1958, when he received his master’s degree and established himself independently. He joined the Mittenwald School as a tutor just two years later, in 1960.

Roy took over the post of director in 1972, on the retirement of Konrad Leonhardt. He retired from the position in 1990 but remained involved with the school and its activities until very recently. He built around 180 instruments over the course of his career, specialising in reproductions of historical instruments.

From 1973 to 2008 Roy also taught in the US. He was instrumental in founding the programme at the University of New Hampshire’s Summer Violin Craftsmanship Institute and served as its ‘violin making master’ until his retirement. He frequently served as a judge at violin making competitions and was an active member of the International Society of Violin and Bow Makers.

Among Roy’s publications are the 1986 book Jakob Stainer: Leben und Werk des Tiroler Meisters 1617–1683, written with Walter Senn. He also co-authored Violin Woods: A New Look with Alex Shigo, and The Violin: Its History and Making, assisted by two of his former pupils, Claire Curtis and Alvin Thomas King. (, June 20, 2013)

Wake, Harry S. (197?), The Technique of Violin Making [Spiral-Bound]
Wake’s manuscript details the step by step process to make a violin. Wake follows an deep internal mold process. The manuscript includes full scale drawings and templates for creating a violin. Wake’s writing style is conversational and includes many descriptions and details for making many tools and jigs helpful in the violin making process.

Barker, Juliet, (200)Violin Making: A Practical Guide (Hardback)
Short Description for Violin Making, With nearly 200 illustrations, step-by-step instruction and a minimum of necessary tools, this book leads both amateurs and skilled woodworkers through the delicate and precise techniques, and brings the art of violin making within reach of all.
Full description

Publisher: The Crowood Press Ltd
Publication date: 30 November 2001
Publication City/Country: Ramsbury/GB

Biographical note
Juliet Barker went to the Bavarian State School of Violin Making at Mittenwald in 1954. She qualified as a journeyman and set up her own business in Cambridge making and repairing violas. In 1960 Cambridgeshire technical College asked her to start a violin making class – she has taught there ever since. Resident – Cambridge

Main description:
From Stradivarius to the modern day, violins have been revered as much for the beauty of their design as for their music. Violin Making enables anyone, whether a beginner or a skilled woodworker, to follow in the tradition of the Italian masters and, literally, make their own music. The book includes a short history of violin making; an introduction to materials, design, and techniques; chapters on each stage of making a violin, from the rib structure to varnishing and stringing the instrument; tables of measurements, including violins, violas, and cellos from quarter to full size; and 200 clear color photos and diagrams. Juliet Barker trained at the Bavarian School of Violin Making; she is a professional violin maker, restorer, and teacher.


Heron-Allen, George (1914), Violin-Making: A Historical and Practical Guide. Dover Publications, 2005. ISBN 0-486-44356-6.
Available at Google Books: (

Heron-Allen’s book follows a similar pattern as Roy’s book. Heron writes in a very conversational style detailing the history, as of 1914, as well as the construction techniques of the day. This book remained in print for over 100 years. Once the traditional guild and violin making apprenticeships fell by the way side with the Industrial Age, Heron-Allen’s book provided the details for many to restart the violin making craft in the post war years of the 20th century.


Google Books: (
Gemünder’s pamphlet is really a kind of defence that he is able to build a violin that matches the tone and quality of the Cremona golden age. Gemünder articulates many of the same arguments modern Luthier’s present in an effort to dislodge the prejudice against new instruments in favor of the old Italian instruments. It is interesting that the same perception held in 1881 persist until the present even with the extensive support that science has provided to support that modern instruments can be equivalent in performance as the old Italians.

“Biography of George Gemünder was born at Ingelfingen, in the kingdom of Wurtemburg, on the 13th of April, 1816.

His father was a maker of bow instruments, and it was, therefore, from Gemünder’s earliest youth that he devoted himself to the same art and the studies connected with it. …” (, retrieved June 20, 2013)


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