Study in Microtonality and Lutherie – five

I’ve done very little in the past few months on the account of very heavy illness. Poor health has dragged me down since I began my work, but I have been so sluggish in the past three or four months that I have fallen far, far behind schedule. Yet, to my benefit, there seems to have been a huge margin of error in my estimation of how much time I needed to do my work. To compensate for my tardiness, I have worked very hard over the Christmas holidays to catch up. By no means is my health up to snuff, but I am well enough to get busy. Over the next seven or eight weeks, I will be posting regular catch-ups and updates to this blog. However, the posts will primarily consist of photographs and captions, rather than the usual detailed text; to elaborate on the specifics of the work is neither necessary, nor easy. (I am trying, understand, to make these posts less formal. It takes me a long time to type these up.) I made a few small promises in previous posts and I will try to fulfill these as well. Photos later this week.

Study in Microtonality and Lutherie – four

This post details the developments in my designs for fretboard installation.

The first plan focused on a rail running the length of the guitar’s neck. So that the fretboard could be slid over the neck but beneath the strings, the base of the fretboard and the length of the rail were to be perforated with matching holes. The female parts of each component could pass through the male parts of the other component. The male and female parts could then interlock by moving the fretboard in a direction perpendicular to that formerly described. It doesn’t matter if these words make sense – it was too complex of a design, I scrapped it.

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Study in Microtonality and Lutherie – Summer Summary

Lutherie and microtonal composition are not only uncommon fields of study, but are also obscure arts. It is this complexity which has consistently determined my eligibility to make progress; an enthusiastic, long-time immersion in the catalogs and literature of microtonal music does not suffice as a platform from which one can dive into the art – before proceeding to a greater step, one needs greater understandings of philosophy, humanity, nature, aesthetics, et c., and technique. For these reasons, my progress has been slow, but not unsteady – just very cautious. The goal, for down the road, is to develop familiarity with the knowledge by which one can compose and practice microtonal music – yet still, music which respects emotion and also exploits, with delicacy, the homogeneity of harmony and timbre. Considering this objective, I chose to fabricate an instrument with which I could form a personal relationship and from which I could easily derive microtonal intervals because it seemed an impetus to a reasonable end, given the time constraints of this school year.

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Study in Microtonality and Lutherie – three

Since my last post, I took some time to become more acquainted with my tools, and then returned to working on the neck. The biggest hurdle has been in understanding how to keep my tools sharp.

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Study in Microtonality and Lutherie – two

I’ve been carving and assembling over the past few weeks, encountering hurdles which are probably typical for someone new to lutherie. I’ve had to work out kinks in my design, and, on numerous occasions, I’ve approached steps which were just too difficult to perform without tools that I didn’t have. Presently, I’m working on the instrument’s neck, and I have decided that this will be a prototype guitar. I will spare my serious labour and attention for a time when I am well-versed in the field.

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