Stringed-instrument workshop

The workshop is organised in such as way as to respond to the musicians’ needs both in regard to the precision of the work as well as by respecting the amount of time the instruments are held in the workshop.

Upon request and at no charge ARCHETS will draw up an estimate for maintenance or repair.

The use of a clear tariff table enables the costs of each repair to be calculated with precision. The work is carried out skilfully and with technical competence, and comes with a 6-month guarantee.

As and when needed, ARCHETS calls upon well-known craftsmen, particularly with regard to estimates and expertise of instruments.



A history lesson...

These instruments are part of the family of strings (instruments whose sound is produced by the vibration of one or several strings), played with a bow.

The violin came into existence around 1550. It came into its own as an instrument at the beginning of the 1600s, a time when it began to be used systematically in Italian opera orchestras. During the 18th and 19th centuries, some violinist-composers (of whom Vivaldi) made important technical progress. Their concertos and sonatas for solo violin necessitated a deeper sonority, clearer, more sparkling and a greater string tension to ensure the adequate playing of some passages. Some secondary modifications were made to the internal structure and to the fingerboard of the violin, in order that they could bear the increased tension. It was in the first part of the 18th century that the technique of placing the violin under the chin became widespread, rather than holding it against the chest or the clavicle. The violin took its current, definitive form towards the end of the 19th century.

Alongside the violin itself, the violin family is made up of three other important members: the viola, the cello and the double bass. The viola is only slightly bigger than the violin but this bigger size gives it a characteristic softer sonority. Its history and evolution closely mirror that of the violin, although it has never shared its degree of popularity as a solo instrument. As the viola had neither the suppleness nor the brightness of the violin, it was more commonly used as an accompanying instrument to sustain and enrich the harmonies. It is only since 1900 that its importance as a solo instrument has grown.

The history of the cello is very different. Almost twice the size of the violin, its large resonance chamber possesses a rich sound that carries well. It appears for the first time in the 16th century but its importance dates from the beginning of the 17th century, at a time when it started to be used to hold a continuous bass line and sustain harmonies in orchestras and smaller ensembles. During the Romantic period, during which its expressive qualities were greatly used, cello virtuosos made great technical progress.

The double bass is the biggest member of the violin family. Having inherited some particularities of a more ancient string instrument – the Bass Viola – its construction is slightly different from that of other family members. Even thought its somewhat dampened sound makes it an instrument little adapted for solo work, the double bass plays a vital role in orchestras and large ensembles. It is given the task of playing the lowest notes and the bass part. It often plays one octave below the cellos, which gives a depth and richness to the instrumental thread.

The modern bow is longer than its predecessors. More flexible, it bears a greater tension. During the last four centuries, instrumentalists have considerably improved the art of bow use. In order to reproduce a wide range of necessary nuances, the modern musician must know at least a dozen ways of using it.