The will-to-power to design a violin

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Conference Proceedings
Authors: Ermanno AparoLiliana SoaresEvandra Gonçalves

Abstract: This paper intends to highlight the competence of Design to determine productive and creative connections for the creation of a complex instrument such as the violin as an interpreter and precursor of innovation in the processes of sustainability of society.Over time, but particularly from the 17th century onwards, violin production was characterized by a profound relationship between knowledge of materials and experimentation with techniques that, in some cases, have remained practically identical until the days of today. For some researchers (Bonaventura, 1933; Hutchins, 1981; Bonfils et Fabretti, 2019) it seems quite curious to be able to understand how, in the 18th century, some luthiers were able to produce instruments whose sound qualities are still highly appreciated today, considering the little knowledge in the scopes of chemistry, physics and acoustics. The relationship between the construction and the artefact of this instrument has always been characterized by a connection between the mystique and the culture of the place propitiated for the religious cult that characterized the cultural contest and the capacity to benefit from the resources available in the place and that involves the history of some violinists in the construction of the instrument itself. In this sense, in the history of the construction of this instrument, there are religious references such as the Agnus Dei related to the ancient strings in lamb guts or even the Regis Purpura of the varnish that recalls the color of the blood of Christ (Borer, 2006). In this construction process, there is also a coherent use of the material available in the area, such as, for example, red spruce or maple wood. The presence of this material in large quantities in the alpine areas where firewood itself transited (Blom, 2021), argues its use in the violin. Today, the lack and high cost of some resources make a new interpretation of the relationship between design and production necessary, namely, establishing new connections between materials, processes, and the contemplation of the artifact in its production, as well as in its appreciation. The productive analysis carried out today must considerer a new assessment of the relationship between the various forces that constitute the production of the artifact, determining a connection that can improve the result, but always having the classical reference as a starting point.In this sense and referring to the concept of “will-to-power” (Nietzsche, 2008), to design a musical instrument such as a violin becomes liberating from the theological thought of the time. A possibility that allows the individual to base courage on himself and not on a divine reason, allowing courage to be the general condition of practical reason, synonymous with the space-time relationship and the unplanned.With this article, the authors intend to demonstrate that the use of sustainable materials, which make use of traditional lutherie methods, can determine a new mystique that accompanies environmental principles and helps human beings to get closer to nature and the values that intend it to preserve, defend but also venerate.

Keywords: Sustainabilty, Luthiery, Musical Instrument Design, Materials vs Cultural Identity, Design Process

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1003541

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