Sun, Jun 03, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Creators showcase first violins made from Taiwania wood

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Instruments made using Taiwania cryptomerioides, a coniferous tree also known as Taiwania, coffin tree or Taiwan cedar, are displayed at National Pingtung University of Science and Technology on Friday.

Photo: Chien Hui-ju, Taipei Times

The first domestically produced violin using Taiwania wood was highlighted at a presentation on Friday inviting artisans to use artificially grown Taiwania cryptomerioides for their furniture and goods.

The violin is the brainchild of Long Way (龍暐), an assistant professor from the Department of Wood Science and Design at National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, and violin maker Huang Sheng-yan (黃聖彥).

Huang said he hatched the idea after visiting Japan, where he learned that the Japanese make violins from the Japanese cherry tree.

It was very interesting to learn that while the sound was “darker” for violins made with cherry wood, the Japanese compensated by adjusting the column and bridge, as well as changing the paint used, Huang said.

Huang opted to use Taiwania wood for the soundboard of the violin, while selecting camphor wood for the backboard, he said, adding that he used aged wood in both instances.

The result is a violin with sufficient brightness of tone and volume, and with no delay in its transmission of sound, Huang said.

The violins are being made available to students first, Long said, adding that he hopes the sound of the Taiwania violin will eventually meet with the approval of career musicians.

Compared with the Japanese luthiers’ history of using cherry wood, violins made from Taiwania wood are in their infancy, Huang said, adding that he is confident they will offer great sounds.

The Forestry Research Institute’s efforts to develop a diverse, artificial source of wood and lumber were commendable, Council of Agriculture Minister Lin Tsung-hsien (林聰賢) said.

A display of the products is scheduled to run until July 15 at the Taipei Botanical Garden.

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