Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vuillaume, Jean-Baptiste


Born Oct. 7, 1798, in Mirecourt; died Mar. 19, 1875, in Paris. French master craftsman of bowed instruments.

In 1828, Vuillaume opened his own workshop in Paris. Beginning in 1835, he worked on imitations of old Italian instruments (for the most part, Stradivari and Guarnieri models). From 1865 he made violins, violas, and cellos, based on a model which he himself had created. Vuillaume affirmed a new, uniquely national type of sound for bowed instruments—bright and intense but insufficiently flexible. He invented original designs for the double bass (the so-called octobasse, 1849), the viola (the so-called alto viola, 1855), and a special sourdine pedale for the piano (1867). Vuillaume’s best instruments are used in concerts to the present day.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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