Part 4

In Parts 2 and 3, I derived a generalised series of equations for constructing the body and the corners of a violin soundboard, based off the works of Kevin Kelly. In this section, I will superimpose this generalised framework onto the works of Nicolò Amati, Antonio Stradivari, and Guiseppe Guarneri, and analyse the trends visible in their designs.

I add here that the purpose of this is not to reduce the works of these luthiers to mathematical equations, nor am I suggesting that this is the construction method used by any of them. …

Part 3

In Part 2, I derived five generalised equations to describe the body of violin, based off Kevin Kelly’s Four Circles system. In this section, I will complete the generalisation of the violin outline by deriving expressions for the corners of the violin.


Adhering to my terminology in Part 2, “body” refers to the area enclosed by the lower, centre, and upper bouts, while “violin” denotes the entire soundbox and includes the corners and the body. I will use “corner” to refer to the aesthetic projections on the sides of the violin.

Defining the Corner Structure

We start by drawing…

Part 2

In Part 1, I introduced a qualitative generalisation of Kevin Kelly’s Four Circle system of violin design. In this section, I will derive the general mathematical relationships that define the body of a violin.


A note on the use of the word “body”. From hereon, I will use the term “body” to refer to the section of the soundboard excluding the corners. I will use “violin” to refer to the acoustic soundbox of the instrument, which includes both the body and corners. This is to avoid a confusing equivocation.

A further note is regarding anything with a [subscript] “c”…

Part 1

The shape of the violin is a beautiful synthesis of visual and acoustic art. Its form has evolved with its music throughout its five-century history: first curvaceous and full, then made more slender and toned by musical virtuosity. At its core though, the shape of the violin has always been governed by geometry — the morphological changes only slight tweaks to a few ratios.

In this series, I derive a generalised series of equations to describe the shape of a violin body, building on the work of luthier Kevin Kelly and his “Four Circles” system of violin construction. …

Thank you for sharing your criticisms - I didn't realise people needed to log-in to this platform to comment!

I think your criticism of me being biased is fair. You're right that at the time of writing, I wasn't aware of exactly how the modelling worked. I have since done a bit of research and found the model is more or less an update to the original FSX/FS2004 modelling which used first/second order static and dynamic stability equations on a 3D free-body. Thank you, by the way, for the link to the video, it is not one I was aware…

Hi Martin, thanks for sharing your views! I'm hopeful as well that payware will improve the modelling issues and general experience of the platform. The regular updates from MS/Asobo are also encouraging that they recognise there are deficiences - though I think it's bizarre that the game needs updates to catch up to where XP11 is, considering the developers had a five year headstart on Laminar. Once there's some FS2020 payware for an aircraft I'm familiar with, I'll post an update or new article doing a direct comparison with XP11 again.

I’m not a fan of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 as a flight simulator. It has many shortcomings in the realism of its flight model and systems, and fails to live up to the benchmark X-Plane 11 set six years ago.

I think, since the days of Flight Simulator X, Microsoft has forgotten about what makes a good flight simulator, and FS2020’s developer, Asobo Studios, doesn’t know what one is. This isn’t about the simulation realism, it’s about the systemic flaws in the gameplay experience that show a lack of understanding of the fundamentals of the experience of flight simulation.


Gosh that’s pretty.

If you’re a pilot, sim-enthusiast, gamer, or aviation fan, you’ll probably have heard of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. You’ll probably also have heard it associated with phrases like “game changing”, “revolutionary”, and “universally acclaimed”. And it very much is all of these things, but only in three respects: its scenery, atmospheric modelling, and rendering. As a simulator I would ascribe it phrases like, “inaccurate”, “insufficient” and “a step backwards”. Controversial, perhaps, given the plaudits showered upon it. But when I was weighing up whether to buy this game, I found scant little on the criticisms I give here — about…


I’m Eshka, an aspiring flight instructor and full time aviation enthusiast.

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