Creating the Concert Series Ornamentation

The music instrument's presence should be congruent with its musical capabilities. Its appearance in a performing setting is an announcement to the listeners. An ornamented instrument which cannot support a masterful musical performance is mere idle decoration. But as the physical aspect of a superb musical experience, ornamentation is another dimension of the music's experience.


In the Concert Grand and Baby Grand models, an inlay of a traditional design called "purfling knot" is created for the upper, or minor, bout and another for the lower, or major, bout. Here, we explore the details of inlaying the major bout purfling knot.

The rosette for the Concert Series is taken from the "Book of Kells," an ancient Celtic Christian manuscript. This image comes from a corner of St. Matthew's robe, on the cover page of the Book of Matthew. Its appearance is deceiving--although it looks like six interlocking rings, it is actually an endless knot. The knot is set in a surround of red purfling, interrupted with diamonds.

The Swan is also a member of the Concert Series, but its soundhole is a carved swan. The Swan was first suggested by Lorraine Hammond, for whom the Swan is a personal totem. This article describes marking and cutting these delicate miniature patterns.

Click to see full size