Statistical Analysis of Bridges for Violin, Viola and Cello


  • Mike Carlson
  • Gerard KilBride


The idea of originated from a discussion between Gerard KilBride and Klaus Klepper
about bridge weight effecting tone, whilst both were studying at Newark School of Violin Making. After
many years and fitting more than 1000 bridges later, Gerard was working with restorer Mick Quinn, and
the conversation was struck up again. Mick had an interest in programming, and Gerard loved a project;
so the first web site was developed back in 2004. By 2017 a significant amount of
data has been collected, approximately 1060 bridges. A statistical analysis was proposed. This is a
summary of the results.

Author Biographies

Mike Carlson

M.R. (Mike) Carlson is a petroleum engineering consultant. He has over 35 years of experience in the petroleum industry, working for many different oil and gas operating and consulting companies. He has run his own independent consulting company since 1990 and specializes in computer modelling of oil and gas reservoirs. He has been building instruments since taking up the guitar about 10 years ago. He has made violins, a bass, gypsy jazz guitars and is currently working on a cello. He has dabbled in finite element modelling of the violin.

Gerard KilBride

Gerard KilBride is a musician, violin maker and restorer. He graduated in 1992 from the Newark School of Violin Making where his interest in the fine details of bridge cutting began. He is now a veteran of cutting over a thousand bridges and 10 years ago created

Over the years, violin making has afforded him the time to become involved in many other projects, from building schools in Somalia to producing music festivals, theatre tours and television programmes celebrating music and musicians from Wales. He is the creator of one of the first specialist online violin auction platform.  He has also researched and published a practical guide on how to re make the medieval welsh pibgorn,, and runs a 24/7 online internet radio station

Gerard lives and works in the Black Mountains in Mid Wales with his young family.




How to Cite

Carlson, M., & KilBride, G. (2019). Statistical Analysis of Bridges for Violin, Viola and Cello. Violin Society of America Papers, 28(1), 14–73. Retrieved from