is a narrow binding inlaid into the edges of the top and often bottom plates of stringed instruments. Purfling serves to reinforce the plates and prevent cracking along their edges.
Purfling was originally made of laminated strips of wood, often contrasting in color to add visual appeal. Later decorative abalone
Abalone , from aulón, are small to very large-sized edible sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Haliotidae and the genus Haliotis...
inlay was introduced to provide desired contrast. Today plastic purfling is commonplace in mass produced instruments, with the least expensive merely simulating purfling with paint.
Usually purfling is a sandwich of two black strips with one white strip in the middle, measuring about .033"W x .080"D (1.25 mm x 2.00 mm), but other variations are sometimes used.
The earliest known example of purfling is on a violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....
made by Andrea Amati in 1564, now on display in the Ashmolean Museum
The Ashmolean Museum on Beaumont Street, Oxford, England, is the world's first university museum...
at Oxford University. It consists of two outer strips of pearwood stained black and an inner strip of poplar.
In guitars and ukuleles, abalone shell may be inlaid in purfling to create a thin iridescent line. Synthetic laminates, described as "fake" or "faux", are sometimes used by luthiers. As Chinese instruments become more prevalent, the term "shin paua" (meaning "synthetic abalone") is increasingly seen.
Purfling is used to prevent cracks in the plate edge from reaching the edge of the instrument. It also serves to reduce wear to plate edges. The channel cut to inlay the purfling may increase the flexibility of the plates where they join the sides, affecting an instrument's pitch
Pitch is an auditory perceptual property that allows the ordering of sounds on a frequency-related scale.Pitches are compared as "higher" and "lower" in the sense associated with musical melodies,...
In music, sustain is a parameter of musical sound over time. As its name implies, it denotes the period of time during which the sound remains before it becomes inaudible, or silent.Additionally, sustain is the third of the four segments in an ADSR envelope...