The new octet instruments are tuned in alternate intervals of a musical fourth and fifth over the range of the piano keyboard. Moreover each has its two main resonances within a semitone of the tuning of its open middle strings. The result is beyond a doubt succesful musically.
An often heard comment:"One must hear the new instruments to believe such sounds are possible from strings."
In 1619 Michael Praetorius described similar instruments in his Syntagma Musica, Bach composed music for some of them, Léo Sir and Frederick Dautrich made them.
The list of people who knew that the strings were incomplete is long. In 1957 Carleen Hutchins decided to help Henry Brandt on his request to develop eight matched instruments with the tonal character and power of the violin. It was a quest wich took her 30 years.
The above mentioned comment certainly applied to me: when I heard them live for the first time, I realized that this is the future for stringed music.
Apart from the completed octets that are spread over the world, the first European octet is now finished in my shop, waiting for players.