The Catgut Acoustical Society Library

File #:F6120

Name:Fletcher, Donald Atkinson

Dates:d. 1977

See also:F6160 - Fletcher, William Harvey (father); S2650 - Savart, Felix

General Information:

A first cousin of CMH who, after spending eight years studying organ and architecture at the Beaux

Arts in Paris, was able to read French and type the English translation directly. He became very much

interested in the new instruments of the Violin Octet and was most helpful in the early stages of their

development, suggesting design concepts and ways to make them into a cohesive family of instruments.

When the writings of Savart in l'Institut were finally found in the library of the Philadelphia Academy of

Sciences (The pages were torn out of the copy in Widner, the volume missing at the Library of Congress

and the Smithsonian) Donald offered to translate the whole series of articles concerning Savart's

research on the violin. This has been most helpful over the years as many of Savart's ideas and

experiments are basic to current research. He also translated the early work of Maupertuis which is

based on the concept that the different length reeds of the spruce violin top reinforce the various

frequencies, a discarded concept. Much of the information in the file is related to family matters.

File Contents:


Correspondence: (1959-1991) involving D A Fletcher, Mary Fletcher, REF, Flora Harvey, Betty

Montleon, Dorothy Bergquist, and CMH. Includes Newsletters from Sweetbrook Nursing Home in

Williamstown MA where Don & Mary lived.

Key Words:


Miscellaneous: hand-drawn map, brief genealogical note, report (evidently written by school student,

probably a neighbor of D A Fletcher) on the New Violin Family, type-written description of the

funeral service for D A Fletcher, a negative and 2 obits; treatise on the Piano and the Pianist by D A

Fletcher retyped by his niece, Dorothy Bergquist, which concludes with a letter to her daughter

containing family history; treatise on instrumentation of Hector Berlioz.

Key Words:Piano & pianists | Berlioz instrumentation


Translations by D A Fletcher: the 1724 Memoire on stringed instruments by Maupertuis [740 KB, PDF]; the 1819

Memoire (minus the Rapport) by Savart; and the 1840 l'Institut articles (the sections on stringed

instruments) by Savart as transcribed by A Masson.

Key Words:Savart

Last modified: 27 June 1998