What is a bridge in music

A footbridge becomes a bridge and makes the music

Bubenreuth (October 2016) - "The bridge to music" is what it says in the subtitle of the catalog from Josef Teller OHG. The term “bridge” refers to a small, yet very important part of a string instrument: the bridge. The strings are stretched over it and so it becomes a bridge between the string and the body of the sound, the transmission medium for the vibrations that spread through the instrument as an audible sound.


One of the world market leaders among bridge makers

The traditional Teller company in the Franconian town of Bubenreuth has been manufacturing bridges and other components for string and plucked instruments since 1891. The manufactory with a total of 19 employees is one of only five companies worldwide that produce bridges for musical instruments. The manufacture is run by Manfred Teller and junior boss Bastian Teller in the fourth and fifth generation, respectively. The export share is 90 percent, and they deliver to Asia and America. The customers are wholesalers, retailers or musical instrument manufacturers who are mainly based in North and South America, China, Japan, Korea and of course Europe.


"We manufacture everything ourselves and do not buy anything. Everything is completely made in Germany," says Manfred Teller. Chemical additives are taboo. The wood for the bridges on which the strings of the string instruments lie is stored on the company premises for 7-30 years. Air dries the wood, usually maple, rosewood, boxwood or ebony. Several times a year the Tellers personally travel to the Bosnian mountains to find the special mirror maple for their jetties.


The parts are created through a combination of high-tech machines and still with a lot of manual work. It takes about ten work steps to turn a small block of wood into a finished bridge.


By the way, Bubenreuth near Erlangen is one of the most important centers of musical instrument making in Germany. After the Second World War, displaced persons who had brought the crafts from their homeland, today's Czech Republic, settled there. "There are several violin makers in the immediate vicinity who come straight to us and tell us what the bridge should look like for their instrument," explains Bastian Teller.

The Musikmesse - the gateway to the customer

Josef Teller's product range not only includes bars, pegs, chin rests, end buttons and tailpieces are also produced in the factory. But "we owe our world fame to the bars", explain Manfred and Bastian Teller. The manufactory is one of the world market leaders, but success does not come by itself. Several times a year the Tellers take part in various music fairs such as in Frankfurt or Italy. And these trade fair participations are part of the most important business of the two instrument makers, again this year. And so the two have already set their sights on a new goal: to attract the attention of customers in up-and-coming Iran.


Information on bridge making can be found at www.teller.de