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Hank Schutz

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    Central VA

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  1. Kurt Sassmanhaus's excellent web site 'violinmasterclass.com' has a clear discussion of the effects of various tunings (all accompanied with audio/video clips) here: http://www.violinmasterclass.com/en/masterclasses/intonation For example, the demo of why thirds and sixths can not be used to verify tuning in the Pythagorean system (but 4ths, 5ths and octaves can) is quite striking. HS
  2. In the baroque arena, I find Rachel Barton Pine's playing hard to match. Her ornamentations are quite beautiful, and she plays with verve and style. HS
  3. Arcus has apparently switched to a new means of designating their various bows, for example, S5, S6, etc. (letter followed by digit). Johnson String is using these new designations in their online catalog, but, oddly, they do not appear on the Arcus web site. Does anyone know what "improvements" the new designations might entail, and how the new models compare with the old? HS
  4. Does your town have any weekly local newspapers, usually offered free? (Not talking about pure ads, but papers which carry some stories). If so, write a story (or provide bullet points) about the concert when the time and venue are set. Be sure to include some puffery about what a great fiddler you are. Add a nice glossy b/w photo of you with your violin and send it off with a plea for them to publish. Hank S
  5. I acquired a set of Passione Solo expressly for a performance of the Bach a-minor concerto (solo part). I had them on for 1.5 months and then switched them out for Larsons two weeks prior to the concert. My reactions: + Good complex sound overall + D and G string especially nice. + Fairly stable pitch after a week - Disappointed in volume; expected more from a "solo" string - Occasional squeaks from both E and A strings (first time I've had A-squeak) - Not quite as responsive as I needed for the Bach (rapid string crossings in 3rd movement) Caveat: my violin has only moderate projection, so my issue with volume may be due more to the instrument than the strings, although the Larsons were stronger. HS
  6. I viewed a pretty nice violin recently with the following label: J H LOCKE MAKER SOMERVILLE MASS USA 1899 I am unable to find any record of this maker in the resources available to me. The violin has an elaborately inlaid tail piece. There is a 1-piece back with a striking circular grain pattern; it looks more like grain than figure. I'm not sure if it is maple. The ribs and neck are nicely figured maple. A few small non-critical cracks. There is a parisian eye-like ornament is inlaid in each ear of the scroll. The violin shows very little wear and may have been refinished (but pretty nicely, I think, if so.) Any maker info would be welcome. I was unable to find any auction results, but they would be welcome too, or some indication of price in a private purchase. I can get pix, but it's an hour round trip for me. Thanks HS
  7. I play violins in theatrical pit bands several times a year, often sitting just in front of trumpets, saxes, percussion, etc. Sometimes it's darn hard to hear myself. I thought it might be convenient to have a bluetooth-like pickup on my violin and bluetooth ear piece. Does anyone know of such? Any thought on the idea in general? (Various sound attenuation devices (ear plugs) diminish my own sound too much.) HS
  8. I wonder if the colorant qualities of black walnut have been tried. (The last time I raised a question about dye materials, while claiming complete ignorance in the subject, I was nevertheless indignantly chided for making a terrible suggestion. I am not suggesting black walnuts, or anything for that matter. They sure seem to stain anything that touches them, so maybe...) HS
  9. The Whalebone Lapping thread raised these question to which I wonder if there are generally-agreed-to answers. Suppose a valuable bow by Peccatte is restored (in a historically authentic way) with a new frog, lapping, winder, tip plate -- all that's left of the original is the stick itself. Is it still a Peccatte? What if the restoration includes some historically inauthentic items (as the lapping thread suggested might be the case)? What if everything is original except the stick? I suppose analogous questions may apply to violins. If I'm not mistaken, I think I have seen an auction in which a violin was offered that had only a plate by Stradivari, and everything else was a replacement part. Apparently many Cremonese masterpieces have newer necks and scrolls without loss of identity. Just curious HS
  10. I was referring to the fine thread coiled around the string extending for a few cm in length near the ends of the string. Nowadays such wrappings are color coded so that one can identify the string type. I called it dressing because I do not know what it is actually called. The knots are no more than a single overhand knot, like the first half of making a square knot. The loop appears to be what David Tseng has shown, which I believe is called a bowline on a bite. HS
  11. Here are the dimensions. I used a fairly high-end Mitutoyo digital caliper that displays to 0.01 mm. LaBella D (no knot or dressing) 570mm x 1.1mm LaBella E (knotted) 570 mm x 0.71mm LaBrilliant E (no knot or dressing) >600mm x 0.66mm LaBrilliant E (no knot or dressing) >600mm x 0.60mm Criterion D (Knotted) 545mm x 1.17mm Criterion G (looped and dressed) 545mm x 0.84 mm (silver plate wound on gut) HS
  12. Look at it this way, this might be your one opportunity to try all-gut, dried out, oxidized, stiff strings. Apparantly you've not seen my wig. HS
  13. I think the prior suggestion of some Celtic airs is worth pursuing. Also consider tunes such as Ashoken Farewell, Amazing Grace, Be Thou My Vision. I would also refer you to the web site of Virtual Sheet Music, where one can find fairly cheap downloadable music. Virtual Sheet Music HS
  14. In a cleaning up spree, my wife found half a dozen unused all-gut strings, including violin E. They are probably 40-50 years old. Two are made in Italy, branded "La Bella". Two are German branded "La Brilliante" and two are American branded "Criterion". There is a contemporary La Bella company focusing on guitar strings, but I can not find references to either La Brilliante or Criterion. Is it even worth string these up? If so, is there some preconditioning that might be useful? HS
  15. If the quarter notes are generally played down bow and the eighth-note pairs are up bow, I think this should be doable for players with moderate skill. I normally do not think of spicatto pairs as "ricochette," feeling that more notes are required for that terminology to apply, but thats only my opinion. Ordinanarily, the conductor explains what he wants, and it is up to the concert master to determine how this is best achieved, depending on experience of the specific personnel involved, of course. HS
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