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Everything posted by Soundboot

  1. I've heard that fish heads work pretty well too!
  2. Bon Musica is working well for me. I like the over the shoulder part but you don't even have to have it over the shoulder if you don't want. It can be bent straight if you prefer. I would say go with Bon Musica.
  3. The way I see it is that the pinky takes the weight of the bow when it is off the string and the string takes the weight when the bow is on the string. The pinky should not be pushing on the stick but is there when the bow is lifted. For me rapid playing is mainly the concern of the thumb, index and middle finger. The pinky may well lose contact with fast on the string playing but as long as it is above the stick it can happily meet it when the bow is lifted. It's not always needed at the point when the string is taking the weight of the bow. I think the thing with technique is to be relaxed and adaptable without having a one rule for every occasion approach.
  4. quote: Originally posted by: milesAs you already know by now hopefully, I am not a musician. So I don't quite understand what you meant by "sound output". However, if I didn't misunderstand anything, I don't think David was talking about "you cannot improve upon a Strad". quote: When I say sound output I really just mean the way it sounds. Different sounds have their place in my musical universe . I'm also not really responding directly to David or anybody else. My dealings in this unconventional violin field go back a long way and I have a history of frustration with mainstream attitudes. Hanxiao, I don't see myself bending over backwards to be cool! I genuinely get excited about my electric violin and cornerless acoustic. That's just me I guess. I see it as just presenting different options rather than substituting one form of conformity for another. And yes, I'm sure there are people here with the same viewpoint - just not so many.
  5. Well, it would be nice to keep this thread going but it seems we are running around in circles a bit! My main point has been that there is a place for an alternative violin of some kind. Any change in the sound output of the violin is surely different rather than better or worse. It seems I can make this point over and over again but some of you will still come back and say you cannot improve upon a Strad. That is not the point. First of all we are talking about new violins and the way forward or perhaps sideways!!! Really any violin is going to have its own characteristics and as such we can choose a violin sound according to personal taste and practicality. I'm getting this picture from some of you that the only way a violin is played is by a great classical soloist projecting a big sound in a great concert hall. Really that is probably the minority of us and I think it's clear that some here are amateurs and makers rather than players with a set of specific practical needs. To give an example, I have a lovely violin with a soft dark tone but it just won't project enough for most of the things I do (I also don't want to take it out on function gigs). However, I do a lot of recording and find that it is just right for a microphone in close proximity. Another violin of mine has a very different sound and can project much better. It's more of a workhorse than a violin for Itzhak Perlman - very solid construction and loud but reasonably rounded tone. I do also have this desire for some quirky sounding instrument that would be unique. Why? I've found that it really keeps the audience's attention if you change instruments occasionally, especially if it is something unusual visually or sonically. All part of the show but also it's nice to have different colors on the palette artistically speaking. On a personal level I find a new sound or a new look very inspiring. So what do we put first? Looks, aesthetics or sound. Surprisingly it seems that the overwhelming majority prefer looks, as there seems little tolerance for an instrument that looks totally weird but sounds great. At one extreme we have instruments like this (Rivinus and Landon for instance) where the instrument is built for optimum sound but looks very unconventional. I can understand that for the unadventurous these instruments may take some getting used to but I cannot understand why violinmakers play it so ultra safe and do not make a slight artistic change to the scroll etc. It does not have to be a crying cherub's head, just a slight variation even. I understand some of you hold the great traditions of violin making and classical music as very dear. I understand that you see the forces of commercialism engulfing the last bastions of art. However, the world is changing and whatever direction we go it would be nice if the violin is part of our contemporary culture. I teach the violin to children and I see that as they get to a certain age that the violin is not considered 'cool'. They start to get teased for playing in 'dorkestra' and many switch to band instruments or electric guitar. I make a point of sometimes bringing my electric violin to lessons and playing other styles of music. Suddenly the violin is cool again. If they stick with the violin then maybe one day they will grow to appreciate older traditions but there perception of the violin was expanded in the meantime. It's my sincere wish that the violin can be a voice in all kinds of music and that we close no doors for ourselves. Players and makers close more doors than audiences it seems but this can change merely by the acceptance of instruments that challenge the current perception. We can encourage makers that further visual or sonic innovation or we can simply restrain knocking them down. We can live in confidence that all we cherish from the past cannot be undone and that old and new can live happily coexist.
  6. Missing the point again!!! At least for this thread.
  7. Guta. Okay, I can answer that although I may be repeating myself. My dream violin would have 7 strings and the body of the instrument would be of a shape that would work acoustically with the low and high strings. I'd also like a bright, loud violin that could compete acoustically with trumpets but I would also like a soft sounding violin for recording. I'd like a violin that could sound quite different from a violin to play on occasion, for variety and for different tone colors. If this sounded like an erhu or saranghi then that would be good. I'd like a violin that is uniquely artistic in design, unusual scroll, unusual f-holes, cornerless, unique in color. Something that would capture the imagination. I'd like another violin that I could play in full sunshine and maybe even rain. Something that would sound good but would be safe to play in all circumstances. I'd also like a Strad to add to my arsenal, I'm sure it will come in handy!!! The question of how can we improve upon the sound of Kreisler playing a Strad is a bit like saying an apple is the ultimate fruit, perfect in every way. Why should we ever need to eat oranges or bananas? We might like to try a different fruit for a change without giving up apples forever! Anyway, there are plenty of people eating apples already!!!
  8. Is this a problem? Who's saying it's a replacement for wood. It's an alternative to a wooden bow for the reasons of economy and durability. I lost a nice wooden bow to clumsy foot and replaced it with a cf bow. Somebody else's clumsy foot nearly claimed my cf bow but the thing just sprang back! This was on a cramped stage with a bunch of people trying to set up. In situations such as this I'm very happy to have a carbon fiber bow as a sturdy alternative. I would love to be playing with a $15,000 bow but for some of the things I do it is just not practical and would be like taking your child for a swim in an alligator infested lake! Again I say alternatives have their place in certain situations where you do not want to take a fragile wooden instrument (or bow). The aesthetics of instrument and bow are important to me but being a jobbing musician I have to be practical sometimes too.
  9. quote: Originally posted by: David Tseng I am amazed by erhu: such small vibrating area can emit so intense of sound. Wouldn't it be better if someone can modify it so it can be played violin-like (such as adding a fingerboard and played on the shoulder not the lap) so we violin players can immediately use it. Hallelujah!!! That's it! That's it!!! And a saranghi model too please! Some nice observations and viewpoints coming up (please no more coffee posts!!!). I think that carbon fiber bows are a good case in point. When they first came out I was very interested in trying one and went to a London violin shop. I asked about them and if the shop had any plan to stock them. The guy was very scathing about them and said, "What's the point when you can get a good wooden bow?" He also commented that they were very expensive (which they were then). Rehairers were refusing to rehair them at the time. Years later we have carbon fiber bows everywhere. Some still argue that wood is better but most agree that you get a far superior bow for the price than you would a wooden bow. Students have something half decent on a budget and professionals have decent spares or even carbon fiber bows as their main bow. It has not meant the extinction of good quality wooden bows but indeed has spared rare pernumbuco being used for crap bows. Of course, carbon fiber bows really took off when the price was right.
  10. quote: Originally posted by: ispirati Soundboot... I don't see the disagreement here. Didn't I say innovation is good? But once you make a dramatic change, then it is no longer called a violin. That is why they are Saranghi, Erhu, and Lyra. Right? The still exist today because there are plenty music written for them. There were many other violin looking instruments that never survived, simply because there were no music written for them. They end up in the museum as part of history. I know not everyone disagrees here, we just have our own angle on it! These instruments mainly had no music written for them? These instruments come from aural traditions (not sure if Erhu has notation), which I'm sure is what you mean too. However it is an obstacle I see from time to time. I hear people say what's the good of a 5-string violin if there is no repertoire written for it. I've also been asked what clef I use with my 5-string. It's a classical violinist mindset that hinders the kind of progress we are talking about. Outside of the classical tradition people improvise and play by ear - no need for a written repertoire to justify an instrument's existence. I don't really see why naming a deviant a violin or not is important. However, I think we can agree that to keep everyone happy that an extreme deviant can be renamed and nobody will feel threatened. A totally different instrument is the extreme scenario but what about the slight/extreme artistic touches? A violin with a slightly different scroll, unusual f holes etc? Is the picture in Miles's avatar a violin even though it has unusual f-holes and no corners? Of course it is. What can we do to make these things accepted by the violin world? How about the durable spare violin? What's the problem there? As somebody who has had two very nice old violins trashed I see carbon fiber instruments a good idea. The Boston Pops Orchestra has a cello section full of carbon fiber cellos. Why? Probably because they play outside so much and have to deal with change in humidity, temperature and sunshine. Do they own nice wooden instruments? Probably, but they leave them at home for the outdoor gigs. The precious antique wooden instruments have been preserved thanks to the carbon fiber instruments. It may not have the same aesthetics as the antique wooden instrument but some of us are jobbing musicians and have different requirements.
  11. testing, testing Landon Okay only Chri$tophe is censored!!! Oh! Because of Chri$t right? Oh boy! Ok now I got it!
  12. I was including Chri$t0phe L@ndon's name on another post and I got the message that my post contained censored words! I lost my whole long post and had to start again. I kept getting the censored words message and then narrowed it down to Chri$t0phe's name (it's crazy that I have to spell it this way). Can somebody explain to me why his name is censored?
  13. Ok, I still don't think I've got many of you to think outside the (violin shaped) box. Most of you are either asking whether we can improve upon a Strad and some of you are saying no way will we improve upon it. Now let me introduce (for those of you who are unfamiliar) some cousins of the violin to try and get this discussion on some more interesting tracks: Saranghi: An Indian fiddle with a stretched skin membrane top and sympathetic strings. The sound is haunting and gorgeous. Erhu: Chinese fiddle again with membrane. Clear and perky sound from a very small body. Lyra: Greek fiddle sometimes with sympathetic strings, sometimes without. A thinner sound than the violin but has a character all of its own. Just to name a few for discussion. Please look up these and try to listen to them if you are unfamiliar. Now we don't need to say whether these have outdone Strads or not, we can happily say that they produce a very different sound. The players from these traditions do not need to swap their instruments for Strads or SSOs (Strad shaped objects!). Now the fact that these instruments exist proves that by different construction and by using entirely different materials, an entirely different sound is potentially available for our palette. It would not be difficult to adapt these instruments so that they would feel like a violin under the hands and could be readily played by a violinist. These would not be for classical musicians playing Mozart but would be for musicians playing contemporary, experimental and world music for example. Is there any need to object to that?
  14. I'm talking purely acoustic. Although electric violins are another passion of mine I feel this is a different area and has been developing quite nicely in the last decade or so.
  15. Electric violins have been around as long as electric guitars. Lots of people play them these days, I'm amazed you seem unaware of this! Generally we just plug into amps or PA systems like guitarists do!
  16. Not all violinists are classical musicians. Not all violinists are classical musicians. Not all violinists are classical musicians. It's my great passion to promote the violin as a voice in other styles of music. The electric violin has done a lot for me in this way as it has both stimulated interest by its looks and also it is loud enough to work with drums and amplified instruments. A good example of an alternative violin as a different kind of tool for a different kind of context.
  17. Guta, you believe that the violin reached its peak with the strad but you are forgetting that there was evolution after this. The neck angle was changed, longer fingerboard, bass bar etc... Strads today have been altered for what somebody thought was a better sound. Really it was just a different sound and the alterations helped with volume. Baroque violins are not lesser in any way; they are just not up to the job when it comes to modern music. There is still a place for them however and they are still played today. Some other reasons for change in construction may be to accommodate extra strings for example.
  18. I agree with you Hanxiao but there is a little more to it. A violinmaker may not deviate from the norm because: *Materials are expensive to experiment with *A violinist does not want to take a risk on commissioning an unusual violin as they have no idea what the instrument will sound like *Musicians are not the richest patrons to take such a risk *Violinists are by nature ultra-conservative. Many of them are attracted to the violin because it is so steeped in tradition I think a good deal of makers would love to do something different but don't because of market forces. I do believe that there is a niche market and that those makers who dare deserve some encouragement and promotion. Perhaps a grant is one of the best ways to break the deadlock.
  19. Violinisaurus! I like it but let's not scare anybody here. I'm trying to say that a violin deviant won't mean the extinction of the classic violin. Once again (sigh) I'll say that we may not discover something better but something different. If we do discover something better then that's good isn't it?
  20. Exactly! And they still make and play harpsichords don't they?
  21. For some reason I can't mention the violin maker I spent time with as Maestronet detects the name as a censored word!!! What is going on here? Anyway his name is Chri$t0phe L@ndon!!!
  22. I was hoping for slightly meatier discussion! I don't want to repeat myself too much but I'm trying to get a point across and I don't feel that some of you have got it yet. A lot of you are saying that the Strad design doesn't need changing. If I was given a Strad I would be very happy and in no rush to put it on Ebay. I'm not rejecting the classic violin as wrong, bad or saying that makers should stop building these violins. My point is that other violins can co-exist without threatening the tradition you hold so dear. A player may own several different violins for different playing situations. This already happens for baroque players and nobody minds that (because it's from the past?). I'm not trying to convert anybody to my tastes but I like to see a range of tastes: Soundboot may like something totally different, Amori may like some small individualistic artistic touches and others may never want anything different at all which is fine. The important thing is that we don't give makers the message that they shouldn't do anything different. I recently spent some time with a violinmaker and played one of his asymmetrical violas. It was different in every way - scroll, body shape, f-holes, wedge shaped, color, etc. It sounded gorgeous! I also played one of his copies that sounded gorgeous. Here was a maker doing both and the majority of his clients wanted the copies and probably always would. He really believed (knew) that certain things could be improved and I sensed his frustration at the resistance to such instruments. As for the view that if you change the violin it becomes something else I say fine! If you want to call it something else then you go ahead. Maybe if we did that it would make some people feel more comfortable. I am a player and all that matters to me is that I would be able to put it under my chin and play it! If it has 7 strings and some unusual shape but is tuned in 5ths and has the same string length as a violin then I'm happy. You can call it what you like but my hands will recognize it as a violin. Let me try and summarize my point once more: There is a place for modern violins AS AN ALTERNATIVE, NOT A REPLACEMENT, for the following reasons: *Different sound/look for different musical context other than classical for instance *Durable spare (in the case of durable instruments) *Artistic aesthetics (big or small differences) *Ergonomic for injuries, small players etc. *Greater range (5 strings or more)
  23. Okay, new thread: http://www.maestronet.com/foru...d=311602&enterthread=y
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