Andres Sender

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  1. Take LaBarre with a grain of salt.
  2. On the question of good music and bad music: Human creations, just like any other thing in reality, have natures. A field of creation like music is different in nature from other types of creation. Like other fields of human creation, music exists because it serves a purpose. Any creation within a field that has a nature and serves a purpose can be evaluated as to how well it fulfills the nature and achieves the purpose. There's only one requirement: that one have a fundamental understanding of the nature and the purpose of the field. This is where the real difficulty lies in being able to objectively evaluate music as more or less good. Although a certain amount of knowledge has developed about how music affects the mind, and of the mechanics of various idioms of music, there is not yet a widespread fundamental understanding of how musical esthetics arise from the nature of the brain and mind. Oh we have clues, so many clues, but we're not there yet as far as I know. Many are tempted to resort to convention to fill the gap, others more or less delightedly throw up their hands and say it's all subjective, thus allowing things into the field which someday will have to be cast right back out again. Due to our cultural distrust for claims of objectivity, especially with regard to abstract generalizations, we are not likely to develop objective standards of musical quality in the foreseeable future. So while I disagree vehemently with anyone who says there's no such thing as good and bad in music, I also view anyone who claims to have the 10 Commandments on the issue with a great deal of skepticism. So what? So I think that one ought to strive to be explicit about the standards one is applying, i.e. a performance can certainly be evaluated in terms of performance practice and adherence to the composer's intent, and one can specifically admire a composition for its complexity, its integration and unity, its originality or emotional affect. One can even try to describe the aspects which appeal to one's personal taste. Just beware the substitution of personal taste for an objective standard of quality. Oh, and uh Stephen: jinx.
  3. The magazine American Lutherie from the Guild of American Luthiers has had some articles on gamba making, if not a series. You may find some resources over at MIMF. Also check FORMHI.
  4. This online book can get you started with some basic concepts for thinking about bows.
  5. Stephen--Rue and I were talking about her clothes. As to her playing, I get that it is freeing to hear a highly persuasive reconception of a piece that otherwise has a long, more or less orderly history. I have had similar experiences of finding glory in something in the arts which just wasn't right in conventional terms. I get what she's set out to do, in a modern meta-meta way. It may even have the side effect of shaking up the industry in a good way. A better phrase-shaper than anyone else? Noooooo.
  6. Do we know the thicknesses of the stick itself? It comes across very much as a "story stick" in which case one would expect the efficiency to include a simple way to use your measuring tool to take the measurement from the stick. In any case, much more useful for making than as a way of recording, surely?
  7. She's just one step (and far from the first) in the process of the musical performance "establishment" catching up to the rest of the cultural "establishment". I'm just surprised (and in retrospect have been enjoying the fact) that it hasn't happened sooner.
  8. It's not a question of "sure" it's a question of what is the most likely, i.e. which explanation connects the most dots.
  9. Sometimes the truth is a little backwards from the common conception, i.e. the fingerboard scoop isn't to add string height in the middle, it's to reduce string height at the end. Similarly, perhaps the taper wasn't to reduce the air volume, but rather to preserve the feel for the player when the air volume was increased. That way we are looking at a greater air volume change, the serving of the needs of a community known to be sensitive to change, and integrating with the difference in rib height that (arguably?) occurs around that time.
  10. Clip in bows are awesome. Many testify to an effect on the sound, and frustrations with adjustability are easily managed. J.DiLisio you can get useful hints for shaping the head of the Tartini bow in the photos at Antonino Airenti's 'Baroque Bows' Facebook page. He's had his hands on the original several times.
  11. I believe it's still in print, and therefore not at all expensive, in violin book terms.
  12. That book is pretty well known in historical bow circles. Most, if not all the drawings are of pre-modern bows. It's a very interesting resource for early bows, particularly if you can read German.
  13. In some instances the treatment of anxiety may be complicated by other issues. There are folks who have personality problems which started so early they are barely aware of them. Some of these, for instance, may substitute logical-sounding constructs for observation, analysis and expertise, leading to formulas and standards of normalcy which are detached from reality and potentially harmful if the person is in a position of authority, such as a teacher or parent.
  14. Immersion and exposure therapies put the type of experiences you described into a framework more or less designed to maximize learning for the patient. Lately the clinical success of exposure therapy in particular has been so great that anyone with anxiety issues is really suffering needlessly and can expect to reduce their symptoms to a life-changing degree with the guidance of a competent psychologist.