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Everything posted by lwl

  1. The ones I've got I've been unable to trim down to postable size, yet...
  2. Violin plus bow are responsible for the end-result tonal quality. If a bow works well for you, you should find it relatively easy to control. Drawing a long, slow bow is a good way to test a bow (vastly better than trying a spiccato test, in my opinion, at least initially). There's been a previous thread on son file' and how the "hold time" for this is impacted by a good bow.
  3. For $10K, that case better be made of gold.
  4. Have the nut replaced, and possibly the bridge. That should take care of the string height issue. Shouldn't be expensive to have done, either.
  5. A recent issue of Strings magazine had an article on Castleman's quartet program. Might be worth looking at that.
  6. My advice: Try for the best teachers you can get, and see what they say. You can always step down if you need to. You give them a call, and say, "Hi, my name is so-and-so. I just began my freshman year at the University of Chicago, and I am looking for a violin teacher. Do you have a few minutes to talk?" If they say no, leave them your name, phone number, and a good time to call; if you don't hear back within the week, call them again. If they say yes, tell them that you have heard that they have an excellent reputation as a teacher, and you would like to know if they have any openings in their studio for a private student. They will ask you about your background and you can ask them questions as well (where/when they teach, how much they charge, etc.). If they decide you are unsuitable (usually they will be polite and just tell you that they have no openings in their studio, in such a case), ask them for if they could recommend someone else, and get that person's contact information. Better yet would be to utilize your previous teacher's network of contacts. Call him, ask him to recommend someone, and if he is a personal friend or even acquainted with the person he is recommending, he can make the initial call on your behalf. You can expect to pay $50/hour on up for a good teacher.
  7. Yes, I'm simply using the software to copy the mono channel onto the other side, but the problem with that is the stereo effect is lost. Also, is there any way to improve the quality of line-in sampling? I hear a loss of both the very high and very low frequencies.
  8. quote: Originally posted by Mark_W: I've enjoyed all the clips so far. In some way it actualizes the personalities I've pictured, but haven't been able to flesh out from the writing styles. An interesting statement! Care to explain a bit more?
  9. How does this guy stay in business if he loses money on every instrument he makes? And who is dumb enough to buy a brand-new instrument for that much money? I mean, there are suckers and then there are suckers...
  10. lwl

    My Music

    Nice work, iupviolin; I like the suspensions. I think the string texture will work by itself -- it should be very effective at a shimmer dynamic level, much as Barber Adagio is.
  11. lwl

    My Music

    It's not the fact that you're removing the http:// -- that's implicit, and if you don't type it, your browser will add it. It's the fact that you're treating it like a brand-new page by manually entering the URL. When you click on a link, your browser sends, as part of its request, the URL of the page that the link is on -- the "referer". The HTTP header line is "Referer: URL you came from". Web pages can read the referrer via the environment variable HTTP_REFERER; CGI scripts, server-side includes, etc. can all see it. So logic can be built in that disallows certain conditions. Geocities seems to have built in automatic rejection of attempts to access audio files (and images and other multimedia as well, I believe) where the referer is not null, and is not from Geocities (and perhaps other approved cross-linking sites). This is, yes, because Geocities is ad-supported. Lots of people had Web pages where they stored their huge files on Geocities but their actual content that linked to it on another service; this meant that Geocities was eating lots of fees for disk and bandwidth and getting no advertising revenue out of it. Of course, at this point, Geocities is really trying to drive people towards using its paid services, now that the dot-com gravy train has ended and venture capitalists no longer throw large amounts of money at companies who have business plans that don't make money...
  12. Any tips for how to get the best analog transfer? Also, how do you get a *stereo* transfer? I do transfers from minidisc to the computer by plugging the minidisc out into the line in on the computer, and then using Wave Studio (part of the software that comes with a Creative Soundblaster). Once I have the WAV file, I do a conversion to MP3. But the computer seems to want to only record mono sound, not stereo, like the minidisc is. How do I fix this?
  13. quote: Originally posted by Michael Darnton: I found his web page. Interesting reading. What's the URL? I couldn't find it on a Google search.
  14. Three more clips: one from vieuxtemps, and two from MuzkGuy. Enjoy.
  15. FYI, "Banquet of Music" is not a piece; it is a collection of lute songs by Purcell (it's Purcell's own title for the collection). I don't know if anyone is still publishing such collections in totem -- my guess is no, but perhaps a university library might have a copy.
  16. Bored, and made an attempt at a bit of Erlkonig this morning. Got me to haul out my recordings and take another listen. Here's a bit of Josefowicz: MP3 (Great left-hand pizzicato. Man, what a pain.)
  17. Bows are an extremely personal thing. Even if a bow is supposedly a "terrific bow", there's no guarantee that it will be even vaguely to your taste. I would not buy a bow sight unseen, personally.
  18. quote: Originally posted by Andrew Victor: (Also, Lydia - I guess that gives me some insight into why you suspended your playing for those years.) Unrelated, actually. Fortunately (so to speak, anyway), I fought that battle when I was still very young (around nine years old or so, I think). For some reason, chromatic tuners had become a fad amongst parents of students my age, in the Suzuki program I was studying in. They became a weapon in the parent vs. child debate of "it's wrong" vs. "no it's fine" that's pretty common in the entire Suzuki parents-must-practice-with-children dictate. Children insist it's not wrong just to move on (or because they genuinely believe it's not wrong), and parents then have "facts" to back up their insistence that it must be repeated for correction. My opinion is that this is only a good idea when neither parent nor child has much of a sense of pitch -- and then only as a rough guide.
  19. The novel you're thinking of, Michael, is Mark Salzman's "The Soloist". A wonderful book it is, too (as is the same author's "Iron and Silk", and the even more impressive film, starring the author himself in some pretty wild real-life martial arts).
  20. quote: Originally posted by g#maj: I think I've been getting obsessed with intonation. Obsessions of any sort hinder growth in other areas. I think the point of diminishing returns is a very useful one to keep in mind when learning to play the violin. For everything you do, there's a big jump of improvement initially, and then the curve slows and eventually tapers off. Some things you always have to be vigilant about -- am I in tune, are all the notes clear, is my bow straight, etc. -- but don't get hung up on anything one thing in a practice session. Move on, refresh your brain, sleep on it, come back to it.
  21. I'm not sure if I'd agree that players are judged on an arbitrary basis. I think that each style of playing -- whether classical, Irish, whatever -- has a set of criteria, widely (if not universally) agreed upon, amongst the style's practitioners, as constituting "good" playing in that style. When a player asserts that they are of X level in a given style -- either explicitly, or implicitly (by playing in a certain type of venue, by virtue of their professional biography, etc.) -- the lens of criticism is focused accordingly, so to speak. I would assert that in classical playing, at least, the criteria by which professional players are judged are extremely well-established and relatively absolute. Advanced players who are students or amateurs are judged by similar criteria, though they're cut slightly more slack. Players are cut some slack for the learning stage of the work being played -- something that is being performed in public is, of course, held to a much higher standard than something just being learned (the implication with "being learned" is that the player is aware of what's wrong and will correct it before performing it, at least to the best of his ability). Speaking of intonation specifically, "good" intonation can be defined as having hit the pitch -- not always the real purity and perfection of either sensitively tempered intonation or expression intonation, but on pitch. (I'm sure there's a scientific way to express this in terms of cents above and below the tempered-correct frequency.) Double-stops give less margin for error, since the chord needs to ring true. Someone playing at the professional level is expected to have consistently good intonation. This is not an arbitrary criteria; it's a core value of the style. You could, of course, argue that the value of "consistent" is arbitrary. In theory it is; in practice it is not, I think. Any slip should, to a peer, be unusual enough that it's noted as an anomaly -- i.e., "I think you played the top C# in the development section a little flat".
  22. Be careful about using chromatic tuners, due to equal-tempering issues. Also, note that the sensitivity of the tuner is sometimes a little questionable. The tuner is good for determining if you're really off; for fine gradations in pitch, it's much less useful. I remember going through a very frustrating period of playing years ago. My parents wanted me to have perfect intonation, and so they watched the chromatic tuner with each and every note, so I could try to center the pitch dead-center. We got into many, many arguments over whether or not something was in tune, when my ear disagreed with the tuner. Of course, later it became clear that it was my ear that was right, thanks to tempering. A better guide than the tuner is a double-stop, in my opinion -- if that rings true, it's in tune. As a side note, I feel that the more resonant the instrument is, the easier it is to hear if something in tune; my experience is that wound gut strings (if you can keep them in tune!) have complex overtones and a resonance that makes it easier to hear the accuracy of a pitch. At the same time, it's easier to hear intonation when you're playing softly, assuming you're playing alone. You just work at it. Bit by bit you get better, more reliable. Make sure to always spend some time playing slowly, so you can be self-critical. Take note of your tendencies. Pay attention to how previous notes might be incorrectly influencing subsequent notes, or how over-anticipating future notes is causing problems with current notes. Patience and perseverance are important; it's not so much important to be right, right now, this instance, as it is to be conscientious -- don't give it up as a lost cause.
  23. A quick glance at the Juilliard website indicates the following requirements for the undergrad violin audition: Taped: 1. Exposition and cadenza from one movement of a concerto from the standard repertoire. 2. One movement from an unaccompanied Bach sonata or partita. 3. One Paganini caprice. If invited to audition in-person after that: 1. A fast and slow movement from any concerto in the standard repertoire. 2. Any movement from a Bach unaccompanied sonata or partita. 3. Two contrasting brilliant concert pieces. 4. Two Paganini caprices. 5. Major and minor scales and arpeggios in three octaves with double stops. Consequently I suppose the question to ask yourself is, "In two years, will I be able to play the required audition repertoire, which includes Paganini caprices?" -- assuming you want to audition on the violin. It appears that the viola audition repertoire is significantly less rigorous: 1. Major and minor scales and arpeggios in three octaves with various bowings. 2. One etude by Campagnoli, Lillian Fuchs, Rode, Palaschko, Dont, etc. 3. Two contrasting short works or sonata movements, at least one of which must be by a 20th-century composer. 4. One movement from any Bach solo suite (originally for cello) or sonata or partita (originally for violin). [This message has been edited by lwl (edited 10-27-2001).]
  24. You folks are making a certain important assumption: That the player (paganiniboy, or anyone else in a similar situation) is at the very top of his game in his age group, and therefore has a high likelihood of acceptance into the very best conservatories under the very best teachers, and from there into a career in the top tier of professional musicians. If a merit (as opposed to need-based) scholarship is expected, the standard escalates even further. A player owes it to himself to take a good hard look at just how good he is, before setting his sights on a top-notch conservatory -- just as a student owes it to himself to seriously evaluate just how competitive a candidate he will be before pinning his hopes on an Ivy League university. This is not a question of talent; this is a question of current, hard-core achievement -- the present level of technical and musical accomplishment. If more time is needed to prepare, consider the option of transferring. There's a major difference between full-time, intensive study in a college-level environment, and the half-hour private lesson that paganiniboy says he currently gets. If many more years are need to prepare, consider the possibility of doing graduate study at your dream school instead. I believe there are some folks on this board who successfully completed undergraduate programs at state universities and the like, and then gone on to do a master's at a top-notch conservatory.
  25. LongHair is correct. BUT: Kreisler would play out of tune in the sense that he'd miss a handful of notes by a bit. These slips audible in his live recordings, but they're minor and not distracting. If you hear a passage of this, you don't think, "This is a violinist who can't play in tune." It's a few notes -- half a dozen at most, perhaps -- out of thousands that he's played that evening. Perlman, too, it should be noted, does not have perfect intonation in his live performances, particularly during those times when he isn't practicing much. But again, it's a few notes out of thousands. In both cases, the correction is usually extremely quick -- a slight widening of the vibrato, a small slide, etc. Both of them, however, have that quality of artistic intonation that Elman speaks of. Both players shade their intonation very effectively -- clearly they both hear and care about exact placement, even if they only hit 99.9% rather than 100% of the notes. It should be said that if you listen to Elman, he doesn't hit 100% of the notes either. Good intonation is important because not only is intonation an expressive device (per Elman), it is crucial to getting maximal projection and ring out of the instrument, as well as making harmonic relationships clear. In an ensemble context, it is also critical to perfect blend of sound.
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