gowan

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About gowan

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  1. gowan

    Old strings

    I clearly experience changes over time in the strings I use. I dislike the sound of brand new strings immediately after I put them on my instruments and it takes some time for them to settle in, more for some brands than others but all of them have to "break in". So I'm surprised when I read about concert performers putting new strings on just before a concert. This break in effect might be local in the sense that it is audible to the player but listeners might not hear it. Certainly new strings require more frequent tuning, presumably because the strings have to stretch out. I do experience a degradation of the sound after some time, with my schedule of practice and playing often need to change strings after around a year of use. I've also experienced having strings go false after a time. FWIT I generally use Evah Pirazzi strings.
  2. We visited Haydn's house in Vienna, where he lived after leaving the employ of Esterhazy. Very impressive. Indeed he must have been wealthy just to own a house in central Vienna.
  3. Availability of modern recordings does tend to homogenize performance. We all have the sound of almost all classical concerti in our heads thanks to recordings. Recordings tend to be of middle of the road interpretations because the recording companies don't want to make anything that might not appeal to the largest number of people. When recordings were scarce people had to go to concerts to hear the music and they wouldn't hear the same thing over and over.
  4. gowan

    Bow hair

    Were you thinking of Magic rosin? I think it is still available, shows up easily on a Google search.
  5. The Amateur Chamber Music Players has been there all along. It changed its name to Associated Chamber Music Players partly because it was felt that the word amateur in the title might indicate that professional players weren't welcome, despite the fact that there were always members who were professional level players. They don't distribute the membership list with playing skill levels on paper but it is available online to members on their web site https://acmp.net/
  6. If that residue of cork (?) is embedded in the varnish then wouldn't removing it imply removing some varnish? If it is not cork and is on top of, not in, the varnish maybe it could be removed without damaging the varnish. Take it to a luthier who can examine the situation in person.
  7. WIth all the musicological research into HIPP and instruments why haven't any composers developed who write good, inspiring music in the style of Mozart or Beethoven? Certainly enough is known about the music these kinds of composers wrote but no one seems to be able to write that kind of music. Any attempts I've heard fall short. Baroque and classical music are a kind of language, dare I say a dead language. Think of Latin or ancient Greek. Great literature was written in dead languages, empires were created and ruled using dead languages. In the present time we read and appreciate translations and if we want to we can learn the language enough to read or translate it. But no one uses these languages to create. What does this have to do with HIPP as it pertains to music? If we want to appreciate literary works such as Homer's Iliad or Odysseus we can just read a translation without thinking at all about the history or culture of ancient Greece and we might enjoy it very much and get a lot of meaning for our own lives. Knowing about the history and culture might well deepen our appreciation and understanding. But, with all that study, language learning, etc. we cannot know what the ancients knew, all we can do is seek the meaning of the work in our own terms. That applies to Baroque and Classical music or any other music, too. We have the composer's score, possibly with a lot of ancillary material from that time, but all we can do is interpret it in our own terms, in our own cultures. We cannot know or recreate what players from two or three hundred years ago could do. Interpreting music, after all, uses the players' emotional world, something we can't know. HIPP research and realization can give us something, just as contemporary instruments can give us something. Each method evokes a response from us that has meaning relative to the piece. No one can say one response is invalid. I am grateful for every performance of the Beethoven Concerto and I feel I learn from each one I hear.
  8. Very interesting. Was this technique of setting the neck used for smaller instruments, e.g. violins or violas?
  9. How much theory you need depends on what you are trying to do with your music playing. Most amateur classical players don't think much about how to work out an interpretation, possibly even imitating what they have heard in concerts or from records. If you are a very advanced player you will want to get deeply into the musical language of the composers you like to play. This means you need to understand the way the harmonic structure changes, in what ways the composer stretched the prevailing musical structures, and how the composer fit into the history of the music forms.
  10. Seventy years ago it was common for elementary schools to insist (force?) that left handed children learn to write right handed. This happened to my brother. As I recall he had no serious trouble learning from the start that way. It does happen that adults have to relearn how to write with the other hand after injuries or strokes and they do it, perhaps without the fluency they had with the original hand, but they do it. I was impressed by the wrong handed violinist in the video above. I think she must have had training as a child because there were very few flapping fingers.
  11. There have certainly been people posting who apparently have a lot of credibility though they post anonymously. For example Curious1 and Not Telling. Some of these seem to be known to the "in group" but are anonymous to most of the people who frequent the board. I wonder why it wouldn't be possible to evaluate the content of a post without knowing who posted it. I don't know very many names of highly regarded luthiers and it would be easy to have someone giving a real name I didn't recognize post a response to a question I asked. If that happened I would have to get confirmation somehow. If some amateur luthier posted a question about a tricky technical issue and someone with little or knowledge posted a response, anyone following the recommendation would be taking a risk. Though I'm an amateur player and instrument aficionado and adding my family name to my name on the board would not add any import to anything technical I might say, I have reasons for wanting to be anonymous similar to those given by others.
  12. I've noticed that "live" photographs of instruments seem to show the ground color more strongly than would be seen in person. That might be why Stephen's Becker instrument looks less "orange" colored.
  13. A friend of mine is a professional classical concert pianist, the sort of pianist who plays Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto and the Beethoven "Hammerklavier" sonata in concert. I, an amateur violinist, had the courage to ask him one day if he would play a relatively easy Mozart sonata with me. He said he would but warned me that he didn't know that piece and that, because of his dyslexia, he can't sight read well at all. Starting a new piece he can decode the score note by note but can't read well even at slow practice speed. Once he learns a piece by memory he is fine.
  14. I suppose that some "repair" labels refer to regraduation.