gowan

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About gowan

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  1. We have a music room in our house in which we keep a Steinway grand piano and my violin and viola. The piano technician says that it is important to keep the humidity in the room between 40 and 60 percent. For the piano this keeps the sound board from cracking and minimizes how frequently the piano has to be tuned. Some fluctuation in temperature and humidity within reason is actually good for the violin's development, according to my luthier. Very high humidity can have consequences for violins, such as making it easier for seams to open. Too little humidity can lead to cracks. We keep our music room climate controlled and have had no issues with pests for thirty years.
  2. The music on the left stand looks like a Peters edition therefore classical?
  3. In what sense is it dated? Have more instruments been found that should be included? Are there problems with any of the illustrations or technical data?
  4. When buying an expensive instrument authenticity is always a concern. It seems to me the buyer has to be able to trust the seller. Authenticity is more likely to be an issue for an old instrument than for a new one.
  5. I tend to squeak on the open E when coming to the E legato from another string. Being closer to the bridge helps. Sometimes it seems to be a mental issue. If I expect it to squeak it does. Occasionally there could be something off about the set-up. Getting that fixed may require a trip to your luthier, but try simpler things first. Some people have had good luck with the Warchal Amber E-string. A built in spring gives the string a very slight spiral when the string is stretched.
  6. I and others I know have put on home outside concerts for our neighbors. The appreciation from the audience convinces me that the demand for in person music will not die. Where there is a demand it will most likely be satisfied. Even now some live concerts by chamber orchestras are taking place. Groups of that size and smaller can accommodate the social distancing guidelines. Space for the audience is more difficult, with seating in every other row and every third seat in a row. Concerts with very large ensembles, e.g. Mahler symphonies or the like, will problematic. Classical music from early 19th century or before generally seemed to use smaller ensembles than were used in the 20th century. Chamber music in general will get a boost.
  7. Excellent luthiers living and working in the Connecticut Valley include Andranik Gaybaryan, Marten Cornelissen, and Douglas Cox. Douglas Cox welcomes visitors to his studio. Check his website or his Facebook page. Visiting workshops might be limited by the COVID epidemic, though.
  8. The one on the right looks similar to Iizuka's viola design. The non-scroll and non-f holes look like somethings David Rivinus did on violins. FWIW Iizuka's violas are much appreciated.
  9. Looks beautiful. Out of curiosity, how did a Greek folk instrument find a home in Irish folk music?
  10. If you want to follow JohnCockburn's advice, there is a great video on Youtube by Manfio showing step by step how to make a scroll.
  11. I am a violinist and violist and I don't have a hickey even though I use a shoulder rest and I do practice. I have noticeable calluses on the finger tips of my left hand. I think the hickey can be caused by a combination of many things such as: allergy to the metal in the chinrest clamp, allergy to the material of the chin rest or the endpin, excessive clamping of the instrument by the neck and jaw, rubbing of the instrument on the neck, etc. I know many violinists or violists who practice a lot and do not have hickeys.
  12. gowan

    Oversized violins

    There are different reasons why a violin is "over-large". As mentioned above it might be a long Strad type. These instruments have a "long" body length but are also somewhat narrower making the playability good. And they may have a desirable sound, too. Another point is how the body length was measured. Was it done with calipers or was it done with a tape over the arch? The latter would give a slightly larger measure. 360 mm is not terribly large. Some golden period Strads measure around there. Many DG violins are "short" yet play beautifully. If I recall correctly Martin Swan had a violin by Peter Goodfellow listed some time ago about which he was extremely enthusiastic and it was rather short. My feeling is that you can't buy an instrument according to measurements just as you can't make one just by following measurements.
  13. As you observed, it is definitely not good to raise your left shoulder. Whether or not to use a shoulder rest is a never-ending discussion. Many great violinists use shoulder rests, e.g. Hilary Hahn, James Ehnes. There are also great violinists who do not. There seems to be a consensus that using a high chin rest is better than using a high shoulder rest. All these issues of shoulder rest or not, what sort of rest to use, etc., are dependent on the individual. A rough rule of thumb: If it feels bad don't do it. Of course, the position playing a stringed instrument at the shoulder feels uncomfortable at the beginning so ...
  14. Hadelich implies that most old instruments (Strad and del Gesu) have wolfs and, as he does, the player just has to play around it. Does that agree with others' experience?