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Everything posted by gowan

  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?
  15. Chopin Nocturne in C# minor (BI 49) Mozart Piano Sonata in C major, K. 545 Beethoven Piano sonata No. 20, in G major, Op. 49 No. 2 These are all "easy" but take talent to play well.
  16. Microban succesfully removed the moldy smell from a wooden drawer in our kitchen. Where would you put it on a violin? I'd guess you would want to treat the inside of the box, but would that affect the sound? Wiping the outside with a sponge dampened with microban might work.
  17. At and above a certain level, most violinists also play viola even if they don't want to admit it publicly so I imagine most of those violinists own violas.
  18. I agree with the proposal that music should be played the way that sounds best and expresses what the musician wants. There has always been controversy concerning HIP. Sir Thomas Beecham made a now famous remark that harpsichord music sounds like skeletons copulating on a tin roof . I myself find it more difficult to hear many aspects of Bach played on harpsichord compared to on a modern piano due, I think, to the dynamic capability of the piano. I imagine that Bach might have appreciated being able to use the dynamic properties of the modern piano. As for violin music, I love the solo Bach as played by Rachel Podger, Arthur Grumiaux, and Henryk Szeryng. I am not sure about Isabelle Faust's version, more time listening needed. It seems to be a partial HIP performance, using the 1707 Strad (the Sleeping Beauty) in modern set-up and using a Baroque style bow.
  19. My wife teaches online since the "lockdown" and yes, the tone is not good through Zoom. Many people don't know that the sound can be improved a little by tweeking the volume. The default setting on Zoom is for Automatic Level. That means that if you are playing an instrument it will sound like you playing at a constant dynamic level. It is possible to uncheck the "automatic" setting for volume, which helps a little.
  20. I was a fan of his some 50 years ago, I guess close to the beginning of his career, but I lost track of him and I'm saddened to learn he passed, a victim of COVID-19
  21. A 7/8 violin is still a fractional violin and I know of a number of adult professional players of small physique (mostly women) who play beautifully on 7/8 size instruments. The instrument in the OP really doesn't sound good and the "performance" is more of a stunt than really an artistic achievement, IMO of course.
  22. According to his bio on WIkipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxim_Vengerov) he plays a 1727 Strad (ex-Kreutzer).
  23. Have you read "A Romance on Three Legs", a good look at Gould's connection with his favorite Steinway?
  24. gowan

    New violin

    I thought normal shipping procedures were to: Loosen the strings in case the sound post falls Put some protective material, like bubble wrap or styrofoam between the fingerboard and the belly and also under the tail piece Fill the empty spaces in the case with cushioning material Wrap the case in bubble wrap Double box the case with cushioning material between the box containing the instrument and the outer box