Dwight Brown

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Everything posted by Dwight Brown

  1. I'm rather interested in this too. My spidey senses tell me it was the Hills but I really have no idea. As a user of Flesch style chin rests ( and a user of his scale system through the years!) I have not found a picture of him with his violin with that chin rest on. Obviously I have not seen all the picture so there might well be one! It sounds like the last part of his life was very hard including selling his Stradivari after losing his money in the stock market crash and being arrested by the Gestapo. His instrument was destroyed in an air raid on Berlin during the war after it was sold. DLB
  2. As a former school orchestra director I've put on, taken off, and all around messed with an awful lot of chinrests. (Is it one word or two?). I needed to fit a "boxwood" over the tailpiece chinrest to fit over a Hill style tailpiece. I have this thing for Hill style tailpieces I just think they look much more elegant than the usual French ones but they do stick up a bit more and they don't usually clear the inside of Berber or Flesch style chin rest without some grinding and sanding underneath. I figure most of the ones I have used are pretty cheap and if I kill one it isn't the end of the world. It is pretty easy to get carried away and sand right through the thing (ask me how I know!) I keep shining a bright light through it and checking with my micrometer. (I bought the Mic. for my science kids as their book mentioned it and they had never heard or seen one. They get a kick out of seeing who's hair is the thickest or thinest.) I added a little extra cork on the feet and I changed the hardware to some hybrid tiitanium stuff that I like. I think I have it licked. I still don't think I ever had a chin rest I was in love with. I would love to design one but I have no idea where I would start. Thanks for bearing with the ramblings of the under talented :-) DLB
  3. Thanks, I have had several messages from Dimitri Musafia. I hope you and your family are well. DLB
  4. BTW I have found the violin makers I have worked with to commission instruments have all been very much interested in the playability of their violins and violas. They went to a lot of trouble to make their instruments comfortable and useful for me. I have only comissioned one bow and Gilles Nehr was very much interested in what worked for me. The ergonomics of the violin and viola are pretty weird and we do not play them in the way they were originally designed to be sure. DLB
  5. As a teacher very often we see problemswith students trying to grab the neck and introducing stress into their left hand. Sometimes we have them play without their thumb at all if the problem gets severe. This is done as an exercise, not as a permanent situation. Not wanting to blow my own horn at all because I am basicly a nothing but this is as per my teachers who were students of: Ivan Galamian Dorothy Delay William Primose Joseph Gingold Shinichi Suzuki David Holland Francis Bundra Angel Reyes Patricia McCarty I was never good enough to study with them directly but I was lucky to have their students (the last four I did study with) The thing to be kept in mind is that any tension or stress in the basic position of either hand is a problem and can result in real injury. Wrists and shoulders are particularly vulnerable. There will be slight differences for different body types and and different abilities and disabilities . Again I do not claim to be anything other than a small town teacher but I mentioned those teachers to give a reference for my thoughts. One fun thing to do that is not that hard is you can trace your student-teacher family tree For me it crosses back and forth between violin and viola but it's fun. Mr. Galamian's book on violin technique is quite useful and is pretty much the basis for most modern violin position for both hands .https://www.amazon.com/Principles-Violin-Playing-Teaching-Galamian/dp/0962141631 As an example the former concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Mr. Silverstein had problems with his right thumb position on the bow and he played with his thumb under the frog like we teach small children at first. He felt it helped with the tension in his hand. You will see variation in his students to compensate for their hand and body types (Mr. Perlman for instance) Best to all, Dwight DLB
  6. The neck does look a bit bulky, but it is hard to tell from just a picture. How does it compare to a standard template. Another thought is to smooth and polish it really well. About the only thing I ever do to an instrument is to Micro Mesh the neck . It always makes things slicker and better. https://www.woodcraft.com/products/micro-mesh-pen-sanding-kit?gclid=Cj0KCQjw1Iv0BRDaARIsAGTWD1towPWRlq0vjoGRRx19CPUvR_u1Vw0vGdp3Kv5Mv97XORg471eHhDsaAiJSEALw_wcB DLB
  7. Not sure about the left hand position technique wise, but I'm not Mr. Gingold either! I would be afraid it might weaken the neck if it was reduced substantially . DLB
  8. Would a set like this work for violin photography? https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1422807-REG/bescor_specterk_specter_slim_line_bi_color_soft.html/qa I have cameras coming out of my ears digital and film minox to 4x5. I probably would use a Canon 6D (20 megapixels ) and a Canon 24 -105 f4.0 L lens. I have a really solid Gitzo tripod and remote release. I know I'm trying to cheap out on the lights but they are not going to get used that much. I read Mr. Darton's paper on violin photography several times but I am stuck on a lighting kit. I would really rather not use flash and I have a feeling really big soft boxes might be best. I'm guessing that like doing human portraits it's probably best to use a long lens of around 100mm to avoid distortion and have a bit easier working distance. I would be OK to go with something more expensive if need be. If you see something on https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/browse/Lighting-Studio/ci/1161/N/4294551176 that looks like a good idea let me know. They are my usual suppliers of photo equipment and they have a huge selection. Thanks Guys, DLB
  9. Sounds great, set it up and I’ll join. Better put the time in GMT! DLB
  10. I had a viola that behaved as if it had a wolf on open A. I put a small piece of sheet lead that I had in my lab (around 3 or 4 grams) under the end of the fingerboard with some rather interesting 3M sheet adhesive. This completely cured the problem. Another Maestronet member who is a very fine maker put me on to this. My thought was there was vibrational coupling of the unsupported portion of the fingerboard with the rest of the instrument Or just the A string at A 440. It was pretty much miraculous the difference it made. DLB
  11. Does this have anything to do with unwanted fingerboard resonaces that happen about on open A on viola? DLB
  12. Perhaps look for a product that says “Food Safe”? DLB
  13. https://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/viewtopic.php?t=29408 this article may be of some use. It’s a well known instrument. DLB
  14. A crack in a top is almost expected in an old instrument but a crack in the back seems to devalue an instrument sometimes substantially. I think as far as sound goes the top should be the most important but I have no real proof or evidence. DLB
  15. I am of no actual use, and I'm not wealthy, but If I can help anyone or send anyone anything within my power I will do it. My wife and I are ok and we are in our own home. DLB
  16. Dear Don and Everyone, Here in Texas our schools are closed on a district by district level. I am out at least until April third. We are encouraged to stay at home as much as possible. All bars and restaurants are closed except for drive through and pick up, including chains. We are trying to order from our usual full service restaurants and leave tips for their waiters. I am working with teaching and grading from home starting Monday. The border here is closed to casual traffic from or to Mexico. I have been in communication with Dimitri Musafia in Cremona. He is OK as of a few days ago but his company is pretty much completely closed down. I just got a custom fitted viola case from him about a week ago or so (Jeeze they are lovely, and really cheap for the work put into them) I think it was the last case out of Italy for a while. I have contact with the family of one of my former violin students that live near an Italian Air Force Base. The father is a retired USAF Lt. Col who directs the simulator program for Lockheed on the F35. They seem to be OK but I'm worried. That's all from Del Rio, TX at present, Dwight DLB
  17. One should always sign autographs using the back! (NOOOOOOOOOO!) DLB (just kidding)
  18. Maybe someone was writing on a piece of paper on top of the instrument? DLB
  19. Not Cremona but in the neighborhood , Maginni it would seem was taken by the plague. DLB
  20. Hopefully Josh or Jerry will come by. It doesn’t look that bad really. DLB
  21. Most violin family instruments have two piece tops of spruce or other suitable wood that are book matched to have the two sides as mirror images of each other. I guess most that I have seen have the fine grain in the middle and the wider grain to the outside but that isn't a hard and fast rule. I do have a viola by our esteemed Chistopher Jacoby that has a one piece top. I can't tell you which side is which (maybe wide on the bass side?) I'll have to look. Found a picture on my 'phone. Bass side wide treble side narrow. DLB
  22. http://www.violinplace.com.au/about You might send him a quick picture. I think this is him. DLB