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  1. Thank you for all for the input. We don't inflict our scrapings on other people so maybe I'll pick up the score and see what we can do with it. A quartet of viols sounds like fun. There is no way we can round up 25 players so obviously the full thing is out but perhaps we can manage some extracts. I'll look for the others works but so far have found very little in print.
  2. I belong to a small informal group of strings players who play once a week. Abilities vary from three violists who play with the symphony and one good cellist, to all we violins (about five regulars) who are all adult beginners with between 3 and 8 years experience. We have done some Bach Handel some Mozart and are presently working on Shubert's "Death & the Maiden". That's just to indicate the kind of level...now the questions. I have been trying to find some Vaughan Williams for us to play. Not much available. I love the Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis. Does anyone know if it has been arranged for string quartet? I know a quartet features in it. He wrote a quartet in A minor which is available on sheet music plus but there is no indication of the level of difficulty. Is anyone familiar with this work and whether a group such as I describe could tackle it? ( we double up quartet parts) Any other suggestions would be welcomed. Thanks in advance.
  3. I agree with Oliver Mundy's assessment. I miss Soapbox. Amid the nastiness which certainly was there just before its demise there was some pretty good discussion. I haven't visited Maestronet as frequently since it was removed but do check in from time to time for the strings topics which had brought me there in the first place. Kabal's site unfortunately makes my computer crash so it isn't an option.
  4. Go for what you enjoy. I'm trying to do classical and fiddle (mainly Cape Breton) and whichever I happen to be doing at the time is what I enjoy most. I haven't been playing as long as you have just 3 years at both and as I didn't start til I was 60, I'm not going to get hung up on techniques of either style as there is clearly no careeer for me in this life. I play with an amateur quartet at the weekends and find the fiddling helps as I have no problems with fast passages and the classical helps the fiddling as I do often play in 3rd position and use vibrato sometimes. I don't think one needs classical training to be a good fiddler. I went to a concert last night to hear 78 year old Buddy McMaster who can still "drive em" and is not classically trained and Mark O'Connor of course started fiddling and expanded outwards. So it's obvious there are many roads to whatever goal you set yourself.
  5. Lots of good ideas..thanks. When this came up we were practicing Bach's Little Fugue in which I think all the voices should have their say. Oddly enough in view of what you say, the problem emerged when I was playing second violin and was felt by other memebers not to be projecting. Last weekend the first violin couldn't make it and I ended up playing first with someone else playing second. Noone had any trouble hearing me but the girl sitting in on second was felt to be playing too quietly. So maybe there is a mental thing here as you say and that automatically on "second fiddle" one tends not to project. Suggestion of getting someone else to listen at a distance makes obvious sense and as soon as we can get out of the living room we'll take you up on it. Actually if someone listened from the kitchen it might help. ( As I mentioned....we are very amateur )
  6. Thanks Scott & Justen. Actually I sit next to the cello which I can always hear. The viola is across the way and I can just barely hear it even when I play quietly. I'm relieved to hear that this is something which can be learned. When we are working on a new piece and struggling with sight reading and actually playing the notes, I can really only hear the cello. Something I can play easily allows some other part of the brain to kick in and I can hear the others more clearly. Anyway I'll try you suggestions.
  7. How can one tell if one is playing loud enough? An adult beginner (3 years), I am playing with a very amateur string quartet. When I can hear the other instruments as well as myself, the others tell me I am not playing loudly enough. When I play sufficiently loudly that the others can hear me, I cannot hear them. I realize that my own instrument is directly under my ear and thus appears to have more volume than it actually does. What I need to know is how to deal with my problem. Is it peculiar to me or do others have this difficulty? Does anyone have any useful tips?
  8. I'm a late beginner and had the same problem. Don't be too hard on yourself most folk have this problem. Take all the good advice people give you but relax about it. just keep working and one day it just happens.
  9. Thanks..a fascinating series of articles
  10. It's certainly a very pretty picture thanks for the posting. I do find your observation about Canada's population a little odd. "Almost exclusively along the U.S. border"? I don't think we think of it like that at all. The Canadian population is greatest along historically established east west river routes where the weather is warmer and the land more fertile.This is south of the old hard infertile rock of the Canadian Sheild, the boreal forest and the ice caps which are of course less densely populated. Some of this land is close to the Candadian/US border but this is incidental. Maybe I'm just getting paranoid about all the scaremongering recently about leaky borders. If this was not the intention Ken I apologize. I live thousands of miles from the border but there we are, lit up like a Christmas tree! Maybe more northern Canadians turn out the lights at night.
  11. I haven't had any experience with music competitions but it happened to me once when I was showing dogs. The area where I live is thinly populated and our local kennel club was short of entries so I entered this dear old dog I had who was just sitting around growing old gracefully. We won the breed which was ridiculous. A very experienced professional handler told me to stop apologizing, that these things happen, just take it and run You are the best judge of your dogs/violin performance and if you know it was lacking, that's all that matters.
  12. I got to play Jerry Holland's fiddle last summer. The sweet sound he produces is in Jerry not in the fiddle
  13. It is interesting to read which rosins people are using but I would really like to know why they prefer one over another (a couple of posters did mention this). I was looking at a site about strings the other day and unfortunately cannot remember which it was but for Helicore strings which I am using it said "apply dampening rosin"(to the bow of course) Could anyone enlighten me as to what a "dampening rosin" is and/or suggest a good rosin to use with Helicores in a climate which is mild and damp in summer and cold and dryish - not extremely dry- in winter. My rosin is Hidersine #4. It was bought because it was the most expensive rosin in the store so I figured it must be the best. It seems to work well in summer but is a little powdery and tends to require more frequent application in winter. Any input gratefully received.
  14. To Alex E. I'm not a teacher but have two excellent and supportive instructors. I started playing at age 60 and play classical & also fiddle. I have been playing fiddle 3 years this coming January 18, 2003 and Classical (for want of a better term) three years this coming June 4 2003. (Both red letter days for me, hence the exact dates). I'll never be an excellent player in either field but enjoy it immensely, play in an amateur string quartet and at fiddle camp where there are 5 levels of expertise, I'm in the next to top group so am pretty happy with my progress. I play in 1st 2nd & third positions at the moment and hope to reach loftier heights one day. Yes one certainly can learn to play at a pleasure level. It gives me great pleasure..not sure about the listeners. It might be a problem if one has arthritis.
  15. This stuff is fascinating. I once saw a video of Yehudi Menuhin teaching a master class for gifted young violinists. While correcting one boy's technique he said "We always know what our right hand & arm are doing but we have to try to know what our left hands are doing" (or words to that effect) My reaction was that I'm exactly the other way round. I always know what my left hand is doing but until recently (I have been playing 2.5 years) my right arm was like the dark continent .. it was there and operating but whether I was on an up bow or down bow was a big mystery. Only in the last few months has awareness developed. Does that make me a lefty or righty? I don't know. I'm a graphic designer and enjoy all kinds of artistic expression but used to be a hot shot at formal logic. Didn't I read somewhere that both J.S.Bach & Mozart engage both sides of the brain equally?