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  1. Your favorite musical kitsch

    Thanks for posting that Roethke poem. Roethke is/was a favorite poet of mine too, back in the days when reading poetry was an important thing to do. The geranium poem is so life affirming, that you have to smile at the whole situation in the poem. Getting angry can be life affirming. Contrast that affirmation with the resignation in his poem which starts "I wake to sleep, and take my waking slow" in which embracing an end seems to be part of what's going on.
  2. Your favorite musical kitsch

    Great stuff. Hope it's on DVD. He was a great actor, it seems. Knew how to understate a role, would you believe. Maybe he got his love of candelabras from that role.
  3. Your favorite musical kitsch

    I suspect your family and mine could have spent Saturday evenings pleasantly together. The musicianship in the orchestra, strings included, is of pretty high quality. Getting into that orchestra would be an accomplishment.
  4. Your favorite musical kitsch

    Well, for me, after just one listening, it's pretty impressive. It's a mixture of theme (chop sticks) and variations, a medley of pop tunes, some references to classical music and opera, various classical composer styles, all stirred together rather seamlessly. It's more than elevator music and it's more than background music in a high end restaurant. If I were eating dinner while this was being played, it would definitely cause me to pause and listen and smile with amusement and admiration. The visuals -- clothing, jewelry, piano, candelabra -- push hard toward mega-kitsch, but the performance, the aural experience, does -- maybe this is an embarrassing admission -- engage my mind. But now you have to tell why you're conflicted about it.
  5. Your favorite musical kitsch

    That's funny and the most in tune I've heard him play. In other performances, he's deliberately playing out of tune for comic effect. For me, Gisele MacKenzie was a pop singer. Clearly, she was also a very capable violinist.
  6. Your favorite musical kitsch

    Definitely compelling. Lawrence Welk was the high point of our Saturday night family gatherings in front of the TV when I was a kid. Hey, he played a great polka and at a tempo so the old folks could keep up. Just like any good politician, he gave the folks what they wanted, not what they needed. It was definitely music that wasn't going to stretch your tastes. It was, undeniably, heavy duty kitsch, but still fondly remembered.
  7. Your favorite musical kitsch

    I would regret if my last post were found disgusting. My lack of a personal connection to Korea may have made me overlook what others would find objectionable in that post. Sorry if that's what happened.
  8. Your favorite musical kitsch

    By the standards of pop music, this North Korean Girls Band (the current ruler's favorite) from isn't kitsch. (Scroll down about half way to run the video.) By classical music standards, it might be; maybe all pop music is kitsch by those standards. But the ladies are very competent fiddlers, probably classically trained, who know how to make their electric violins and basses dazzle with some jazz and gypsy riffs in addition to schmaltz. It's a great dose of Socialist Realism, a la Cold War, in pop music. To tell the truth (of an old guy) I prefer this kind of pop to what I hear today. At least you can polka to it.
  9. Chanot-Chardon Copy

    Dwight, How many pieces constitute the ribs? It might be that a cornerless violin would be a great one for a first time maker to make. Someone new to making wouldn't need to fuss with how the corners look, trying to get them to match, and fussing with direction changes in purfling. Instead the maker could concentrate on acoustically more important things, like the arching and neck angle. I wonder if a cornerless violin could be made with the more typical contemporary dimensions of back length 355, widths 166, 110, 206 (all measurements with calipers and plus or minus a couple of mm). That might be a great first violin for a new maker, allowing a new maker to learn a step at a time and still have a completed instrument and eventually moving up to violins with corners.
  10. Chanot-Chardon Copy

    Thanks, Dwight. By contemporary Strad/del Gesu model standards, the fiddle is somewhat narrow in the upper and lower bouts and wide in the middle bout. The guesses we all made in the other thread were that the middle bout would be in the 120s and there it is.
  11. Chanot-Chardon Copy

    Dwight, Congratulations on your new fiddle. It's always fun to get to know a new fiddle. Enjoy it. When we were discussing the Chanot-Chardon Strad on another thread, there was some question about what the dimensions would be. Would you be willing to give the dimensions of yours, length, 3 widths of the back (over the arching with flexible tape is fine) and the body stop (mensur) of the top? Thanks.
  12. A university setting for violin knowledge

    I don't know the Sackman and Pollens books, but am re-reading "Book 2, Selling It" pp.125 - 259, in the Schoenbaum book. Schoenbaum's writing style is, at times, off-puting in its flippancy and lofty tone. He seems to enjoy presenting anecdotes without providing an explicit context for them. Thus it's not always easy to see a path he wants you on in your thinking. Nonetheless, the "Selling It" section can be entertaining in its anecdotes (like the one about Machold, Roger Hargrave, and the North Koreans), and once he settles into giving you a history of the violin trade, you get a pretty good picture of the trade right up to the near present. He does present a number of instances of questionable or less than honest dealings in the trade, and that may give some readers the impression that he's emphasizing the negative. To me, his presentation seems balanced. The section is an extensive presentation of the violin trade, in terms of timeline, and Schoenbaum cites his sources. Therefore, I'd recommend it. If someone knows a more complete description of the violin trade over the centuries than Schoenbaum's "Selling It" section, please make that known.
  13. A university setting for violin knowledge

    Anybody spending the rest of their lives defending their PhD thesis is wasting their lives. If you haven't learned anything beyond your PhD thesis then you are not active in the field. I've said this any number of times, but it doesn't sink in: A degree, whether a masters or a doctorate, does not confer on someone the title of expert. It simply means that the person knows the current material in the field (that's a masters) and, in the case of the PhD, knows how to do meaningful research in the field and has produced some new, additional information or idea in the field. A PhD doesn't make you an expert, but it gives you the background and tools to work toward being an expert if you choose.
  14. A university setting for violin knowledge

    Ben, I doubt that evangelizing to the masses would be effective, but you have convinced me that if I'm serious about violin knowledge in a university setting I should make some effort to see what's going on at my alma mater, Indiana University, Bloomington, which has a very large and prestigious string program. There may be something to do there. Full disclosure: My degrees from Indiana University are not in music. I was a violin major in the Music School for 2.5 years (one year of which was spent in Hamburg, Germany, as an IU music student) but switched majors when it was clear to me that making it in music to IU standards would take more time and effort than I was willing to give.
  15. A university setting for violin knowledge

    There seems to be some interest at some universities for some sort of introductory course about the violin. In past posts, Jeffrey Holmes mentions that the University of Michigan had an interest in such a course. Philip Kass is on the faculty of the Curtis Institute, as a violin historian, I assume. Indiana University might have such a course. And cm sunday has made references to some schools with a possible course. So, there's some interest out there in academia for such a course. But, Ben, you are right. The people to direct one's energies towards are the university administrators. Also, maybe university violin students who are reading this thread and who think that such a course could be beneficial can ask for one.