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Everything posted by Steve_W

  1. You guys do realize that this thread is 6 years old...?
  2. I second the recommendation on The Rainaldi Quartet. A bit "DaVinci Code"-ish, but well-written; would be a fun read for anyone who enjoys mystery novels and violins. I enjoyed it thoroughly although it took a second read before I decided I was satisfied with the ending! Thanks Omo for pointing out the other two books; I'll look for them both. I'm especially interested in the Steinhardt book. Speaking of the Guarneri Quartet, a book I've enjoyed and read several times over the years is "Quartet: A Profile of the Guarneri Quartet" by Helen Drees Ruttencutter. It's an expansion of an article that originally appeared in The New Yorker in the late 1970s. The book is copyright 1980 so I doubt it's still in print, but worth a read if you can find it used or in a library. -Steve
  3. Steve_W


    I agree; I love the shape of a Stratocaster's body and nothing I've yet seen in EVs comes close to that, IMO. A couple thoughts about the bottom end of the instrument. Looking at the side view, it looks like putting a normal chinrest and a Kun-style shoulder rest on it would result in the playing position being somewhat lower than a standard violin. Maybe that doesn't matter, though? (Ergonomically it might be better...) Second, it looks like those wings would provide a very uncomfortable surface, if not a total lack of support, for anyone who wanted to play the instrument without a shoulder rest! Also regarding the flexibility of the wings and possible propensity for breakage, do they need to be thin and flat? What about adding some sort of rib or making them thicker in the center for more support? I suppose that would add to the complexity of manufacture and it looks like you're trying to avoid that... All in all, I like this instrument though; it's simple and utilitarian. I'll be interested to hear how you fare with it. Have you thought about doing a 5-string? -Steve
  4. Steve_W


    That's an interesting suggestion about the Keith Tuners; I used to play a bit of banjo and had a set installed on my instrument. They allow you to lock in a note, and an alternate lower note, so that you can quickly shift between the 2 with a quick twist of the knob. They're very handy although I used them mainly for special effects like Earl Scruggs (who originally popularized the concept) did, not for changing tunings quickly. They're pretty precise on the banjo but I wonder if they'd be accurate enough on the shorter-scale neck of an e-violin.
  5. Steve_W


    I like the basic design but I think I'd prefer the peg arrangement that John Jordan uses on his EV's for ease of access. I like the idea you've come up with for mounting a standard shoulder rest, although the way I position mine, I'd want the wing on the E-string side to extend further up. Where does the cord plug in?
  6. This is good news if true; I understand that Delta was one of the worst US airlines when it came to not allowing violins to be carried on. I hope we can get an official confirmation from Delta! As of yet, there's nothing about this on their website...
  7. quote: Originally posted by: yuen True, but I rehaired two bows at the same time,($50 each, total $100) one wooden bow and one CF bow. The wooden bow still works perfectly, the CF has this problem. Both are expensive bows ($1000 vs $400). It seems the only solution is to rehair the CF bow. The question is now " should I ?" I am not to blame on CF bow (in general) It is my economic question more than anything else. I would say if the bow is still adjustable through the range of tension you need for playing, and the only problem is that the hair doesn't go fully slack when you loosen it fully, don't worry about it! As you noted earlier, it won't hurt the stick to remain under partial tension since carbon fiber doesn't lose camber like wood would. (My opinion only, but confirmed on the Arcus website for their bows.) -Steve
  8. OK, I get that most people were probably too rushed to stop and listen, but what amazes me is how few people even acknowledged Mr. Bell's presence! How many seconds does it take to slow down and make eye contact and nod or smile?
  9. Very cool! The next time I'm playing in public and nobody seems to be listening, I'll think of Joshua! -Steve
  10. Nice resource--the information is very up to date, which is usually the problem with these sites; someone puts a lot of effort into putting a review together then doesn't bother to keep up with changes. Regarding equipment I'm happy with my 2-year-old Sony RH-10 Hi-MD minidisk recorder however as this is a dying format--Sony now only manufactures a single Hi-MD recorder, the RH-1 ($300USD), aimed at professionals--probably wouldn't recommend it unless you could find one of the newer units cheap. However it has the advantages of small size, high fidelity, long recording times on a charge and cheap, replaceable media that make it ideal for a field recording unit, and will likely serve me for a few more years until some of the flash-based units evolve for a couple more generations.
  11. It sounds like you're doing it right... When you click the HTTP icon in the compose/reply window you should get a dialog box that asks you to enter your URL. You apparently never see that so I wonder if there's a browser compatibility issue or something. What browser do you use? I'm using Firefox (1 and 2) on Mac and PC and it works there. Or maybe it's a pop-up issue. If your browser blocks pop-ups, try allowing them for this site and see if that works. I hope this helps... -Steve
  12. quote: Originally posted by: Lundberg I hope this link works. I don;t understand this new hyperlink function. You cannot paste your link or text into the field? You do it like This. In the message editing window, select the "http" icon and it will ask you to paste your link, and any text associated with it. Unfortunately Comcast appears to have moved on to other strange news, but I think this is the same article. -Steve
  13. Regarding the "King" tunes, I think this version transcribed from the playing of Willie Kennedy by David Greenberg is the closest to what I play for King George IV; this more or less matches Buddy's version and is pretty much what I hear from other players. (Here is a link to an article on Willie Kennedy with transcriptions and sound clips of his version of King George IV and The King's Reel.) For The King's Reel, this version on TheSession is reasonably good. Check it against Kennedy's version, which is somewhat more complicated. The Session says this is AKA The Old King's Reel, which it may be, but it's not the tune I know as The Old King's Reel! The closest transcription to the version of The Old King's Reel that I'm used to that I could find on the web is in Paul Fackler's Cape Breton Tunebook in PDF which can be downloaded from this site.. This is an 85-page pdf file which is well worth downloading, it has some great tunes (It also has Miss Lyall, which a number of fiddlers play before the 3 Kings tunes). I hope this helps! -Steve
  14. A question that occurs to me: was any "classical" music written to be enjoyed by the masses? Or was the primary audience always the elite?
  15. quote: Originally posted by: lastchair I just wanted to add that there are various degrees of swing that I've noticed. My classical teacher got on my case the other day saying that triplets are ALWAYS evenly spaced, and why was I making the first note in the set slightly longer and the second one slightly shorter... Doohh, I didn't tell him what I was up to. Seems like a lot of playing is not exactly how it's written. I read that the dotted eighth-sixteeth combo is played more like a tied triplet, i.e. divided into 3, with two notes tied, rather than divided into 4 parts, with 3 tied together. Might wreak havoc with some of my classical interpretations. Ha ha. Uh-oh, you have started down a slippery slope! Next you'll be throwing fiddle ornaments into classical pieces... If it were me, I would tell your teacher exactly what I was up to, and if he can't handle it find someone who's more fiddle-friendly; I know some around here who are comfortable teaching both styles. Yes, fiddle music is often played different than notated. This can be for several reasons I can think of: because standard notation is often inadequate to fully describe what's going on, so what's written is understood to be "shorthand" for what's actually played; because it would clutter up the page and make it confusing to notate the tunes as actually played; or because fiddlers often improvise and play a tune differently each time they play it. I can imagine that it would be difficult to be learning both classical violin and a fiddle style at the same time. Personally I find it hard to separate them; I tend to throw too much vibrato into my fiddling, and when I try to play a classical piece (particularly baroque stuff) I find myself adding extra ornamentation. A classically-trained fiddler friend and I were playing through Bach's double violin concerto a couple weekends ago and we both kept adding extra grace notes and etc., it was pretty funny! -Steve
  16. Somewhere I have a transcription of Buddy MacMaster's version of the "King" tunes, as taught at one of Alasdair Fraser's fiddle camps. When I get a chance I'll dig it out and see if it corresponds to anything online...
  17. We tend to forget that a lot of the music we now consider to be masterpieces scandalized audiences and was ridiculed when first presented. Over time the pieces lost their novelty and became beloved by audiences everywhere (e.g., people at the premiere of Beethoven's 5th Symphony laughed at his opening motif as being too simplistic and his violin concerto was mocked as the "concerto for kettledrum" because of the beginning...). Although I also have trouble believing that much 20th century art music will stand the test of time, I'm willing to admit that I might have had the same reaction to Beethoven, Wagner, etc. had I lived in that time period!
  18. quote: Originally posted by: lastchair Now I have a question: what are the top-40 tunes of Cape Breton? I'm sure there are perennial favorites that you hear all the time. Maybe that's where I should start. :-) Dunno about the top 40 but you couldn't go wrong by learning this set: Miss Lyall (strathspey), King George IV (strathspey), The Old King's Reel (reel), King's Reel (reel). This group of tunes is very popular with step dancers. I've heard a bunch of fiddlers play this set with variations, e.g., adding a march at the front and a couple more reels after those 2. Buddy MacMaster recorded it adding a reel he just calls "Traditional Reel" at the end; Bill Lamy recorded a set starting with Gloomy Winter's Now Awa' (air), followed by Calum Breugach (strathspey), those 4 tunes, then ending with Little Donald's Wife (reel). -Steve [edit: also meant to mention that as a source for popular CB tunes, you can't go wrong with Jerry Holland's first collection. In addition to his own tunes, it includes a lot of frequently-played stuff (both trad and by contemporary CB composers). I believe Cranford Publications has the list of tunes on their website, so maybe that's a place to start.]
  19. quote: Originally posted by: davet The Gow Collection <font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">ISBN 0825603072 contains Tullochgorum.</font> It's in a bunch of the collections; it was a very popular tune during that period. James Scott Skinner's variations are published in The Scottish Violinist.
  20. I "rescued" an old violin I found while on vacation in Nova Scotia last Summer; it's an anonymous old Strad copy (at least 100 years old by its known history, probably somewhat more), possibly English according to the shop that did the work on it, that was a cheap trade fiddle, judging by the scribed-on "purfling" and very wide-grained board on the top (the back has a nice tight flame, and the scroll seems well-carved; it's fully blocked and lined inside). It had obviously been played a lot at some point, which gave me some optimism that it might be a decent-sounding instrument. After a new soundpost, bridge, chinrest, and strings, and gluing some minor cracks on the top, it turns out to be a fun instrument to play; it has a fairly muted, quiet sound under the chin but responds quite well and is easy to play, and it's very light. Today a friend played it while I listened, and I was very surprised to realize that it projects really well; it has much more volume at a distance than I heard while playing it! I'm wondering what characteristics cause this; it's something my much-better benchmade contemporary Strad copy doesn't have (even though the 2 instruments are pretty similar in configuration). I've played one other violin, a 17th century Dutch instrument, that had this same trait, more extreme than this one, but it doesn't seem to have anything in common with mine, except possibly light weight. Any ideas?
  21. There's a photo of the original MS posted here but I must say, I don't find this piece anywhere near as interesting as the Tullochgorum variations... Have you actually heard any Cape Breton fiddlers play this tune? -Steve
  22. Well, there's a facsimile of the original MS posted here
  23. quote: Originally posted by: Banzai Well, GalwayGirl hasn't checked back in yet, but I think it's safe to say that this thread may be of dubious clarity. For the record, we have now covered: Helicore Prim Eudoxa (E) Dominant Kaplan (E) Prelude Wondertone Solo Obligato Chromcor Vision Titanium Normal Vision Larsen (E) Have I left any out? If someone would like to chime in a vote for Evahs, that will just about cover everything. So, the answer Galway Girl, is "it depends." What do you want to change, and what do you want out of your violin? You might want to read this <a href= "http://www.stringsmagazine.com...">review</a> of 30 different violin strings from Strings magazine. It may give you a starting point for something to try. Obviously experimentation can get expensive, but some research may help. Note that article is 11 years old and doesn't cover some newer brands. There's an updated version of this on Ifshin Violin's site, but it's still not up to date, and not written from a fiddling perspective--although it still might be useful for info on general characteristics of string brands. At any rate, while I agree that every violin is different, etc., I think that what you'd normally want for Irish fiddling is a brightish string with fast response. Based on my experience with them, I don't think I'd recommend Obligatos, although I might vote for Evah's (except that they're probably over-priced for this application). Apart from that, I think that most of the brands on the list above might be good possibilities. I'll add Tonicas to this list; I've found them to be a good all-around string for most applications, similar to Dominants but with a little more character and possibly longer life. -Steve
  24. Some old Scottish tunes written in scordatura show up in the collections from the golden period of Scottish fiddling; I can think of a couple in Robert Petrie's collections (1790-1810) e.g., but they seem to be much more common in the areas influenced by Scandanavian fiddling (Shetland, Orkney). Personally, I'm a little afraid of what the higher tuning will do to my fiddles so tend to avoid these tunes! What do you think Ken; am I worrying needlessly? -Steve
  25. quote: Originally posted by: Banzai Steve, I'll need to check out that Jerry Holland recording. Solo with ZERO accompaniment? Wow... I'll have to ditto Hahn's Bach S&P album...though I also really like the Itzhak Perlman recording of all of them as well. Yes, it's great for analyzing his style since nothing else gets in the way. The next best thing to sitting in the room with him and listening to him playing the tunes (which I've also done; I have several hours of MD recordings of him playing at a workshop last year which I need to sort out and edit at some point). Classical, I have to go with the Szeryng Bach Sonatas & Partitas; a long-time favorite.
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