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Baiorin's Achievements


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  1. Measures 4, 5, 6 (complete measures)? You bring up a very fine point. Find a comfortable chair and grab something to drink. Join the club. Practiced it; don't have the nerve to perform it. Note: to really simplify harmonic analysis skills, especially for these types of show pieces, look to see what notes the piano is NOT playing and those are usually the choice melodic notes that the composer has willed the soloist (or melody). Of course this is a gross over-simplification, but for the amount of time we put in playing these pieces, it's worth examining. For example, in complete measure 4, the f, f#, and b are a nice way to start the second part of the phrase. Also a great rationale for any violist overplaying chamber music with others stomping all over your beautifully colorfully notes - it's a pretty safe bet the others can't read the clef. I have no answers, but philosophically, played (or practiced) solo, the up-bows are more naturally accented in my own playing because this opus is built on the articulation of these spicattos and I am not a sophisticated enough player to make the adjustment of smoothing out the contour of the rise and fall of the phrase (the lowest being the a - for the minor quality - and the highest being a b which gives us the bright 3rd of the most fairest sounding of keys, the great G major, though Schubert might argue this). With a pianist playing a piano, if both are metronomically accurate (sorta boring) the notes "on the beat" may be a bit (or greatly) masked by a pianist's right-hand touch. One would probably have to bring out these note to overcome the volume of the piano, if the violinist's notes were played precisely on top of those chords. So then what type of accent do we choose? Dynamic? Tonal? Pitch? None of the above works, sometimes. We tend to practice these passages rhythmically square, but our heart tells us that the musical phrase is a bit drunk with the affections of Herr Doktor and his whims. Perhaps the theosophical point is that the rhythm is one that is allowed to ebb and flow, racing downward and slowing at the peaks while the most courteous accompanist paves a most stable road. Sorta a stylistically baroque issue, as to the color of the bowstroke. Which brings us back to the original question... My sincere opinion is that besides a little bit of that push on the down bows (if desired, up bow if not) to overcome the pianist' right hand, the contour of the phrase is likely the more musical issue. At the micro-level, the distinctions between the ups-downs are less crucial than playing thorough the arc of the 2nd phrase. If I had the technical control, the choice would be to play each note like the next, but would rather change the tonal color gradually through the crescendo possibly with a slight drift over the established pulse. It's the audible burn and warmth, like that of spices or alcohol in food. The change in articulation during the crescendo will help exaggerate the contrast of "the most elegant" un-accented down bow slur of measure 7 (on the down beat no less, in G major) followed by the horrific recycling of hair at the frog "because I've run out of bow trying to play 10 successive up-bows," creating a bloodbath of inept barking instead of simply re-state the primary melodic theme. Our most affectionate and snickering composer slams the door on us mortals, by leaving out the pianist (also snickering) at this crucial point, exposing the audience to a tired violinist plucking out a charming melody with the ferrule. In discussions with personal friends, we mostly agree that this work is not so much about the notes we play, but the managing of the silences between the notes. Other pieces are so much more about the shaping of the legato phrase and connecting notes with dripping vibrato and less-subtle, throbbing, but sexy bow changes. The one capable of negotiating (and controlling) the sonic range of white heat to audible darkness and everything else in between is the technically great musician. In the meantime, I enjoy practicing this piece because it sounds nice. - - - - - - - - This work and the last fiery movement of the very popular Mendelssohn violin concerto, are examples of pieces that truly benefit from trying different bows or violins. These are pieces that force players either to improve by locating brilliance within an instrument, or to find new girlfriends/boyfriends or wives/husbands (or pets). Empirical evidence suggests that a new bow is generally the cheaper option.
  2. A digression: Regarding tuning most stringed instrument, each player who has taken time to truly listen to what occurs to a particular instrument may notice that biasing (sharp/flat, tighter/looser) a small amount maybe necessary as playing - and the environment - are dynamic things, especially at the limits. In the shop or at home, constant adjustments are possible, but on-stage with pieces like the Bruch g minor, Berg or Khatchaturian, there should be a game plan prepared for the player. I tend to sharp, which is no-nonsense, though there are those (old school) who tune to absolute "rock solid" 5ths, then sharpen the G-string by pushing down on (squeezing) the string behind the nut a variable amount. These are often players who use or used to use gut-core strings. I did this for several decades in orchestral playing, but tired of it, and the others in a quartet were simply annoyed by the repetitive action if there was a lot of open G or C work. Intuitively, one would use less graphite on the G/C-string at the nut. Just a few meandering comments. And for the record, I do not adjust afterlength on visiting instruments unless suggested. Mr Martin's experience/experiment at the afterlength is what has been mostly observed. On instruments that have a harsher top-end in the octave above the open e-string, if the afterlengths are dead on pitch, a little bit of that tonal harshness is taken off. Switching from Westminster to a Pirastro Gold may have the same tonal effect on some instruments. There must be some (undesired) energy being absorbed into the afterlength? Or the player is able and willing to shape string tone. Several years ago, a quiet but brilliant man taught me how to make tiny - single string - bridges of harder woods and we would move these tiny bridges (like those on a koto or a chinese harp) along the tailpiece (must drill additional holes for strings). This was an adaptation from the use of the non-pointy end of toothpicks that would be slid on to the tailpiece to sharpen the D/G-string afterlength to lock in on pitch. Anyway, I believe the effects are "audible and felt" by the sensitive player and to - at least - immediate bunk or in-mates, but not so much off-stage (though I believe that a more pure tone appears to carry further into the Hall than a harsher/unevenly-distorted one). But let me put this into perspective: If one practices with a relaxed, right-hand grip (hands, period), the audible benefits are mostly about the same?!? So much of getting an instrument "to sing," is literally in the player's hands. Thus the mis-information about "some players" being able to make any (though they can make many) instrument sound good. As a player and teacher, the confidence of the student is crucial (mine, especially). I'd rather the students play well (heard as: Full) in the upper octaves. If their perception is that of harsh or harsh-er sound, they will back off, especially if "practice" is in a tiny practice room or apartment. Students should play at least for a short time at performance volumes to develop a better understanding of the mechanics of the hands and arms (as strange things can happen when physically tired or emotionally charged). Of course, softer rosins can help too (seasonally). One teacher/artist i knew practiced with an un-rosined bow, and swear that it was like watching a TV with the sound turned off. It was clearly "audible" visibly what was being musically expressed. Maybe I do tinker too much, but we (on the whole) are a neurotic bunch. So "tuning" the afterlength - for that matter, attention to what occurs behind the bridge - is a valuable tool, but that process does require some precision, and time, because restoring the "original" sound or feel, at least psychologically to the player, might not be possible. For those of us who are miked at the bridge (via Countryman, BPM, lavalier-style/type microphones) or play a lot of harmonically complex compositions in a chamber setting, the afterlength set to its functional maximum and then tuned to non-pitches might be something important (as well as tiny "foam/rubber" dampers to keep the afterlength from ringing). Usually these amplified instruments are not expensive or exotics, but ones that travel well. To avoid anomalies through the sound system, higher output and response, that is reasonably well-behaved is desired at the bridge. In a chamber setting, often the other players are the ones who complain if an instrument rings too well. No wonder it's so difficult in keeping groups together. String players ring better in the keys of a few sharps of flats (Bb,F,C,G,D,A Major, plus associated minor keys and modes). When we are asked to play expressively in more complex keys, certain notes might be biased acoustically. If the afterlength is set, then it can make this situation worse. Less than 10 percent of the players out there have this issue. Has there been an argument for or against integrated tuners yet?
  3. Most chinrests are geared towards a more square (masculine) jaw-line as it has been more difficult to fit those with a more characteristically feminine jaw-line who would like to play a flatter violin. Offset or centered chinrests also can shift the load/angle of the violin, which might be a consideration. There are obviously many factors in placing a violin or viola on to the upper body. As a beginner, each teacher will have or offer a priority as to the best position for the player - based on the method of teaching - and the student will have to trust (at the mercy of...) the instinct of that teacher and possibly friends who are players. The only assurance I offer is that elements of playing get easier (comfortable), than more difficult, and the process is often cyclical. Some would argue it is a waste of time. I would argue that it is worth adapting one's playing or technique to a better tool, if the differences in performance are significant. For beginners, it's mostly about getting things right. I too have challanges everyday, not perhaps with the early Kayser or Kruetzer exercises, but with fast down shifts, and certainly in developing fine tone production. *cough* *cough* The Bon Musica shoulder rest is an interesting example of trying to make a reasonable object do too many things. I'm glad it's in the marketplace, yet because it is what it is, it can have quite a few limitations for some players. I've fit dozens and it's not the easiest thing to do in many instances. If there is an idealized position available, you're certainly ahead of the game (and the minor details of that position will probably be temporary, relative to the years you'll put into playing). If one is good and practices on occasion with a mirror, check the posture to see if the right arm is independent of the main body throughout the bow stroke. If one sways or there is a variation to that bow stroke, the shoulder rest will need to be tweaked (flatter)to accomodate for that movement. The other way to ease into a Bon Musica (once it is semi-adjusted) is to lower the shoulder rest a bit - being careful not to hit the back of the violin under compression - and to put in a sponge or a folded cloth to give the player and the shoulder rest a little flexibility. The strip of foam is nice, but inadequate for some players. Which leads to the main comment I wanted to add. This is not to be an endorsement for the Alexander Method, but the principle is important. The posture of the body needs to be vertical enough, or that there is enough dynamic movement (if this is acceptable), that the head is supported comfortably by the spine. The body needs to be able to support the head enough that the load on the chinrest is not a large amount. Maybe from dabbling in baroque styles or from playing so many instruments with differently-styled chinrests, I do like it (how it sounds), when it's not necessary to put too much pressure on the chinrest. Of course, on that rapid down shift down the fingerboard, the chin needs to compress abit to avoid losing the violin entirely to the left hand. So there are three points of contact with the violin, but the more flexible (not necessarily better) a player gets, the smaller and looser that contact might become. I'm always amazed to see fiddlers rest the violin half way down their chests, some near the sternum. They play the violin as if they were golfing, with both elbows close, in front, and forearms nearly parallel.
  4. In reading the Patricia and Allen Strange book on contemporary violin techniques there's a lot of craziness out there in compositional intent, looping, time/space transport across galaxies. The "best" resource means comprehensive? I believe books by both Kurt Stone and David Cope? are often referenced, but they are pricey. There are two great University libraries close by so I tend to go there for research. But I do agree with WW to some degree. If there is a composer that specializes in a particular technique or sound, it would make sense to follow that provenance. Finale and Sibelius are both reasonably comprehensive notation software packages, but do not include esoteric markings. Most music fonts that are available with these software packages have a look that is a little wimpy. At one point, you'll have to purchase a copy of some vector graphics software, like Adobe Illustrator to create wilder markings. I've over-laid notation (and violin pictures/forms) using Illustrator, because certain markings aren't avaiable.
  5. Would anyone know who originated the used of shallow pins into partially drilled backs? The pin is clearly visible through the wood, but the pins do not protrude/penetrate past the surface.
  6. Taking apart a cellphone and using that little offset motor/vibrator (and slaving it to a controller) will probably be more effective than what is currently commercially available, as the designs are not so creative. But for the price, it might loosen up a very tight instrument. Otherwise, it works as rather expensive and large mute. Playing the violin when the TR is on (warning: kids, don't try this at home) is a little fun. It's like driving around in a car with four little "donut" spares on instead of the real wheels/tires. Is it worth the hassle? Probably not. It's not milk-out-the-nose funny. Prof Noon would be the best person to provide pre- and post-treatment metrics. For a busy Mom-n-Pop store, the TR sips the wattage/hr, equivalent of a aquarium air pump, so it's cheaper than trying to get staff to prep/play the instrument. Pays for itself after the sale of a used Gliga. It is very likely to be effective in settling amateur set-ups. IN All seriousness, there must be shops/players using these to great satisfaction. I am glad it exists.
  7. Could a description of "exchanged mass" be given?
  8. Does anyone know if a catolg will be available? Or is someone willing/assigned to take photos? It's exciting to see a list like this.
  9. The difficulty with any bureaucracy is getting the proper information. Finding out, and check-listing the certification requirements are the responsibility of the the importer. If the exporter is large scale, they will most likely know how to "qualify" or meet the standards of the certification. Large scale companies hire Bax and other drayage companies for this type of operation. If the exporter is a small scale operation, AND they export regularly to a large market, it would make sense that it is in their best interest to know how to qualify that certification. The difficulty is that if a small scale operation has been operating without many import/export hassles, they are not likely willing to spend time/money to meet any requirements. Some shipments, no matter who the shipper is, will get stopped. I paid $1k for a FedEx overnight package for company prototypes to Canada, and it sat in customs for 2 days. Soon after, I became an ex-FedEx user because I was told that there would not be any problems In addition, I'm not fond of fumigation or baking. But what are the choices? I've thought about wood shipment/container co-ops, where individuals will "park" the wood in an EU lumber yard (I know of a good place in Germany), somewhere, and two bulk shipments a year are planned. That way, everything is certified/treated and it arrives without too many export/import problems. Once here, it can distributed however. Also, there are many fine makers with wood of grades they would never use. I'd love to have some access to these boards for myself or others. With the price that's paid for the wood plus shipping, a maker of domestic origin might make a reasonable, if not crazy, profit. I have seen AA tops of German origin go for substantially more than when it was acquired.
  10. The orientation of the bow at rest might matter for some situations/price. For inexpensive bows, leave it out in a bright area for a day outside of direct sunlight, lightly rosin to ferrule (then wipe most off), and slight tension helps keep the bits in place, and then bag/seal before returning to case. In a controlled environment, there shouldn't be very much shrinkage of the wedges. I'm not sure any tension is necessary. I back out the screw, prep it and leave it off (because most bows in storage are not in a controlled environment). Wipe the stick and check for any excess reactive materials or dirty cracks. I would store, but generally don't own "unplayed" or collectible bows, hair down. I would recommend taking the bow to a fine shop for the "once over" before a long sleep. I'm sure the charge would be nominal. They might catch something the owner might not. One serious collector keeps the sticks and frogs/screws in seperate cases. It might have started as an anti-theft thing but he swears that he enjoys looking at these parts. I do too. With out the prominent lines of the stick and the hair, a frog can have has many interesting details. It's pretty cool to take a peak inside a frog.
  11. Mr Goldsmith, thank you for your reply. It's taken me a day or to figure out how to respond. Because the effect is often temporary, humidity would be ideal suspect, as the timeline and proximity to the instrument appear to coincide (related to my experiences). Will have to think about this some more. Trying to think of an occasion and instrument where this had occurred in a shop. I appreciate the posting of your comments. Thank you again.
  12. Is it worn, or displaced? Glenn's points are the most obvioust to me. Unusual warmth this summer has caused quite a few problems in some states. It may depend on the player, but students can strike/bump a bridge and think nothing of it. They'd re-tune the violin and keep playing. At the lesson the instructor would re-center the bridge. The bridge, depending on the thickness and stiffness, rocks forward and back. I would think that this action would "wear" the varnish faster than the side-to-side (which you did not suggest). If the island is thicker, the arching would not distort that much on lower notes, but I can imagine on thinner islands that the bridge and top are not fully coupled during very active playing. I have certainly seen the "flattening" (displacement) of varnish under quite a few recent Italian instruments. This also brings up the issue of shoulder rest feet, as they will remove varnish too, but for more obvious reasons.
  13. According to Mr Swan, the "warm up" period takes a short amount time. This indicates a few things to me, and I have experienced this perception too. Please be patient. I'll only go into one example, but the frog and the mechanism is an interesting assembly. Older bows (and even new ones) have a myriad of alignment issues. From loose hair to the desired tightness, the frog most likely does not travel in a wonderful, predictable, linear motion. Why? for those less familiar with the interaction, the metal tends to win over wood and steel over brass over time. Also, older handmade or hand-filed screws can really do a number on the eyelet. The contact between the frog and the stick might be bad too, not to discount tolerance issues throughout the system. There are many issues with bows and Mr Noykos could probably put together a 100 point list for us. Basically, if the point hasn't been illustrated, it is a frog that is climbing and binding its way to the player's desired tension that is at issue. Because of this, there can be a delayed settling after the tension is set, and certainly after the player starts playing. Kids ask me why I back off their bows ( a 1/4 to 10th of a turn or so ) on occasion during a lesson, and it is because on less expensive bows, the frogs can and do bind. I'll tighten and re-relax if necessary. Anyway, dos centavos mas.
  14. I agree with you to a degree, but... To point, ideally if the player is infact playing, then the tension/action on the bow is dynamic. Static tension on a bow is worse. Kids sometimes -automatically - tighten the bow "x" number of times, not realizing the bow's was tightness/hair tension. This and a dry rehearsal hall may lead to tears.
  15. This is an unexpected question. Because I am more clumsy at articulating the musical intent with the right hand, the left hand can suffer a little bit. Focusing on relaxing until there is a multi-bar rest where the bow can be loosened without too much distraction is sometimes difficult if the passage has something like expressive arpeggios. If the instrument shakes, it can be a problem. Infact, trills during a quiet section (often in the middle movements or concerti) on the D-string can drive me nuts. Once the bow starts to tighten up, it can be more jumpy, and a fast left hand trill can set off chattering in the upper half of the bow. This is also a personal bad habit where I do let the bow glide along on these passages without much pressure or work in the right hand (good time - theoretically - to relax because there usually is a whopping musically contrasting movement/passage soon after). Moving towards the bridge minimizes the chattering, but it also brightens the tone.
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