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nicolo

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  1. My practice room is the bathroom off the master bedroom. It's about 5 ½ feet by 16 feet. - Wow, I must have had too much wine last night. This post was rambling all over the place. I'll edit out the superfluous and get right to the reasons why I like to do practice sessions and solo playing for fun in the bathroom: 1. I can practice in here without disturbing family members who may be watching TV in the living room and without interfering with my son's cello practice, which takes place in his room at the other end of the house. 2. The acoustics are good in the bathroom. The better the sound, the more satisfying the session. Resonant, but not too resonant. It's just right. 3. The large mirror over the vanity is handy for visually monitoring my posture, bowing, and left hand position. 4. If and when I figure out how to work my son's digital recording equipment, it will be a great place in which to record some unaccompanied stuff.
  2. Well that's pretty neat - performing on two different instruments in the same recital. Do you spend time practicing on both the violin and piano on a daily basis, or do you focus on one for a period and then on the other?
  3. Hi Tim! Your mind just never stops working and reworking things, does it? One of the signs of genius. My first impression of this one is that there's not much mass between the strings and fiddle. But maybe the mass is just what is necessary and just where it must be. I'm sure you have done your own practical test with it. What do you think about the tonal results so far?
  4. "You may be holding the bow too tightly." Yep, that's probably it right there. The bouncing during a long bow stroke is usually caused by the wrist or right hand trying to make controlled adjustments as the bow moves. Try ignoring the wrist and right hand and just letting them relax. Drive the bow with the forearm muscles only, and the right hand and wrist will naturally follow and adjust without causing interference. For the purpose of bowing, these components of the arm are kind of like dance partners. They can't function effectively if they both try to lead at the same time. Usually, the forearm must lead. I also expressed my opinion on the importance of the forearm in the thread on colle bowing, if you'd like to see any more blah, blah on that subject.
  5. It would have to be bigger than a top-10 public radio ban to suit me because I'm sick of just about everything written after the romantic period and am getting less tolerant of it all the time. I'm especially tired of everything on the classical music station in San Antonio, which might as well be known as the anti-classical music station. Weary with checking it every day while driving to and from work and having some kind of atonal postmodern crap ooze out of the speakers. Maybe one time in a hundred I'll catch a classical or romantic period piece, and that will almost certainly be something insipid by a minor or forgotten composer. You can bet it won't be Mozart or Beethoven and they've never even heard of Chopin, so don't bother asking. Maybe an obscure baroque piece at three in the A.M. since nobody's listening anyway, but no Vivaldi. Nothing with that much musical substance, or some insomniac might enjoy it. The objective, you see, is to convince listeners in the Bach-free zone of south-central Texas that nothing written before 1900 is worth listening to. We could only hope to hear a student play the Vivaldi A-minor concerto one more time. And in San Antonio, Mendelssohn's violin concerto is only a legend. Some of the older geezers can whistle a few measures from the first movement, and it sounds very lyrical, but we wouldn't know for sure with the memories of the aged being what they are. We who listen to the classical music station in San Antonio think Eine kleine Nachtmusik is a foreign film and we never saw that one. Unless you want to embarrass yourself, don't mention the Pachelbel canon to the classical music enthusiasts around here. We've never heard such a silly term, so we'll just giggle and ask what planet you're from. Comment on Paul Hindemith, and we can communicate. We've all heard enough of that stuff on the radio to know what you're talking about. We may even claim to appreciate it just to impress you with our apparent musical maturity, but we really don't like it very much. Not very much at all.
  6. "What muscles do you use to initiate a normal up or down bow - fingers, wrist, forearm, combination?" Forearm. The forearm initiates, drives, and controls the bowing and plays the major role in articulation and tone production. The movement, speed, weight, direction, and duration of the bow stroke are all from here. Muscles in your back, shoulder, and upper arm are working too, but you don't need any conscious awareness of that, unless it is to keep these muscles from overworking. As you have already seen, the upper arm and shoulder should not be actively involved. The upper arm only elevates the forearm as needed and follows it as needed when you bow toward the frog. It should not be moving to help push or pull the bow. The wrist and fingers have roles to play, but must remain subordinate to the forearm. The one constant function of the wrist and right hand is to hold the bow and facilitate what the forearm is doing without hindering the effort. If they can do just that and nothing more, you can effectively control the bow and play like a good violinist. Then, the fingers and wrist can become more involved, working finer points of articulation, including the attack of the string. The controlled and purposeful input of the right hand can be significant in achieving artistic bowing objectives. The fingers are more important than the wrist. For the most part, the wrist is just a hinge, passively rising and falling as the forearm drives the up-bow and down-bow. Most bowing problems occur when people try to run the show with their right hand. That's when the fingers stiffen and the bow becomes unstable and the tone begins to suffer. The harder you try to control the bow with your right hand, the less control you have because you are taking it from the forearm and putting it where it is of no use. It's a little different when initiating a bow stroke with the fingers. For that moment, they are in charge. Just keep in mind that as the attack is executed, the forearm takes over. In colle or any technique, the tension in the fingers is varied as needed to simultaneously support what you're doing with the bow, but it should always be just that much tension and no more. The necessary increases will happen largely with no conscious effort. The conscious effort is to keep the fingers relaxed and flexible.
  7. Hard to tell without checking it out, but in addition to the questions you listed you could ask: Did tuning the new strings pull the bridge forward so that it is leaning toward the fingerboard? If so, the feet will not be completely in contact with the top of the violin. The bridge would need to be pulled back into position. Did she hear any little pops coming from the violin while tightening the new strings? Most violins today have a nylon tailgut. They are threaded on the ends and have little brass nuts that adjust the length and hold it in place. Sometimes the nuts slip on the threads of the nylon when the strings are tightened. This causes the tailpiece to move closer to the bridge, which shortens the afterlength of the strings, changing the tone of the violin and/or making certain strings or fingered notes sound out of character.
  8. Writing music came so easily to Bach that he believed anybody could do what he did. He was wrong about that. Despite the musical wherewithal his own children may have inherited and their years of instruction and development under his guidance, none of them was able to reach his level of artistic creativity. So how plausible is it that Anna Magdalena transformed herself from copyist to composer of the cello suites? The researchers are either fooling themselves or attempting to make a name for themselves. Many authors have written articles making radical statements as a quick way to be recognized, promote agendas, or make an easy buck. For example, I have read that Beethoven was a black man. According to another article, George Washington was a woman who passed herself off as a man. These articles sold. If they had presented arguments that Beethoven was a Caucasian and that George Washington was a man, they would not have been worth publishing. An article stating that J.S. Bach composed the Bach cello suites would be of no particular interest either. It's easy to produce authoritative sounding BS, especially when all the subjects are long dead. Historical revisionists do it all the time, which is why we think the American Civil War was fought over slavery.
  9. "Next time I see a missing dot , I will assume the label is genuine." - Yes, that's my favorite part of this listing - "... the missing (dot) over the last (i) in the word Stradivarius. The "missing dot" precludes, and eliminates any suggestion, accusation, or possibility that the label is a "fake."" Bid with confidence!
  10. If you go to sheet music plus - http://www.sheetmusicplus.com/ - and search on Vitali, you will find, among other entries, Respighi's arrangement of the Chaconne for orchestra and also Respighi's arrangement "for organ in score, strings, solo violin in set," whatever that means. And this may be a non answer, but lacking an accompaniment arranged for organ, a good organist should be able to adapt from what's notated in a piano accompaniment. And he/she could feel free to do that because the piano part does not aim for baroque authenticity anyway, at least not in my Schott edition. I also have a question: If the origin and/or development of this piece as we know it today is obscure, then probably none of the bowing, phrasing, and other interpretive markings printed in an edition were indicated by the composer. So how closely should I be obliged to follow them?
  11. Ever heard of overtone singing? It's the production of two notes simultaneously with one voice. I could demonstrate it, but can't explain how to do it. There are some sites on the internet with more info, if you'd like more info. Here's one: http://www.yogimont.net/jia/overtonesinging/
  12. It's been awhile since you wrote the initial post. Maybe your spirit is dead by now - killed by Kreutzer. If not, get away from that stuff before it's too late. I wouldn't argue against the value of Kreutzer's studies as an aid in developing technique. The problem is that in order to work with them, you have to hear them. They don't have sufficient musical interest to justify the awkward tedium of playing them. It's much more rewarding and enjoyable to work on things with which you can develop technique and make music at the same time. The main benefit is that you can then be artistically stimulated and therefore genuinely motivated. The first thing I might assign a student who is sick of Kreutzer would be the first violin part of Bach's double concerto in D minor. It's fun all by itself and very good for developing better intonation and a more articulate bow.
  13. I'm sorry, Ken - I should have put an emphasis on HIDE glue only. Titebond makes other stuff, too. While you're looking for it, you might also see Franklin liquid hide glue. That's essentially the same stuff as the Titebond brand, and one works just like the other. The Franklin liquid hide glue label has a picture of a violin on it. Meanwhile, I'd say don't fret over using the wrong glue now that it's done. That mistake has been made a zillion times by others also. If the plate has to come off someday, the glue in that spot will be more resistant to water, but not impossible to deal with. Just don't use any more of it on the violin.
  14. "I used yellowish glue. I hope, because of the small area glued, that I have not done endless harm. At least I did not use the waterproof glue." Ken, I think the yellowish that DarylG was talking about was opaque yellow such as Elmer's wood glue. Liquid hide glue might be called "yellowish" (I'd call it an amber), but it's clear. If you got just the plain Titebond liquid hide glue, it's yellowish or amber and clear, and you're okay. Here's another thing you might try on the hairline separation if the plain water method doesn't work. Run a little bead of glue right over the open seam it and squeeze in what you can by pressing a thumb or finger over it along the separation. Then wipe off the mess with a damp paper towel and clamp. Other methods could be to use a razor blade or Exacto knife blade to push the glue in or even a hypodermic needle, but squeezing it in, if possible, is a safer way to go.
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