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palousian

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  1. This was sad news. Byron Berline was a sublime fiddle player, and a generous spirit. When I was a goofy college kid in the late 70s working hard on fiddle music, I met him at a festival in Southern California and he invited me to his home and spent most of an afternoon teaching me stuff. I asked him if he could show me his bowing for "Sally Goodin," and he chuckled and winked... and said he said he'd show me a couple other Texas tunes in A. I only figured out his bowing about ten years ago. IMO, this is the best version of "Sally Goodin," ever. RIP, Byron.
  2. The flaming in the maple, especially on the back, seems weird. As if it were spray-painted/stained in some way. The flame seems right on the neck and scroll, but I suspect something was done to enhance the figure here. I am not an expert and so I may be entirely mistaken...
  3. Um, well, that's a few readers 3-15 years ago. That gives folks plenty of time to revise their views, does it not? Is there a particular reason why you felt the need to engage this topic now?
  4. Alas, I am not a subscriber, but this sounds like a really interesting article (is there a link that a civilian could use?). I suppose that the use of these dyestuffs in varnish is really an entirely different rabbit hole from the equally-vast field of antique-textile-dyeing, but I thought it was an interesting connection. Apologies for my detour, if it was annoying.
  5. I once played in a band in which one of the musicians played harmonica and his favorite harp was... in Db. Now, I can play in Db, but... it won't sound like fiddle music. If you are supposed to sound like a fiddler (that is--open strings), the easiest thing is to do as I did and have a separate fiddle tuned down a half-step. I did have a recording gig a couple of years ago where the singer had arrived on Db as the perfect key, and I was determined to play without scordatura. It was tricky to make it sound like fiddle music, and I got close enough, but this was NOT the easy way to do it.
  6. According to the most important recent research on the use of cochineal in Turkmen weavings, Jürg Rageth's Turkmen Carpets: A New Perspective (2016), you are correct about Mexican cochineal showing up (rare in extremely rare weavings to begin with...) in 16th c. weavings. I had not realized that it had made such an early appearance, until I went back into that source just now. However, but you seriously overstate the evidence to say "it became pretty common usage by the 17th century." Rageth (p. 318-9) states--"Until the 18th century, the dyestuff was used very carefully and in small amounts, sometimes even in only a few knots." Rageth goes on to point out that Armenian cochineal and kermes have not been found in any Turkmen weavings. Lac was the main insect dye they used, as I said, and its use on wool continued, even when small amounts of Mexican cochineal-dyed silk were introduced among the Salor Turkmen. In the later 19th century, just before synthetic dyes became widely available, there was an expansion in the use of Mexican cochineal-dyed wool among the Turkmen, as I described, apparently because it became much less expensive. The piece I showed was woven by the Tekke Turkmen who in fact did not use cochineal-dyed wool so lavishly until it became cheaper in the second half of the 19th century, which was the point I tried to make, albeit clumsily. Mea culpa. https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Ina-Vanden-Berghe/publication/316213342_The_Identification_of_Cochineal_Species_in_Turkmen_Weavings_A_Special_Challenge_in_the_Field_of_Dye_Analysis/links/597f09590f7e9b8802eba66b/The-Identification-of-Cochineal-Species-in-Turkmen-Weavings-A-Special-Challenge-in-the-Field-of-Dye-Analysis.pdf
  7. I'm not sure anyone is interested, but all this talk of cochineal and madder inspires another of my obsessions--antique Central Asian tribal carpets. This closeup of a c. 1880 Tekke Turkmen dowry mat demonstrates the difference between these materials in wool dyeing. There are two distinct versions of cochineal in this piece (which is very rare), the darker magenta shade and the paler pink--the violet component. Madder root is what they used to produce the rust-red color. I don't know what material they used to produce apricot/orange, alas. I am always struck by the use of aniline dyes in violin varnish. Both the cochineal shades seen here, as well as the apricot, were later replaced by aniline dyes, which notoriously bleed and fade (on wool, anyway), and they look weirdly harsh/psychedelic/metallic. They are anathema to oriental rug enthusiasts and their presence in a piece is like a back sound post crack for a rug collector, destroying most of the value of the item, but apparently they are fine in violin varnish. Cochineal was introduced to Central Asia some time in the earlier 19th century, replacing the earlier insect-derived pigment, called "lac," which had been used for centuries in wool dyeing in Central Asia. I wonder if anyone has used lac in violin varnish, and how it is different than cochineal.
  8. Wood Butcher pointed out the seam issue, and I notice that the same spot in the bottom rib, as seen from the side, is pretty distorted (bending inward), as though someone really cranked those bolts on the chinrest.
  9. I just show up. I don't think about whether or not I will pick it up, I go pick it up. I allow no options on that. I play twenty minutes of music I like. If I'm tired or have something else to deal with... I let it slide. But, almost always I'm lost in it within five minutes. Then I get into Bach, and I'm gone.
  10. Arguably, it's the other way around. Bill Monroe had some innovations (keep in mind, he was a contemporary of Charlie Parker), but even his music was never the same after Scruggs came on the scene. Scruggs was already doing his three-finger style, and it was infectious. He would have done that with anyone. Scruggs could drop Monroe and move on with Lester Flatt, but after Earl, Bill Monroe had to find someone else who could play a banjo like that (and he got Don Reno).
  11. Nah, the next one after Beethoven was Louis Armstrong. Had Tchaikovsky, Mahler, or Sibelius not existed, Western music would have had plenty to sustain it. They are, in fact, disposable. The thing about Beethoven was that he changed everything. No composer could ignore him. They could ignore the others. When you look for game-changers like that, there is no one in European music that equals Beethoven, unless it's Haydn, who provided the composition chops for Beethoven and of the rest of the Viennese masters. Would we have had Beethoven without Haydn? Maybe not. In that sense, in the classical European world, the next game-changer might have been Paganini. Playing the violin was not the same after him, and his influence was felt outside just violin-playing--he inspired Liszt too. So, that's why my next real example is Louis Armstrong. If we had no Satchmo, there is a WHOLE lot of jazz that never would have happened. He freed the phrase from the clock to make it swing, and once you heard that, there was no going back. I really do think that Armstrong was the "Beethoven" of jazz, in that sense. My next example will amuse most of you, but... prove me wrong... Earl Scruggs. There is banjo before-Scruggs and after-Scruggs. He changed everything. No one who now plays five-string banjo can escape his influence.
  12. Oh yeah, no debate on that. I was entirely focused on the likeness here. It's arguable that no other composer equaled Beethoven's impact.
  13. He's a lot closer than that ridonkulous bust is.
  14. Here's their actual Beethoven. https://www.ebay.com/itm/265124212325 I think our guy here is Berlioz. I respectfully disagree with VdA's respectful disagreement--that hair is too fluffy and flowing for Liszt. Maybe Mendelssohn, but we lack the necessary mutton chops for Felix's look. Could be Chopin. For your perusal, here's a somewhat-older Hector Berlioz--definitely the right hair. .
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