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palousian

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  1. Maybe someone will be able to give you information from your photos, but my advice is to follow the instructions here to get a better response. Or take it to a luthier for an appraisal... https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/333119-how-to-photograph-an-instrument-for-identifcation-purposes/
  2. Another vote for Warchal Ambers. I'm intrigued with the idea that someone would make a synthetic gut e string though.
  3. He's not ignored. I love when people complain that the media ignores this or that, but they found out about it... through the media, of course. You may not be well-informed about how the entertainment/music biz actually works. Moving on... I'm intrigued with how he came up with that fingerboard idea. Is there an article/source somewhere where I could read about that? I like this showpiece, and I wonder if now that he's done it with that fingerboard, whether he could do it on a normal fingerboard. But, he must have gotten the idea and worked out the possibilities and then decided that there was this or that part that he needed a bit more of a mechanical connection with the string. I'm fascinated with that conundrum. I remember learning the mighty Ciaccona and imagining something like Mr. Kim's setup, but of course I had the knowledge that thousands had learned the thing already. I still decided to use my thumb on a few chords. My real training is as a composer, and for me, an arrangement like this is best when, as here, it shows off the brilliance of the composition. In the way that the Bach solo violin literature distills J. S. Bach's formidable composition chops, because of the way he used the limits of the instrument aesthetically, I think Roman Kim made a pretty impressive distillation of Beethoven's middle-period masterpiece.
  4. Electric guitars can sound wonderful, but... they sound nothing like a great acoustic guitar. Too complex to imitate that sound, just as it is with a violin.
  5. What offends me about this photo is that it is YET ANOTHER shot where someone is casually flinging their violin around as if it were a handbag, a scarf, or a weapon. It appears that she's about to execute a classic kesa giri on the photographer. I don't get it, but whatever.
  6. It seems to me that the "Schlosser" you posted was a better deal for what you get, though. Why are you still focused on this one?
  7. It looks exactly like the faux label in my funky 19th-c. Schönbach fiddle...
  8. Thanks for continuing with the research, GoPractice. The Cloudlifter sounds great, but it's a hassle to have another gizmo in the pathway, especially live. Still, I use it every time. I don't imagine that the price will come down though. It's already pretty reasonable for a mic that sounds this good. I have had a couple of great singers in the studio recently, and it was the best thing for their voice, and I use a stereo mic setup for acoustic guitar that uses a crispy large-diaphragm condenser for the treble (over the fingerboard), and a dynamic mic near the bridge for the bass, and the SM-7B is the smoothest, most fabulous sound there. If it brewed perfect espresso, it would be the ideal piece of technology.
  9. I have done this. I was trained classically in composition, piano, and harpsichord, but had learned fiddling from great bluegrass and Irish fiddlers, and those two styles were my focus on the violin. I had always been able to read music on the violin, but learned fiddling through oral tradition and observation (which IMO is the way to do it). I wasn't really a novice, as I had played professionally, but I have never had a classical violin lesson. When I got a great bow and then a wonderful violin, I started wondering if I could play Bach. A friend of mine who was a professional classical player told me--just start playing it, and to start with super-slow practice. So, I did. If I had taken lessons, I would have been told to do this thing and that thing, but I had studied Bach a lot in my training and had ideas about how I wanted to do it (keep in mind that fiddling performance practice--especially in Irish fiddling--preserves a lot of 18th-c. aesthetics), and didn't really want to get in arguments with people about how I wanted to play it. Now, I understand violinists telling you to play your scales and arpeggios, take lessons, etc. That's how they learned it. Teachers used to working with adults are a fine way to go, I'm sure. But you absolutely do not have to do this, assuming you have basic skills. Honestly, Bach takes you through lots of scales and arpeggios and is WAY more interesting than any etudes. What I did was start by sight-reading through Bach cello suites, which I transposed up a fifth + an octave. After I had played on that for awhile, I went to the Sonatas and Partitas for violin, and started learning movements. I did ask questions about shifting and fingering from skilled friends, but I also watched a lot of videos of people playing the pieces I was working on, and those gave me ideas about how I wanted (and didn't want) to play this music. If you want to deal with music after 1800, then you probably would need some lessons, but the further back in time you go, the closer the music gets to fiddle music. Did you ever play O'Carolan pieces? They're a good bridge between Irish traditional music and baroque style. When you hit something that is new and different, go slow, and be patient with yourself. Watch videos to see how other players play it, and see what you can do with it. I think you could find movements in the Bach cello suites transposed for the violin (IMSLP has some), and pick out the easiest ones to start. The Allemande from the Violin Partita in Dm is pretty easy. There's also a slip jig in the Bm Partita that isn't too hard. Now I play an hour or more of Bach every day and it has improved everything in my playing, especially intonation in higher positions and odd keys. My improvisation skills have really benefited from this practice. One weird thing that is a carry-over from decades of playing fiddle music--I have to memorize a piece before I can really play it, but that's not so bad. Good luck!
  10. True, but he couldn't have had one in his youth (and he's quoted as saying that the violin he treasured had been his since then), and the photos show a double violin case. I wonder if the J. U. Fichtl was also in there... and if there's some reason they didn't want to mention that?
  11. I followed this story of Mr. Fraser's stolen violin but was confused by one thing. After the crime, a list of the stuff he lost went around and it included what sounded like some very nice bows, but the violin was a Jay Haide. I mean, some of those sound/play fine, but it didn't seem like the treasure the article makes it out to be. But then, the article also says that he's played it since he was a child, so... it couldn't be a Jay Haide, right? I had understood that he had a Johann Ulrich Fichtl, but I don't remember where I saw that. Was it the Fichtl that he had returned?
  12. Though I have classical training as a composer, and in piano and harpsichord, I got it in my head when I was a teenager and got a hold of a violin that I wanted to play just fiddle music (though fortunately I had reading skills). I had extremely good fortune in finding wonderful authentic fiddle teachers in both American styles and Irish traditional fiddling, and in teaching students off-and-on for decades, I have found that classical training is as much an obstacle as it is an advantage for learning fiddling. Classical training gives players a sense that they "know how to play the violin," and if they just get some fiddle music to read or memorize, they've learned fiddling. Nope. Just because you can speak French doesn't mean you can speak Arabic. When I was in graduate school in composition I decided to test a theory, and spent a fair amount of time creating very precise notation of Irish fiddle bowing/ornamentation/phrasing for a string quintet. We had lots of very skilled classical players used to playing incredibly difficult new music, so I wanted to see if precise instructions could create an authentic sound. They couldn't play this stuff to save their lives. I had the first violin part, so I was there to coach them when someone complained that something I wrote was impossible, but they just couldn't do it. For example, many Irish ornaments involve just touching the string with the left hand finger, not pressing it down--that was a real struggle. One thing that drove them nuts was the "Sligo crossbow"-- Now, there is no doubt that any of these great classical players could have played this music eventually, had they humbled themselves to learn it, but the obstacle wasn't in their skills, it was in their attitude. They ended up ignoring the instructions and just played the notes, and it was a bit of a mess. Several great fiddlers have made use of classical training, it's true, but they mastered the oral tradition first. I know that when Kevin Burke was growing up, he had a teacher who was interested in his love of Irish music, and helped him apply classical skills to the tradition--and you can hear it in his playing, but his foundation is clearly in the Irish tradition. There's now a fair amount of that going on in Ireland. But to be a good fiddler, you have to be willing to shed the hubris and learn a new language. The measure of excellence in fiddle music is not in the application of classical technique but in the mastery of the fiddle tradition in question-- Fiddlers demonstrating classical techniques is not an evolution so much as it is a shtick. Players such as J. Scott Skinner and Sean McGuire were famous for performing classical-sounding versions of traditional fiddling, but I am not alone in thinking this didn't really "legitimize" fiddling--it wasn't very good fiddle music, and as classical music it was certainly dubious, though impressive (I saw Sean McGuire once in Ireland in the late 70s). Both artists were "violinists" first, and you can tell. Vibrato is an occasional ornament in some fiddling traditions--continuous vibrato will always sound awful in this music. And fiddlers have played off the string for as long as fiddle music has been recorded. It's not new. The only truth here is that fiddlers were generally from the working class and couldn't afford fancy instruments. There is no evidence whatsoever that a focus on bowing and rhythm was somehow compensating for a lack of skills or problematic instruments; obviously it was an aesthetic preference, and in American fiddling it represents the influence of West African music. African-American fiddlers were in demand in the colonies from the 17th century. It would seem that the focus on bowing patterns and rhythms has been a desirable feature of fiddling because people liked it. I think that we should be careful not to project our aesthetic agenda on other traditions--this is the sort of obstacle that classical European training can throw in your way. If you want to play fiddle music, my advice is to pretend that you are learning to play for the first time and respect the tradition enough to learn it. You won't find it in a book.
  13. A properly-made guitar fingerboard is also slightly scooped, for the same reason as it is on a violin.
  14. Honestly, tradition and convention are probably the main reasons, and if you have a violin with well-fitted pegs, then there's no reason to change. Until recently, there wasn't an alternative that worked well and looked good. Not too long ago I had my first experience trying a violin with Wittners, and I have to say... it was very nice. The pegs on my good violin... could use some help, and I confess that I am considering Wittners. If it isn't tradition/convention, then is there some other reason not to install them?
  15. This video is awesome for a bunch of reasons, but as a player of traditional Irish music... did anyone else notice the first guy's wonderful version of the A section of that hornpipe with the little slide and chromatic alteration there? I am about to sit down and steal it! Also, interesting to hear how hornpipes have slowed down in the last six decades, I assume to accommodate the ever-increasing complexity of hornpipe dancing, which surely could not be done at that speed.
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