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Everything posted by palousian

  1. I'm giving this a bump, since I am curious whether the bass bar is a standard size--seems big to me--so I am curious what the experts have to say. The repair work sure looks good to me, though. It seems you'll be hearing it sing before too long!
  2. 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.
  3. 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...
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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).
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. He's a lot closer than that ridonkulous bust is.
  15. 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. .
  16. Whenever I see hurdy-gurdy mentioned I feel as if I have an immoral obligation to make a link to this...
  17. Hi Fortissimo, That isn't a viola bow--it's a modern reproduction "baroque-style" violin bow. Before the latter-18th century, bows were like this, bent convex when under pressure, and the frog locked into the stick (here, it's a screw you can tighten like a modern bow). It's definitely a weird combination, with a thoroughly modernized mirrored/left handed (?) violin, so there is indeed some mystery here...
  18. Hi Diego, You haven't really provided the photos needed to identify this violin, but it is almost certain that this violin was made in a workshop in Germany in the early 20th century (an actual Guarneri would be an entirely different thing). It's not worth that much (if it sounds good and plays well--and sometimes these do--maybe several hundred dollars), but it doesn't look like it's damaged, so it could be set up to play. If you want to nail down the attribution, look at this thread and take the required photos, and actual experts (that is, not me) will come on here and give you, well, a more expert opinion-- https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/333119-how-to-photograph-an-instrument-for-identifcation-purposes/ It looks like the bow is messed up towards the tip, but why people over-tighten bows and leave them in that state in cases is a mystery. A good way to ruin a bow. Loosen it and see if it relaxes; you might be lucky.
  19. The way to go about this is to post photographs of what you have in the Pegbox section of this website, using the instructions in this post... Depending on what this is, the paths forward could be quite different. https://maestronet.com/forum/index.php?/topic/333119-how-to-photograph-an-instrument-for-identifcation-purposes/
  20. All in fun. Music education will go on.
  21. There's that slippery slope again. And it isn't true. The silly myth that "classical music is still the foundation of most music" is not supported by the evidence. Even the violin played oral tradition dance music before it was admitted into the hallowed halls of the European classical tradition. You've presented a powerful example for exactly why we need to reform professional music education, IMO.
  22. Not what I was advocating, BTW. Just that these things be respected, and especially the students who love that music. Interesting that you focused on hip-hop and bluegrass, though, because in fact, their roots are in West Africa. Mandinka jelis (the kora players "bungling_amateur" referred to, above) were reciting epics like Sunjata, with improvised tropes in rhythmic speech called sataro back when Landini was figuring out his odd cadences (there's rap). They improvised solos (birimitingo) over polyphonic/polyrhythmic grooves (kumbengo) before the first European improvised a chorale prelude (there's jazz). And the features that distinguish bluegrass fiddling (indeed, just about any American vernacular music) from European fiddle traditions can be found in West Africa, in the one-string fiddles found throughout the region. Kendrick Lamar did get the Pulitzer, you know... I don't think curriculum development would be too difficult. I got the idea from attending great music schools and teaching in a major university music department for twenty years. Based on my experience, you are wrong about that, at least about higher education. Yeah, Julliard says it teaches "every type of music," but--give me a break--that is nothing but advertising copy. They aren't admitting al'ud players or bluegrass mandolinists in the first place. Programs do admit jazz studies, so there's that, but I was told point-blank that Gershwin didn't belong in a 20th-c. music theory course in my institution (which is why I gave them Robert Johnson).
  23. Well, no music program takes months of your life making you study von Bingen or Higdon, whether-you-like-it-or-not, as they do with the 2nd Viennese School. Yeah, dodecaphonic music is built out of numbers and architecture, which lends itself to a pedagogy of a sort, but the reason people (me) are concentrating on it is because it absorbs substantial chunks of your education cramming nearly useless information into your skull. Time that could be better spent learning the blues or technology. (Apologies to PhilipKT, but...) You don't have to study dodecaphonic music to intelligently reject it. Your ears can do that, and you don't have to waste years as I did being able to reproduce and analyze the style. It's just a hoop. You could spend your time on Machaut's contrapuntal style (more relevant to von Bingen anyway), and no one makes you learn your Landini cadences any more. The coolest part of Schoenberg's style wasn't introduced in my education until grad school, and that is understanding the manipulation of motives (inversion, retrograde, etc), something I wish they had done about year 3 of my undergraduate program--using J S Bach, who was much better at it than Arnold. Certainly, for composers (my training), limiting training to focus only on the European tradition, where tenured composers with tiny audiences of 43 fans (mainly their colleagues) earn big grants and prizes, while an American composer wanting to study the great traditions of American songwriting, recording production, or bluegrass fiddling, or Hindustani raga must do that "on their own time," represents the death rattle of the European classical tradition, where nearly every composer of importance was born before WWI. One thing that drove me nuts about music in higher education was that writers showing up in creative writing programs, actors in theater departments, sculptors and painters in visual art are all understood to be artists, even at age 18, but I came into a top graduate program at 30 with a record deal and ten years in the music business, wanting to finish an opera, while I had to accept being told that the faculty "didn't think I was ready to write opera" and should concentrate on chamber music. The writer who had commissioned me to compose the opera seemed to think I was ready, but I had to do that "on my own time." While conservatory training of professional-quality performers of classical European music is truly an important part of Western music culture--and they've got that pedagogy down pretty well--that's not the only music that matters. If we're going to be the "study of music," it's high time we actually became, you know, the study of music. I think the ideal future would be to establish different tracks in higher-education training of musicians. Let the pianists wanting to carry on the European classical tradition do that. Let the students wanting to learn to write Motown-style horn charts do that--help them find the resources to learn it. Let a fiddle player learn Clare-style bowing or Turkish makams. The idea that European classical music is the be-all and end-all is ridiculous, and when, say, literature in academia had to start embracing racial and gender diversity in "the canon," it didn't destroy the study of literature. No, it improved it, even though there was all sorts of yelling from now-dead white guys that this or that dead-white-guy author would be cut out. In art, when Picasso started embracing African art on the way to cubism, it didn't destroy visual art, and it sure didn't hurt for the field to embrace art by non-Western and non-traditional artists. Music is no different, except that the field refused to open its doors and ears to the expanded palette of global music in the 20th (and now 21st) centuries. I don't see how it's going to reform itself, though. Hm, we'll see, I guess...
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