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Everything posted by bean_fidhleir

  1. It was found later that same day by one of the people cleaning the bus and it's now back in the hands of its caretaker, safe and sound.
  2. I'm sure I'd be shortlisted for "Least Likely Ever To Be A Useful Consultant On Numerical Questions", but consider what it means that the sample -the 17 professionals- was tiny, biased to begin with (they were invited) and further biased to go on with (they accepted). So right away there's this big presumption going in that if anyone can do it, they can. The fact that only ten felt confident enough even to try, and only three succeeded suggests strongly that, in general, people can't. No, it's not publishable, you're right about that. But it's good enough to win bar bets, which is a better measure of real-world validity.
  3. Ten is a very small sample size, and self-selected, so it's not impossible that 3 of the 10 would get the identifications right by chance or near-chance. And even if all three did actually recognise the fiddles, that doesn't really impeach the conclusion that most expert players cannot.
  4. The part I've quoted is the one that says everything. I wonder whether she's aware that what she's researching is Love and its drivers, or that there's been quite a lot of pretty solid research done in that area already. Love -pretty much regardless of its object- expresses a concatenation of needs, desires, and perceptions, and a lot of post-hoc rationalisation goes on in which we "explain" why we love this person/fiddle/house rather than that other one. When sources of information are blocked off, so that we have to do in fact what we claim we always do (e.g., judge a fiddle by its sound, playability, etc), what we reveal about ourselves can be quite embarrassing. (edit: corrected a typo)
  5. Years ago, one of the people doing good work in computer intelligence (I can't now remember his name) displayed and explained some new work to a group of people who promptly dismissed it as "clever, but not intelligence". That was apparently the last straw for him, and he responded "goddammit, if a horse had just done this you'd say the horse is intelligent!" From that came a sort of sarcastic rule of thumb now standard in the field: if it can be explained, it's not intelligence. Intelligence is, by definition in most people's minds, something that's not explainable. The corollary being that no computer can display intelligence. If a computer can do something, it's explainable and therefore the computer is not displaying intelligence. I wonder whether a similar rule might apply to fiddlemaking: if it's being done today, it's not as good because, by definition, only Stradivari and GdG did it right (and possibly the Amati Bros and Stainer, if whoever's talking has had a dram and is feeling generous). The corollary being that all theory is worthless because any theory that can be reduced to practice is not the one true theory, since that was, of course, vouchsafed only to Stradivari and GdG (and possibly etc). (My formal training was in social, clinical, and cognitive psych. Which are sciences despite the fact that the subjects of our study are constantly self-modifying, not unlike fiddles but completely unlike rocks, quantum electrodynamics, and similar)
  6. Where are the holes, Martin? All I can see is detritus.
  7. Not sure what you mean by 'faux-naif' in this case. Do you mean the misinterpretation of the long s as an f? I think a lot of people do that. That label looks age-appropriate. I'd like a closer look because I'm a bit suspicious of the handwritten bit - the ink looks too blue, from here - but otherwise it looks like something printed in the early 1700s by a job-shop printer AND that's been in that fiddle since birth. Definitely not the usual xerox. The fiddle has a funny shape, tho. It looks as though it wasn't made on a form. Gypsy work possibly?
  8. Apropos sizing images, one thing that is often confusing is the way windowing software (not just Windows, but also the various flavors that run under Unix, on the Mac, etc) will seem to produce a "free" resize without any effort on our part. The bad part about that is that it's not really resizing at all except visually during the display process. To get an apparent size reduction to (e.g.) 50%, it will ignore every other row and column of pixels. Or to get 25%, it ignores 3 out of every 4 rows/cols, and so forth. It's not discarding them, it's just not displaying them. So the image appears half (or a quarter or whatever) the size, linearly, than it really is, but the amount of space it takes up on disc and the amount of time to display it both remain the same. To get true resizing requires a "raster graphic" editor, aka bitmap editor, such as Photoshop. GIMP seems to be a pretty competent editor too, tho clunky, and has the major advantage of being free. I've not done more than fool around with GIMP, since I own P'shop, but from what I've seen it should certainly work well for resizing and cropping images for Maestronet. There are other capable editors as well. The process is simple, though tedious: 1. Load your image into the editor. 2. View the image at 100% size. This is important, since if what you're trying to show is too small, you have to resample upwards. Or, of course, if it's going to be too large even when cropped, you need to resample downwards. But if you can see the detail you want at 100%, and it's not too big, go to step 4 and crop. 3. If the detail is too small at 100% size, re-sample your image upwards. Try to do it by doubling (one pixel becomes four) or, if you must, tripling (one pixel becomes nine). The reason for that being that you want to avoid forcing the software to invent pixels by interpolation. That's where the blurring and artifacts come from. If the detail will take up too much space even when cropped, resample downwards instead. Again, try to avoid forcing the software to invent pixels. The safest size is 50% (the software will discard every other row and column). Other relatively safe sizes are 80% (discard 1 of 5), 75% (discard 1 of 4), and even 25% (discard 3 of 4). Bad sizes are the ones where the software can't discard a whole number of pixels. If you try to reduce to, say 2/3 size, that's 66%, there's no way to extract the excess 34 pixels per hundred evenly across the whole image, so the software tries to smooth things over by inventing, which never really ends well. 4. Using the selection tool, zero in on the important part of the image, copy, and paste creating a new image. Save off that image. Repeat til you've captured all the areas of interest and, finally, post them. Hope that helps.
  9. I can explain it if you really want me to, but the amount of work for anyone on our side of Maestronet's forum software is all out of proportion to any benefit, believe me.
  10. No, and I've no real idea why not, either. It's just that I've never seen one that appealed. I've the same lack of interest in most Strads, even though I believe he cut the single most elegant-looking fiddle head in the world during his "pre-Strad" days. But his f-holes? Ugly. Lifetime supply of ugly. He must have been at the grappa when he laid them out. And he had a beautiful model, too, that he could have adopted: the Amati ones. His later scrolls are like his f-holes: ugly. I definitely blame the grappa. Perhaps I've never fancied the French fiddles because they're all Strad-model?
  11. FWIW, the seller is a member here (I redacted her name at Martin's request)
  12. It looks brand-new to me, too. Which is in part where I went wrong: not being interested in French fiddles, I'd no idea that there are still factories in France where they put brand-new fake labels in. I thought the Chinese pretty much had a lock on that segment
  13. True! The fiddle has now been found, safe and sound. A cleaner found it in the overhead bin and had it stored in a strayed-property room. So when the police showed up asking for it, there it was. No mention of whether the kid gave the cleaner a green thank-you. http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/23/9659604-music-to-her-ears-lost-violin-worth-172k-found
  14. A groggy music student left her fiddle --lent her by a foundation in her home country, Taiwan-- on a Boston->Philly bus. It promptly vanished and hasn't been heard from since. Poor kid. Poor fiddle, too. I hope it gets back home all right. http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/1106264--student-forgets-172-000-violin-on-bus?bn=1 (I seem not to be able to edit the headline, otherwise I'd correct it: the fiddle was made in 1835 by Vincenzo Jorio of Naples)
  15. I wasn't thinking of anyone in particular, only that I don't seem to see much "homage to Stainer" in the fiddle. Which seems odd for one from anywhere in Austria ca. 1800, but that might be my ignorance on display again. Were there German-speakers making to a model other than Stainer's at the time?
  16. If that's from the Salzkammergut, they made them visibly differently to the folk in Tirol. Any idea why?
  17. Jimbow, check your settting for Tools -> Options -> Content -> Load images automatically. If it's not checked, and you don't have an exception for Maestronet (under the Exceptions button next to it), then that explains why you're seeing image references rather than images. If you want to see all images, check the 'load automatically' box. If you're only willing to see Maestronet's, open the Exceptions list and add 'maestronet.com' Hope that helps.
  18. http://www.ebay.com/itm/South-America-Surinam-kete-back-concert-violin4-4-/390354163689 Pity about the psychosis.
  19. Does that look a well-done scratch graft to anyone else? It certainly looks to me as tho the grain continues thru it. And the back of the head looks a bit wide for the time, doesn't it? Aren't they mostly more pinched-looking, from then? That label looks a xerox that's been scuffed up a bit. Typeface looks anachronistic, too. Nice looking fiddle, though.
  20. Really? What makes you think you can tell? I'd like to know. As far as being able to identify a fiddle goes, I'm not even in the same sheaf of the multiverse as Jeffrey and Michael. Yet, as someone who successfully practiced as a commercial artist for years, I do know a fair bit about paper and printing and can often spot a fake label because of subtle anachronisms (broadly the same type of pattern-matching that Michael and Jeffrey use when identifying a fiddle as a copy rather than an original). But I can't tell anything about that label apart from the name of the typeface: the photo is too poor! So I'm fascinated: why do you think it's a real one?
  21. I'd define it as having been described by someone who's either deceived or deceitful. Not every hexagram is a mogen David just as not every 7- or 9-branched candelabrum is a menora. Surely that should be obvious?? Generally, when people do craftwork that has unusual significance, they put everything they've got into it. And that level of care shows, just as the reverse shows when people are doing whatever it is for money rather than love. Luthiers such as da Saló and Maggini got the purfling interlacing right on the backs of the fiddles they made because they cared. But the poor German-speaking sods who made the "copies" in the late 1800s didn't know, care, or bother, so that an easy "tell" is that the interlacing doesn't work. Similarly, someone for whom a hexagram was meaningful would have taken the time to, e.g., cut and fit the chips of perlmutter carefully, not just chop them up and fill in the gaps with paste, as we see was done on that fiddle. It was magpie work. (For examples of real MOP craftsmanship by people who cared see, e.g., the banjos produced by Fairbanks during that same period. http://www.gruhn.com/features/whytelaydie/JA2679fbu.jpg shows some lower-quality work from after the 1904 fire; the pre-fire work was markedly better)
  22. I stopped playing tin whistle because my late, ever-lamented semi-slimese used to get very upset, come running in from wherever she was, leap up on my lap, and sink her teeth into my hand. Never far enough to break the skin, but making it clear that skin-breaking was an option. She died 4 years ago next month at age 25, and I'm just now getting back to occasionally playing the whistle again. The fiddle never bothered her, though.
  23. It appears to be a representation of an old-style (no cloth) English ducal crown/coronet, if that helps. They have 8 strawberry leaves, with 5 represented in the heraldic image, and those look like they're meant to be strawberry leaves. Or it could possibly be a continental one for a count, marquess, or duke, but it's too incomplete to tell. My bet would be English duke. Pleasant-looking fiddle, tho. How does it play?
  24. I'm certainly not trying to be pointlessly PC here, but it might be more helpful to think of his wheelchair as something he uses for mobility, rather than a sort of cage in which he's "confined". Much like the jigs you're making and searching for, really. As for something to support the fiddle while playing, why wouldn't something like a more extensive Kuhn shoulder rest work? I.e., a 3- or 4-contact-point cradle that fastens onto. say, the front of the left armrest such that it doesn't interfere with propelling the chair (or is it electric?) and, by a series of elbow joints, can be positioned to suit his muscular abilities. I'm guessing that he might do well with the fiddle held in the old-time fiddler's chest position rather than under the chin, since he could then finger with his left elbow supported by the armrest which would be much less fatiguing. I can imagine fabricating it out of 0.06 sheet aluminum and neoprene tubing for the cradle, and 0.25 or 0.375 aluminum rod for the support. The elbow joints might be a problem to find off the shelf, but they'd probably be easy enough, if tedious, to fab out of aluminum stock.
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