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Everything posted by miles

  1. Here's an article from The Times regarding eBay 'regular" practice: turning blind eye http://www.timesonline.co.uk/a.../0,,2-2510018,00.html Talking about using superior knowledge to rob? A disbarred attorney (P. Radmer) stole land parcels from various churches and successfully sold them as reported by Chicago Tribune since May 2006.
  2. quote: Originally posted by: Andres Sender Science, although many would like to deny the fact, depends on philosophical underpinnings which it cannot address without absurdity. (Watch out skeptics, there are inductive truths at work!) Would you please elaborate on this point, Andreas? quote: Originally posted by: Andres Sender There is no science without a knowable existence or the validity of logic... What do you mean by "knowable existence"? Validity of logic and repeatability is the core of science, isn't it? One needs to be weary of pseudo-XXXX, pseudo-science included.
  3. quote: Originally posted by: DSutton I am skeptical that science can even scratch philosophical questions. I am skeptical about this skeptical statement. The universe at its absolute base form is all about molecules (down to atom or whatever its indivisible element is) fueled by energy. In other words, any thoughts, philosophical or otherwise, have its chemical basis. That is the reason why chemicals, e.g. Prosac, can alter a living being's mood--by manipulation of the amount of dopamine in binding receptors in the synapses. The end result, a depressed person can predictably have happier thoughts and brighter perspective on life. Disclaimer: I do not imply that there was/were no side effects (more often than not negative) involved physiologically. The question, in our discussion, is what philosophical questions should a scientist (scientists) examine? For what purpose/application? Mind you, scientific research is costly; therefore, scientists rely on grants to conduct their researches. If these basic scientists (as opposed to engineers) are lucky enough, they will have an easier time to "sell" their research ideas for their potential commercial applications. That said, how many philosophers can afford to provide grants for scientific research to "scratch" their philosophical questions? On the other hand, are all philosophical questions worth pursuing? In computer science, we might have to call most of the "thoughts" GIGO, garbage in garbage out. Here's an article by ABC News regarding cloning in South Korea: Three dogs were cloned. Was cloning even thinkable in Einstein's time? http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/wireStory?id=2733638
  4. quote: Originally posted by: skiingfiddler How do you get the pitches in your head? If you have no idea how first finger E on the D string should sound after playing an open D, then go to a well tuned piano (or keyboard) that you've tuned your fiddle to and play D followed by E. Play it on the keyboard as often as you need to in order to remember it. Try singing it. Now play it on the violin. Thank you,skiingfiddler, for the advice. Your approach to the "right" pitch is to use a piano/keyboard to get the correct pitch first. My question is how does your approach differ from using a tuner? My understanding is that the reason not to use a tuner is that tuners use equal temperament as opposed to Pythagorean intonation, which is what the violin intonation is based upon. Admittedly, at an advanced level, the player can deploy any one of the three systems (Pythagorean Intonation, Just Intonation and Equal Temperament) for artistic expressions. For us beginners, it is rather confusing whether to use a tuner/piano/keyboard or not to.
  5. The "Don't Fret" sticker is different from the individual tapes you have to cut and stick. It is a device, which resembles a tablature highlighted in Gerle's book. No smear like the usual tapes a teacher put a beginner student's violins. I disliked these, and usually played tapeless due to the fact that the tape usually fell off on me. The other thing I don't like about the tapes is that it is too thick. The Don't Fret sticker's lines are very thin, which I use as a guide to define the pitch. GM22, I wonder what your comments would be when you try the Don't Fret device. It is like a fake fret, which makes a violin look like a guitar. As I am blessed, I have more violins than I can play. So I often play the violin without a tape or sticker alternatively. Although I don't perfect pitch, my ears are well-trained linguistically. That also helps me feel comfortable with sound. My rhythm problem is another story. My teacher kept asking me to use a metronome. I won't know how to play if I do use it....Grrrr You are right, they don't make a sticker for rhythm, but they do "metronmone". I currently have 5 metronomes, mechanical and electric....BUT...I am trying out my latest acquisition, Korg Beatlab. Steve, Sorry if I sounded like investigator; you are not the only one. I've been asked whether I was an attorney or whether I wanted to be an attorney...Grrrrrh! Maybe I should work for FBI; I am such a natural. That said, my suspicion was quite correct--You did not have a good teacher, which might be due to the lesson time. I myself have the same problem now--30 minutes/week not counting absence by me or my teacher. Your intonation problem really is only the tip of an iceberg in your violin learning with your first teacher. I suppose it was from so-called "Suzuki Method", which I dislike a great deal. I am using "Suzuki" now, but thank goodness I was not initiated by it. It would be interesting to know if you use a tape/sticker with your current teacher. However, that is only an idea for an experiment, not an encouragement. If you can get by without a tape/sticker, go for it. If not, try "Don't Fret", not a tape. I hate when the tape smears or gets in u shape on my violin.
  6. quote: Originally posted by: eric1514 but the problem I foresee is that I will only have one violin in my possession at any one time and don't trust my memory to discern one violin from another that I might try a couple of weeks later. Eric Your worry might not be the case after all; I know for a fact that some dealers will allow you to try more than one violin at a time assuming all of the violins are from the same dealer, shop owned or on consignment. I think recording the violins you try out is a very good idea even just for future reference. Michael (Darnton) has excellent pointers regarding how to test drive the violins, but I don't remember the name of the thread(s). It is very exciting to try out whole bunch of violins--It is like a beauty pagent competion with you being the judge. Best luck!
  7. Thank you for the compliments, GM22. That's very nice of you. My position with a sticker on the violin is like other things I believe in: If one doesn't need any device to facilitate ones learning, great! But if one is not fortunate enough to have such ability, then using an aid with a clear purpose in mind. That is to say, using an aid to help bridge the gap in ones natural ability, not to use the aid as a clutch. As an experience shared by Steve, his problem with intonation seemed to be the fact that his ears "got lazy" and his first teacher might not have caught it. Or even worse, that could be the pitches his first teacher instilliing in him. If ones ears get lazy, will it matter whether one uses a tape/sticker or not? Unless that person is a born genius, most likely he/she will have problems with intonation. Using a sticker is a means of checking against ones perception of the pitches without a teacher, which should not be confused as a replacement for the process of learning the pitches by the ear. Frankly speaking I don't really need the tape/sticker, but I really like the colors on the Don't Fret sticker. However, I do have hard time with rhythm, which is almost a defect at birth.
  8. quote: Originally posted by: stevenwong i am one of those who started with tapes and tuners..... i felt i was doing good as i was able to hit the 'right' pitch or tone or whatever you word you use.... after a couple of months the tapes and tuners were gone.... and i was moving to higher positions... i progressed pretty fast and good... then a year later, i had changed to another teacher... she had commented that most of the time, my fingers were either slightly sharper or flatter in the first position..... and i figured out that the tapes and tuners may be the cause of this.... my fingers were guiding my ears and not the other ways round.... in the process of learning with tapes and tuners, my ears got lazy and eventually kinda switched off.... i had to unlearn and relearn.... and this is a painful process.... maybe the above only applies to me.... but this may be a caution to the other learners... always use your ears to guide your fingers and hands... like they say, if you dont use it, you'll lose it.... Steve, Thank you for sharing your experience. However, I have a few questions: (1) It seems that you have problems with first position. Do you have problems with higher positions? (2) Had your first teacher commented on/corrected your pitch being too high or too low? It sounds like the problem might not be just the tape, but your teacher. If your notes are either a tad too high or too low, your first teacher should have corrected you. My teacher does that a lot with my C on A string, which I still have to pay a great deal of attention/make great effort in order to get the pitch right. If your teacher doesn't correct, what's the good of having a teacher? Regardless how a bad habit is formed, once it is formed, it always takes a lot more time and effort to undone it. That was the precise reason why I did not follow advice given on this board to start playing without a teacher.
  9. quote: Originally posted by: GMM22 I think putting tape or stickers on a violin, even for a complete novice, is a fatal error. I would much rather suffer the pains of listening to a beginner grope for the right notes than to witness pseudo frets on a violin. I am also convinced that some teachers use this as a cover to hide their inadequate teaching skills. I have seen beginners who never seem to move from the first plateau due to stickers (which the teacher insists must stay on until who knows when). They should be banned entirely (such teachers and the stickers). GM22, Have you had any experience with such device or such teachers? How did you conclude that beginners who never seem to move from the first plateau was the direct result of such device or teachers? Just thought you might also want to include me in your stats, I am now learning shifting for moving to the third position. I am an adult beginner and have been using Don't Fret for two semesters with 3 months summer vacation in between. I have no problem picking up a "regular" violin and play in tune.
  10. quote: Originally posted by: DSutton I remember when I took typing in high school. At first I looked to find where the letters where, I simply could not type without cheating and looking for the letters. Then the teacher had us cover the letters and forced us to remember where the letters were. I was impressed, after a few days of struggling, how naturally my fingers went to the keys when I was not allowed to 'look' at the keyboard. The extra effort it took to remember, vastly improved my typing ability, and taught me how far a little extra brain power can take you. Yes, the "key" (no pun intended) is not to look at it all the time, but before one gets enough orientation to know WHERE to go. For those who think using a tape/Don't Fret to learn note positions is a (fatal) error, may I ask how you get to a place from another without a map when you are in an unfamiliar place without a guide? I have been using Don't Fret on one of my violins for lessons, but I can also play violins without No Fret with good intonation. So what is the "fatal error" about? Does learning have anything to do with how you get there? Like learning a foreign language, the best way to learn it is to live in the country where people speak the language of your interest. But what if you cannot afford to live there for any reason? Under such circumstances, you cannot learn the foreign language then?
  11. I don't know about that. I have been told by a collector not to buy a revarnished violin due to the depreciation in value immediately as a result of losing the original varnish...
  12. quote: Originally posted by: Tropicalfruitmom When I was taking the requisite string class in college, I had to give my husband cello lessons. During the first lesson, we went over the parts of the cello and the first couple of pages of the book (Strictly Strings). Every time he practiced, the cats (3) left the room, but the dog (Black Lab) laid at his feet. A week after the first lesson, he had his second lesson. As we were going over the parts of the cello, he got stumped on the long black piece that comes up from the bottom of the instrument. The dog, appearing to get frustrated at his inability to recall the name of the part, got up, walked over to the cello and started to whack said part with her tail. "Ah!" Said my husband. "It's the tailpiece!" It's pretty bad when the dog knows more about the instrument than the person playing it! That's practically what my mother said to me time and again when I was growing up: Even a dog would remember what I [i.e. my mother] said ten thousand times...
  13. I also use "Don't Fret" thing, and have not been hindered or clutched by it. In the beginning, I used it to know more or less exactly where the notes were. Then I used it to check. I still have the sticker on my violin, but I could play my classmate's violin with good accuracy on intonation. My classmate on the other hand got rid of her tape before she learned where the notes were. After the jury, our teacher put tapes on her violin again... If you don't need a device to learn something, that's great. If you do, try to use it wisely; not to let it hinder you. Take the Don't Fret for example, try to learn the relative distance/position/sound of the notes, but don't fix your eyes on it. In addition, if you cannot afford or access a teacher, I would recommend that you find someone who knows how to play the violin to check on your progress at least once a while.
  14. The process in the file looks like an old woman (or man for that matter) just went through a face lift...
  15. quote: http://www.harrisinteractive.c...poll/index.asp?PID=359 Geez, we women believe in everything when asked (according to the survey), don't we?
  16. quote: Originally posted by: Michael Darnton I would say that those photos are good enough that if there was anything to pay attention to, the right people would be paying attention. The key words will have to be "the right people", and rightfully so. There are so many "Italian" labelled violins on eBay. I wonder the odds at which I could "beat" an expert or persons with eyes of an expert.
  17. The back resembles one of my violins, which is very old. So this violin is very no doubt very appealing to me. I think I understands geigen's point: For violins of same quality (if it can be determined objectively), most American/Italian/Western European violins seem to command higher prices. It is no secret. Because of that, I am a happy camper/buyer for higher end Chinese and Eastern European violins.
  18. quote: Originally posted by: Virtusoso Rutherford, While I can agree that some musicians don't seem overtly intelligent, I do tend to notice that they do better academically overall. I'm not saying it's impossible but you don't normally see your high school failures and dropouts playing in orchestras. The most famous drop-outs, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, are no dummy although I don't know whether they play any instruments or musical. Your statement unfortunately does not apply to students in East Asia.
  19. quote: Originally posted by: Erika Other school districts in town have nothing. It really depends on where you live. The disparity I guess is the result of the fact that funding for public education is through property tax? If so, the policy itself creates an inequality from the very beginning, down to the root...
  20. I agree with yuen on that when a person is exposed to something early on in life, that experience will certainly have impact on him in decision making later on. That something can be anything; music is only one of the things, which will enrich ones life. I had music education since primary school, but I am for all practical purposes musically illiterate. That said, my inability to read or play music doesn't hinder my appreciation for music or the beauty of musical instruments. On the contrary, the musical inability has been an important driving force in my learning how to play the violin now. To me, a decision maker needs to have a well-balanced or well-rounded background and more importantly vision to shape a country in a positive way. Experts in modern time are most likely only top notch in their given fields. A decision maker needs to have enough brain to know how to put a team of real experts to work together and get the best out of it. Knowing how to read notes or play chess is thus only a bonus, not a must. [edited] Forgot to include background information, which might make my post confusing: 1. I came to the United States with a BA. Thus, most of my education was done in East Asia, including music education. 2. I started learning how to play the violin long after I finished my education and worked for quite some time.
  21. Michael has an interesting point--Street sale vs Store sale. However, I would take this point a step further: eBay violin sale is worse than street sale. On the street, you at least can ask to see the goods, but on eBay, how? Admittedly, you can fly to the location of merchandise or lucky enough to live nearby. When there's no clear protection for the consumer, the consumer should know how much loss he/she can absorb. After all, law doesn't protect ignorance.
  22. quote: Originally posted by: Mauricio Fine, mocking somebody as a group for a while can provide a good feeling of unity, camaraderie and safety, but there's a limit. Tim, you're not the only one. I am uncomfortable with personal attack, but enjoy jokes about Bush...Does it count me as "three"?
  23. quote: Originally posted by: David Tseng Therefore, if the wood in old fiddles is chemically treated, there will some changes in IR and NMR spectra. I have not read Nagyvary's paper in Nature, but I would say such experimental results are very important from scientific and violin makers point of view. I will certainly agree with such statement/assessment from a scientific standpoint--chemical reaction in a sense is the rearrangement ionic bindings even if only the degree of affinity between two ions is disturbed/altered. However, chemical reactions can occur by natural cause, for example, exposing a violin under direct sunlight, energy influx forced change/reaction or slow reaction, leaving a violin out of its case. But what chemicals has/had Nag. identified? Grape juice certainly sounds much more appealing than peepee.
  24. quote: Originally posted by: magicfingersHmmmm,,,,, a Strad made in 1774... I'll bet it has a divine and heavenly sound....
  25. quote: I think a lot of the skepticism comes from Nagyvary having discovered "the secret" too many times with too many different explanations, as others have already mentioned. How can we "blame" the innocent Nagyvary for that? Maybe Strad just had too many secrets, and he himself also couldn't quite keep track of what his secrets were...
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