bungling_amateur

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About bungling_amateur

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    http://simonchadwick.net

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    N Ireland
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    Strange old stuff

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  1. This is all very interesting and true, except that there is a big difference between studying music as an intellectual discipline (its history, psychology, structures, etc) and learning how to do it as a craft tradition. All different musics as performing arts are immersive craft traditions - I remember talking to Malian kora players, they talked about how they basically studied full time with their relatives from childhood (it was an uncle and nephew I met) in order to master their music and performance art. I don't see that as much difference from learning how to play the violin in a sy
  2. Did you never read / see Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected "Parson's Pleasure" about the Chippendale commode? The antiques dealer tells the owner that it is worthless, "firewood", but he would give them £20 because it had pretty legs. You can guess what happened when he turned up with his van to take it away...
  3. Thank you for this Marty, we have an old fiddle with a warped / twisted neck, I always wondered why it didn't seem to cause any problems with playability... perhaps this is one reason it is so nice to play!
  4. To protect the instrument of course!
  5. Rue, you can buy a USB floppy drive for £25 or so that might be able to read your disks and transfer them onto your computer. I looked up ForScore - looks lovely, but will the company still be supporting it in 10 years time? 20 years? Certainly your iPad won't still be working in 20 years, because Apple have a policy to continually upgrade their devices and systems. I think systems like this have very specific uses where they are unbeatable (going on tour with a huge library of scores, for example). But they don't replace paper libraries at all. The tricky bit is working out how to c
  6. I once was given £50 by an instrument seller, I didn't even know why, and I queried it with them. They explained that one of my students had bought an instrument (not violin family) from them, and it was their standard practice to give the bung to the teacher. I was very uneasy about this. The pupil had purchased this instrument off their own bat, I had advised them to go elsewhere and get a different instrument. But I saw at once there was a conflict of interest. As a tutor I would think less of any seller who did this. I would suspect that (as in this case) the product being offered was
  7. One day someone will suggest glueing the tuning pegs so that they can't slip or be accidentally turned out of tune.
  8. Oh, I was expecting discussion of violins made in Warsaw, Poznan, etc.
  9. It wasn't a mistake, its just the differene between American English and English English.
  10. Tuned bells have to be actively tuned, to force (some of) their different partials to approximate a harmonic series. And that is still not a totally exact science especially in the higher partials though great improvement shave been made in the past decades. http://www.hibberts.co.uk/ is probably the best resource for understanding this. I would say that violin plates are different from bells in two main ways, one being they are not circular cross-section so they don't have the rotational symmetry. The second way is that in practical use they are glued all round their edge to other b
  11. Actually I disagree strongly that it's a waste of time to refine definitions of technical words. Clarity and precision in language is necessary for clarity and precision of explanation. While Its obvious that in a craft tradition it is a hands-on knowledge so words are superfluous, that's not the case when we are typing messages to each other!
  12. Bell people are quite particular about this; it's considered a basic error to talk about the harmonics of a bell; they call them "partials", and would say that they should only be called "harmonics" when they (nearly) follow a harmonic progression 1:2:3:4:5... like in a string or air column.
  13. Yes, carving the body from one piece was a normal practice in medieval times. The British Museum citole is a great example (later converted into a violin): https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/H_1963-1002-1 In this case, making only the ribs from a single piece seems to be the worst of both worlds, since everything is short grain and so prone to splitting?