J-G

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Posts posted by J-G


  1. This seems a good point at which to remind ourselves how fundamental turtle shells are in music history.  Grove online gives us this reference for the Latin word testudo (=tortoise):

    The Latin name for the Greek lyre, the body of which was sometimes made from the shell of a tortoise, though the word could also mean any arched structure. In medieval Latin it came to be used for the lute, since no specific term existed for that instrument (the genitive and ablative forms, ...

    (Sorry, I do not have access to the genitive and ablative forms.}


  2. Wow!  That is terrific.  I get the feeling your grandfather was an imaginative and resourceful man.  He saw possibilities others might miss.  And versatile too, since he went on to make good Strad-model violins.

    Looks like it was a real usable instrument-- does anyone in the family remember hearing it played? And what is that puck-like piece the strings attach to?  Looks like maybe a repurposed bicycle bell?  Thanks again, Jungashick!

     


  3. Thank you for that, Philip.

    "Pre-carved necks" I guess were necks manufactured abroad and imported for use by American makers?  May have been a widespread practice among amateur and solo builders. 

    It seems mine was one of his first violins, though he was already 40 in 1923.  I wonder how he got started.  And yes, the other Ohio Hildebrand could be part of the story.

    I'd love to know more about that mandolin!


  4. Here is the Hildebrand violin I mentioned in the Modern Peg Taper thread. It turned up in a music store here on Vancouver Island, and I was glad to find it.

    It is signed inside on each panel of the back plate:

    Bernard L. Hildebrand  1923 Cutler O.

    I gather Hildebrand later had a violin shop in Springfield (Ohio) where he built, repaired and sold instruments. My instrument seems very neatly built and is in very solid condition. Sound (in my hands) is not huge, but strong and full. Response is very even, with no bad notes. I'm playing it in a community string orchestra, and enjoying it very much.

    The maker's great-grandson responded in the other thread, and I hope we'll hear again from him or his father with biographical information and/or personal memories. I believe Hildebrand also had an entry in the Wenberg book; can anyone here look that up?

    Any other Hildebrand players here? I know there was one on MN as recently as 2009.:lol:

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  5. Thank you for the information here and in your private message, Matt.  When I get home from my holiday travels I will photograph my violin and start a new thread here devoted to Hildebrand instruments.

    Sorry to have derailed somewhat this discussion of peg taper. 


  6. On 12/23/2019 at 5:48 PM, mhildebrand said:

    Bernard Hildebrand the violin maker was my great grandfather. I unfortunately can't narrow down that time frame for you since many of his works were lost in a fire at his shop near the end of his life. I only have one of his violins but also know the whereabouts of a mandolin he made out of a tortise shell

    It's very nice to hear from you, Mr. or Ms. Hildebrand. I own and play a violin built by your great-grandfather in 1923 in another Ohio town, before he set up shop in Springfield.

    The Internet seems to be aware of only two others he built, viz. FidPup's instrument and another that was sold at auction by Skinner about a year ago. Incidentally, my violin came to me with its original 1/20 taper pegs;  they have now been replaced, but without changing the taper.

    A brief biographical note on Hildebrand with information from the Wenberg book was posted on the Amati site until recently, but I can't find it now.  According to that note, he built about 100 instruments between 1922 and his death (1961?).   Any information you could add to his biography would be very welcome. 

    By the way, I know some people on the Mandolin Cafe site who would love to know more about that mandolin!

     


  7. 8 hours ago, gforce said:

     About to buy my first violin, (adult learner).

    I went through this process about ten years ago.  Rented a basic kit for three months ($30 per month). Got a teacher and took a few lessons.  Then went around to all the shops and tried everything.  Got help from friends who play.  Found something quite decent, though at a little higher price than where you're looking.

    There's so many for sale,— get out and try them.  Look till you find something a little better than your rental.


  8. Leawong, we don't have much to go on here.  It would be helpful to give us some information:  composer, title of work, name of editor, publisher, date of edition. And maybe the full page of text.  Are the hand-written notations your own?  How are you playing that last measure now?

    (With a staccato dot on the quarter this would look normal;  but then we'd expect the same in the lower part.)


  9. 17 hours ago, reepicheep said:

    They looked up the inventory number and this is what they found:

    "....  It certainly appears that #1374 was an imported violin and re-graduated by both Byron and Emmett. The violin was a K410 model which suggests German in origin. ..."

    Interesting detail.  We gather that some early 20th century American "violin makers" added nothing more than labels to instruments that were brought in ready to sell.  I wonder how common it was a hundred years ago to import violins, then regraduate (and varnish?) them for sale as US instruments.  There's certainly a lot of that going on nowadays.


  10. On 11/17/2019 at 12:30 PM, martin swan said:

    If it's in the US then it would have a West Germany stamp after WWII.

    My guess is it's pre-WWII but the adjuster is of the later mass-produced MK type, and the company was formed in 1932 ... so it has to be sometime between 1932 and 1945.

    Really up till 1945?  Were German manufacturers really stamping "Germany" (in English) on their wares during the period when Germany was at war with every English-speaking country?  I wonder...


  11. 5 hours ago, Richf said:

     I find bows especially difficult to photograph -- the nice flaming in the wood doesn't show here at all.  

    I imagine a darker background would help.  Your camera sets exposure for a white scene, and underexposes the dark stick.  Quite common in bow photos here.

    Focus is good though. :)


  12. 3 hours ago, The Violin Beautiful said:

     

    If you’re not sure which shop to try, just ask your son’s teacher or any serious players you know.

     

    Agreed;  you need advice and help from a player, a teacher, or a repair person.

    Also, many shops that sell student violins also rent them.  That's usually the best way to start.


  13. 45 minutes ago, MarkBouquet clearsky said:

    There's just no escaping the fact that clamping the violin between one's chin and shoulder is an unnatural way to hold it.

    And another option:  many fine Indian players brace the instrument between the chest and the right foot.