J-G

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Posts posted by J-G


  1. A beautiful thing! Presumably the builder also made guitars: pin bridge, ivory edge-binding (ruined by a chin rest?). Any guitar-style bracing inside?

     

    The black sheep of the Maline family? :)  (Like the guitar-building Panormo in London.)


  2. It seems off the string can mean two things:  sautillé is sometimes described as a bouncing stick with the hair never leaving the string.  That is, a faster alternative to spiccato.  I think that's what you mean, Stephen?

     

    In post 7, exx. B and C, we get two forms of the "vertical dash".  Does any composer or editor really distinguish between those two symbols?  I think of them as meaning off the string.  Fischer, in his ed. of Sevcik's Op. 3 Variations (sort of a bible for this stuff), defines the vertical dash as "jeté, spiccato or saltando".  He defines the dot as "staccato or martellato'.

     

    A useful symbol not mentioned here so far is the bracket used by Sevcik to indicate at what point exactly in a passage the bow is to be lifted, or first lifted.


  3. For all interested people is here a scan of his biography from the booklet of the Berliner Musikinstrumentenmuseum, which I don't have the time to translate -_- .

     

    attachicon.giflowendall 001.jpg

     

    It doesn't tell if he spent some years in the U.S., but that he mostly was occupied to import factory violins from the Vogtland to America, one of which is the OP. Made for this purpose, it's no wonder that there were english labels applied to those. It's said, that he sold 11 000 violins in 45 years.

     

     

     

    Thanks for the info, BF. I realise Lowendall was a big exporter, but would have thought only export instruments got the export (English) label. The bio quotes a Latin label presumably used for European sales.


  4. Seems a little odd that a violin sold in Berlin in 1929 had a label in English.  But it looks like a nice basic fiddle, probably good for many more miles.

     

    If there's enough hair left on the bow to play a bit, you should be able to decide whether it's worth rehairing.  If not, there's lots of very cheap bows out there nowadays. 


  5. In Sevcik's School of Bowing Technique I see printed at no. 5, exx. 191-5 the subtitle "Viotti's style of bowing".  The exercises involve whole-bow strokes, starting on a weak beat, in which a short note is followed by a rest, then a long note on the same stroke, the long note showing an accent.  So the rhythm is short/weak to long/strong on one bow.

     

    I don't know who first used that term, or what source it may have in Viotti's own playing.  The Kreutzer example above likewise uses a slurred staccato to play weak to strong.


  6. Lucchi meters read speed of sound, which is precisely defined as the square root of E/rho, where E is modulus of elasticity and rho is density.  If you know density, then you can find E, which will tell you how stiff a piece of wood will be with fixed dimensions.

     

     

     

    Thanks for that, Don.   So you need both figures (the Lucchi reading and the density) to predict elasticity?


  7. I suspect the bow requirements of amateur players (like myself) are not the same as those of the pros. I use a pretty soft bow that I find easy to control, but which probably isn't capable of the speed and bounce needed by soloists and pro orchestra players. I suppose a "good bow" is something a player has to grow into.


  8. Factory work will never be artistic. At least, it's not there yet imo. Yet one need only peek into various facebook groups to see dozens of players enthusiastically liking some higher end factory job and commenting on how beautiful and stunning it is to realize that professional makers are in trouble. Players usually can't see the difference. 

     

     

    I guess there must be some clarinet players that see one clarinet as a work of art, another as factory junk, but most probably get the best instrument they can afford for the job they need it for.  And I imagine that is true also for most professional violinists.

     

    Artists or not, the workers in the video look like skilled professionals to me.  The building of a violin by one person working alone and carrying out all the steps is far from being the only model historically. 

     

    But the real factory violins, designed from the ground up for mass-production machinery with a minimum of handwork, were the Jackson-Guldans, produced in the USA between about 1920 and 1950.

     

    As Don Stackhouse wrote on another forum:

     

    "If Henry Ford had redesigned the violin to suit mechanized mass-production, the result would have been a Jackson-Guldan."

     

    His post continues with a detailed description of the unusual design features  these instruments incorporated in order to eliminate hand work.  In general, Mr. Stackhouse concludes the design served its purpose well.  For those interested, his post appears about halfway down this thread:

     

    http://www.fiddlehangout.com/archive/425

     

    (And yes, I play one, but only sometimes.)


  9. Interesting to see one of these still in use.  I've been reading through some of the old catalogues on Roland Terrier's site, and find that bows came in a bewildering range of grades a hundred years ago.  This one must be near the bottom level-- "sans recouvrement" (no ferrule or MOP slide),  plus no heel plate, no underslide, and a round bone button.  And no doubt one of the cheaper woods of the many then in use.  Here's the range of bows available from Thibouville around 1912:

     

    http://www.luthiers-mirecourt.com/thibouville1912_1.htm#Archets


  10. From 52 to the first two beats of 54 each two-beat figure arpeggiates a triad in the key of E:  G#m, F#m, E, D#dim, C#m.  Finger them all starting on 1.  For intonation I would practise each chord as a pair of double-stops, fingering 1/3 (E and A strings) then 3/4 (A and E) for each chord. In the second half of 54 the chord shape changes.  Fingering there will use 1, 2 and 4.   Then in the first half of 55 use 1, 2, and 3.  These last two chords can likewise be practised as pairs of double-stops.  Hope this helps.