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Andrew Victor

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Everything posted by Andrew Victor

  1. I have not bought any bows or cases item from a fiddle shop this century without haggling. It has paid off. I have not bargained on string prices or the instruments I bought because I thought the prices listed were fair and OK for me for what I was getting.
  2. They seem to be in Slovakia (country code: 421) and have an internet presence and advertise some low-price violin cases on line.
  3. Try this: https://violininformation.webs.com/tradeinstruments.htm
  4. A believe a good technician will rehair a bow with consideration of the stick stiffness. A softer (i.e, more flexible) stick should have less hair than a stiffer stick). I think there an optimal stretching of the hairs of a tightened bow for best performance, although it will depends on the kind of bowing one is doing. Askenfelt has published the Young's modulus of bow-quality horse hair which will can be used tor elate stretching to bow stiffness. My "experiments" about 22 years ago convinced me that about 0.5 mm of strain per meter of hair is about the right amount of stretching for optimum tone. My crude measurements of hair stretch vs.force agreed with Askenfelt's.
  5. Some instruments are indeed finicky! One of my 16-inch violas has been tolerant of every set I have installed since I bought it in 1973 - even a set of Spirocores that I selected specifically to match the tensions equally (as nearly as possible) to test a statement by James Beament that that was not good (in his book "The Violin Explained"). It was good, is good! My other 16-inch viola is very picky and works very well (at least, best ever since I boubht it new from the maker in 1996) with Pirastro Permanent D & G strings and Dominant Weich A & C. This balances the tensions in a way suggested by a violist working at at Ifshin Violins who played it and suggested that sort of balance of string tensions for this instrument.
  6. About 58 years ago, the first time I ever heard the great Schubert C major quintet, I was sight reading the 2nd cello part and when we hit "B," the passage in the first movement starting at measure 58, I started to tear up so profusely that I had to stop playing and wipe my eyes. (Maybe it was just an excuse to play it again.) I have played that music a number of times since (eventually all the parts, most recently, viola) and the harmonies of that melody always get to me, although never again that strongly but always recalling that evening so long ago.
  7. I was instructed to play with a "low-side thumb" in first position and a "higher-side thumb in 3rd position" and allowed to "fly-free" above that. I was young and smaller in those years, however I have tended to keep playing those ways. But sometimes I vary it, especially as increasing age continues to limit what my body can endure. I have noticed that Perlman plays with his thumb a bit higher, perhaps to compensate for his large hand and fingers. I played under a concertmaster for 16 years who definitely played with her thumb under the neck and had a lovely vibrato. She had small hands. A very good teacher would work with students to optimize all things about their violin-playing posture including all things about their left and right hands, violin position, chinrest, shoulder rest, etc. Such a teacher would notice everything that was going on, even muscle strain under the skin, and notice those things right away. Poorer teachers often try to mold their students in their own image no matter how much it ill-fits some students. At least, that is my opinion. If you are an adult trying to work this out on your own, all you can do is experiment until you find what works best for you. The teacher route can be much more efficient - but it has to be the right non-parochial teacher. I think the path you are taking by using all possible means to observe what others do is admirable, but let your own body parts instruct you!
  8. Can you work it out from this?: https://s9.imslp.org/files/imglnks/usimg/1/12/IMSLP458289-PMLP743725-LysenkoPieces.pdf
  9. Who said "I love Martians, they are delicious!"?
  10. You can always count on a paper if you see Woodhouse's name on it. I look forward to reading it. It was published the month before I retired.
  11. I often find that when it just does not feel like the right time to practice, the best thing I can do is get out bow and fiddle, start with a 3 octave G major scale and prove that I was wrong. Turns out it was a great time to practice!
  12. I have been a member of a small (30 piece maximum) conductor-less chamber orchestra since 2012, when it was founded. Almost all of the music we have played (and performed) was downloaded from IMSLP.org. I suggest starting there and see what fits your instrumentation. We have been charging our player-members $25 per month to pay our concertmaster a nominal "honorarium." We have also raised enough money to purchase a Mozartly-sufficient set of tympani and we have managed to get a harpist to join with us when needed. (We are fortunate to be in the near "suburbs" of San Francisco which is rich in classical musicians and we draw on musicians from the other sides of 2 bridges.) Before COVID we gave 3 to 5 performances annually. Monetary donations at our performances have gone to humanitarian charities of the local church where we have performed. Our rehearsals and some of our performances were at a community center until they started rehabilitation construction over 3 years ago. During the summers we continued weekly rehearsals and tried "new" music to figure out the next season and to give members and others, who so wished, a chance to solo with an orchestra. Some of those solos later became part of our concert schedule. We are the Lucas Vallley Chamber Orchestra and one of our performances might still be viewable on YouTube. EDIT: I guess not -just checked and the full length performance that was semi-professionally recorded is no longer there but some snippets of other performances are. With the exception of one well-attended "rehearsal" in June 2021 we have not met since March 10, 2020. We were planning to resume "post-COVID" rehearsals in April (next month) but a survey of email responses predicts a serious decline in leader-capable violinists and milder declines in violists and cellists - our wonderful wind blowers have remained firmly in the fold. Wish us luck. If you are near us consider joining. We are mostly older people and rehearse on Tuesday mornings
  13. FBTV - to answer your question it depends on the repertoire and or ensemble available to play with. During the COVID pandemic I have mostly practiced violin.
  14. I think, first of all, it's a matter of what seems most natural to your hand/finger size and lengths of your arm segments. If you find bow holds that work for you on your instruments, who cares what names they have been given. If I take a clue from your pseudonym here, mine would be FromViolinToCelloToViola. So I guess I have 3 bow holds (more or less) and so far I've been at this game for 83 years of my life. And, of course, parts of some music require variations on whatever bowhold one thinks they use.
  15. You might check with your luthier to learn if there is a practical way to shorten the vibrating string length a bit (such as move the bridge and sound post but still retain the instruments best playing and sound characteristics). If it works you will have a solution, if it doesn't just reverse it.
  16. In earlier years of the 21st century Bein & Fushi produced a multi-DVD Ruggiero Ricci "Master Class" - this was near Ricci's final years. In the video Ricci proposed and demonstrated the hypothesis that Paganini had positioned his violin vertically (east-west, that is) to enable him to play some of his compositions. Just saying! https://www.worldcat.org/title/maestro-ruggiero-ricci-the-violin-virtuoso-of-the-20th-century/oclc/174964386
  17. Catnip - I don't think you want to do it that way. I think your HA adjustment for music needs to be against the human standards - i.e., the way "normal" people hear. I think amplifying the high frequencies up to the Strad level would really be an "unbearable blast." Just take your instrument along for the next HA adjustment tests.
  18. No one else can hear what I (or YOU hear), neither the best audiologist in the world nor the best luthier. However the luthier can get the best out of any instrument (regardless of what the client hears).; The audiologist is totally dependent on what the client hears. However, when adjusting hearing aids for musicians, what the client wants to hear and doesn't want to hear are also critical. Also, hearing aids can distort the sound, especially some sounds of music. At least, that has been my own experience.
  19. Jezzupe, if only voices came with closed captions (the way TV does now)! Larry is certainly correct about the raucous sound from "professionally adjusted" hearing aids. That's what I got from CostCo at first - so I went right back (by appointment) and told them what decibel (DB) boost I wanted I for each frequency test point on the audiograph. My primary goal at first was getting my music (violin playing, primarily) to sound the way I thought I remembered it. That worked pretty well. I did that based on the audiographs I could generate for my ears with and without the hearing aids with the online hearing test. Also I took my violin to the CostCo testing booth that 2nd (and 3rd) time. By the way, my 7-yr old CostCo hearing aids use replaceable batteries and I get and average of about 90 hearing hours from each battery (measured). My EARGO aids are rechargeable and the daily charge lasts about 14 to 16 hours. I find it easier to replace a battery than it is to get a good charging connection - just saying. Perhaps not all recharge systems are the same.
  20. I have been using a pair of Kirkland (CostCo) hearing aids going, now, into 7 years. I heartily endorse the Kirkland aids with the "behind the ear" electronics based on my own use. I have been using it from 16 hours daily for all those years. I visit CostCo to replace the ear pieces once a year (because they do a better job than I can). The first thing your friend needs to do is get a hearing test and a copy of the audiograph. Alternatively there is an online hearing test that I have used that gave the same result as my audiologist tests (https://hearingtest.online/ ). This test generates a printable audiograph. A unique advantage of the online self-test is that you can also test your hearing with the hearing aids in your ears to measure the gain your hearing aids are providing at each measured frequency. With that information you can give the CostCo audiologist very specific instructions to adjust your aids to your musical requirements (as I did on the 2nd and 3rd visits). One year ago my heath insurance began supporting the purchase of hearing aids to the tune of $2,500 (good only once very 5 years). I used that to get a pair of EARGO aids. They are more sensitive for the frequencies of 2KHz to 4KHz than MY Kirklands - but only because of the way I had the CostCo aids adjusted for me. My CostCo aids are adjustable by me over 10 amplitude steps and 3 settings (normal, crowds, "music" - my quotes because the "music" setting does nothing for me). The EARGOs are delivered to you set to the audiograph you provide the seller (attached to your "purchase") and their are 4 self-settings you can use. The EARGOs will be adjusted electronically via transmission to your smart cell phone which you then link to the EARG charger via an EARGO app. In fact - I just had my EARGOs adjusted that way yesterday to improved settings for violin playing and speaking voice. EDIT (2/2/22): I forgot to mention that EARGO had just announced their own online hearing test that I used to get them to set up the new adjustments to my EARGO aids. They told me I was fortunate that my hearing was still the same as it had been when I bought the EARGOs . Good to know!
  21. Do I detect some evidence of rebushed peg-holes? That would be a good sign that the instrument was used a lot.
  22. Sixteen years ago I attended a violinist's performance on a cruise ship. For her performance of classical and semi-classical music with the ship's "band" she wore a small microphone beside her right cheek to amplifier her violin. It was the kind of microphone we often see these days on singers and speakers in acoustically inferior venues. I thought it worked fine. Would that do for you?
  23. I've had most of my Pegheds/Knillings installed for at least 10 years and they still all work fine. I think 2 of those pegs once each I installed slipped because the superglue failed - but that was fast and easy to fix. But just to be secure I carry a tiny tube of superglue in the cases. My cello Knillings and Pegheds have never slipped. The Wittner pegs (by design) cannot slip if properly installed - but the violin Wittner is 1,000 miles away with my son (his preferred violin) and I don't play my Wittner viola but rather my Knilling viola because I prefer the sound of that instrument.
  24. I have installed internally geared pegs (Pegheds, Knillings and 2 sets of Wittner) on 14 instruments for myself and family members (2 violas, 3 cellos and 9 violins, including one 5-string). They all work great I noticed no change in tone on any of them. I have no trouble tuning all my strings to within 1 Hz of the target frequency with the Knillings and Pegheds. I have not tested the Wittnersby meter, but by ear they seem fine too. You need to be fully aware of all installation steps before starting to install ("measure twice and cut once"). Mechanically the Pegheds and Knillings are the same. I notice that tuning with these pegs works best if I tune from below. I have always used superglue to anchor the pegs. These two brands both only seat on the "handle" end of the peg, the other end "floats." I found the Wittner pegs trickier to install. They do not need to be glued but you need to fully seat them in the pegbox before removing them to mark and cut the ends to length - and that involves being sure that you have indented the side of the pegbox with the protrusion on each peg. That is the tricky part. The Wittner pegs fit on both sides of the pegbox. Standoff of collar from pegbox is 19mm for Knilling cello pegs, 13-14mm for Knilling/Wittner violin and viola. The advantage of such collar standoff distance for old-fashioned wooden pegs is to delay rebushing of the pegbox as long as possible. I had to have my 1877 Mitenwald cello rebushed and repegged when it was 123 years old (expensive) but one peg collar had finally got to ZERO standoff. It is a good idea to make the original wooden peg shafts as thin as is survivable - 1. reduced friction makes them easier to tune 2. smaller peg hole can have a 2nd live before rebushing That consideration vanishes with internally-geared pegs.
  25. Outofnames, I enjoyed hearing your performance. It felt really heartfelt and emotional. It brought back my memory of the one time I played some Irish tunes in the late 1960s - I never had before. Someone invited me to a St. Paddy's day party specifically to play such tuners on my violin - so I did, with a music stand so I could read the music of the tunes he had. The memory that really sticks in my mind through all the Irish whisky that enhanced my playing was the little man (who was even more thusly enhanced) who came up to me standing just past the end of my scroll, tears streaming down his cheeks, remembering his years in the Old Country. Talk about a grateful audience! Can you recommend a good source of Irish tunes?
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