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  1. Yes, if I locate the copy, will get you pictures. The might be helpful. My dues have lapsed but only because I felt that it was not administered so well, recently ( I have complaints - typical. ) Contacting Roberto or Manny Diaz - actually their assistants - would also be a good idea. As busy as they are, they have also been very kind... I do not want to post an address here, but search within: Would you know if the cello version/ arrangement is mostly in tenor clef? Also, would you know if University of Texas, Austin still provides Library services for those in search of music? They used to be quite good.
  2. Try searching for the piece using Oxford University or Oxford University Press I believe there is a newer publisher ( editor ) or a newer arrangement of the Borodin that was worked on about 20 years ago. I have a copy somewhere but the parts are torn to shreds, with no covers, and in an envelope in a pile. I blame myself, but the students who carelessly handle borrowed music are the guilty parties. Lastly, a friendly University Library might be able to help you out if there are no copies available for sale.
  3. It's the cost of bow. And the hair may lengthen or shorten depending on the humidity. If the bow was rehaired tight or loose, one might be careful. Bows of value should be protected when not played. My bows are not rosined so much around the house. I have a bunch of inexpensive fractional ( mostly 3/4 ) bows lying around the house. Three each ( vln, vla, clo ) in two bedrooms and more in the living room. They are not hung but on shelves or in a credenza. All bows at the bench are cased unless being rehaired. On somedays, though not for several years, I might pick up an instrument a hundred times in the course of several hours before leaving for work or a performance. Usually it is to practice a passage or re-work a passage between other work or tasks at home. I remember a friend learning the Ciaccone this way, playing two or three four measure chunks and at time. Just practical for us. I have several students leave their inexpensive instruments out in a safe place or proper stand. One keeps the violin on a mini-shelf in their unused fireplace. These students are on orders to practice for 30min three or more times a day. If the instrument is out, they ( boys ) are more likely to practice and stay focused. A shorter capped wooden dowel would generally be better than a metal hook for hanging a bow.
  4. This is a special time and might have to be sensitive to that. There is so much going on and at home, I do not see so much of what is happening in the surrounding communities. Visited a friend recently for a hike and was surprised that parking at his apartment complex was easy where it generally took 10min of circling. Many people had moved out. I did not realize how severely people were impacted in more urban areas. Also had a bow for several years only to have heard that the owner passed away. That bow was returned to his family once it was possible to established contact and they were grateful.
  5. Music is often about making mistakes. The risks that we takes often result in mistakes. Beethoven metronome markings. Last mvmts. New music. Take musical and technical risks, set a great example and have fun. Get your teacher to perform more concerts.
  6. I am so glad that being a Leader was mentioned. In the adult world, it is looked at as a management position. It is often not worth the trouble of getting paid a bit more in regional orchestras. I look back on choirs fondly as there was no pressure of sitting up front. Being a friendly helpful leader is not always easy. As a student ( and even in professional ensembles, ) there are bossy CMs but ones that respond to players requests and to do what is in the interest of the ensemble is the better leader. In student ensembles, players age out. I hate playing for bad CMs. That's just me and it is a luxury to walk away in some instances. I used to drive hours to play for certain Conductors and there were never any CM issues with better conductors who understood the dynamics of an ensemble. All my teachers were CMs and there was a lot of wear and tear on them, looking back as an adult. Every time there was a new conductor the chance of being fired was obviously there. Much less the shake up of the other sections, sometimes the board wanted to clean house and that left the groups in shambles even if one were not to lose their position. Also at schools, the best players are not always at the first stands. The bad teachers often seat the kids that behave at the front stands. As a student, we understand this dynamic but the parents ( and some students ) may not get it. As talent as one might be, disrupting a class takes away from others. The best teachers are the one who get the "bad" kids to become leaders, perhaps not CM but those who help select the music and the spirit of the group.
  7. If you are willing to share, how did the shop view the crack? I have had a few modern instruments with these cracks but more to do with "over ther tailpiece" chinrests. The repair work can be deceptively difficult.
  8. Thank you for the photo. How thick is the ply that supports the top? With a slightly sprung top, I have needed a second person. But now, it is an issue of installing more of the taller cleats in the middle. Takes more time... The bar would like to move down slope, the way it's chalked.
  9. I have not tried weich cello strings, though it seems reasonable to me. The contrasting strings are medium Larson, Kaplan and Dominant cello a-strings. Maestro Noon's point about the actual output is important. but for the uber-nerd violist exiled to the garage because their spouse not handling the experiments... See if a bunch of old strings can't be mailed to you from those willing to donate. The Kaplan has been the most supple. My opinion: Low - F on a viola to this point has been difficult as a performance instrument. A 1/4 cello that I own has produced better output than most any low - F on the viola despite the closer string length. The low F - string feels rigid and the overtones are generally absent on a viola. There is not much room for expressiveness but the low notes can be heard. Not being a nay-sayer and would love for great results but that it has been difficult to this point with more conventional violas.
  10. This is where music theory helps the average guitar player who has previously played another instrument. The guitar, if one thinks of it as an instrument of two octaves, is split in to the lower strings and the upper strings ( as is the vlin, vla, clo. ) But the guitar is super screwed up in the upper octave. It's not the player. It is the design. If one were to use the strengths and weaknesses of any of tool, the guitar is pretty cool. The lower octave is clearly laid out for harmonic ( structural ) work while the treble side is a bit crazy. Melody is based upon how it makes us feel with its ebb and flow of tension and release. The fact the upper strings form a chord ( e minor, ) but in an inversion ( 2nd inversion with the 5th in the bass ) allows for quite a bit possibilities. But a pain to navigate at first. In folk guitar, the "drop-D" is used to bring the lower e-string to a 5th get a better drone effect off the 5th interval while the existing tuning is super for the blues... The high positions are just more clear to hear with modern strings and composition and loudspeakers, and there is more to show up and ( re ) present. I believe that true expressiveness is in the vocal range, but we do not ( have not ) lived in a culture where we are able to listen to others. For my own pleasure, I value voice. Tonality? Articulation? Clarity? Opinion? Somedays it involves Kale while on some it might be Honey.
  11. Generally, you are correct. But in reality, this is far more complicated an issue. A friend has asked for a 5-string viola decades ago but in trying to develop one, there were many issues that provoked thought and complexities. Here are some of data points. The 5th string does generally adds more pressure to the top. To simplify <25% more on the high-string with the support of the soundpost while a low-string might add <25% with the "support" of a bass bar. It is not quite 25% but it is used to what occurs. It is less... To simplify, my philosophy on set ups ( and there are some in this camp, ) the set up should be one that allows for the largest dynamic ( loudness ) range while still maintaining a reasonable tonal balance across the strings. This is far more difficult than the words describe. A maker must commit to an unknown graduation( s ) that must support that 5th string. Please follow this thought... outside of carbon bows, it is difficult to apply anything near 20lbs a dynamic pressure on a historic ( existing 4-string ) instruments without sonic consequences. That extra tug on the top and neck limits the ability of the instrument to speak freely. The instruments sound sluggish and muted. On a Viola de Gamba as well as the Arpeggione, the instrument is tuned in 4ths, and with up to seven strings the top is compressed quite a bit. But it seemed to be easier to achieve a balance between the bass and treble side as the difference between the tension of the strings can be in a more common range. Though the instruments were not loud, the playing ability felt reasonable. String data from the manufacturers shows that the tensions are similar across the strings but adding a commercial string on an instrument just adds tension. Added tension can mute an instrument. Though modern Gambas play at 300+ seat venues well, many older models sound best only in smaller halls ( homes, ) and do not compete, or can not ( my opinion ) compete with modern instruments given most players ( may not be the instrument fault. ) It is strange to see projection issues with solid body bowed 4+ stringed instruments, but on guitars this is more normal that not on older instruments. It is it is an indicator of how modern ( steel ) strings will pull and keep pulling, at pitch. Anyway, there can be structural issues. Have not successfully created a fine 5-string instrument for modern halls or much one less something I like. At the Cello Forum, I am sure there are some who have experience, but not all cellists posts and there are some very fine players with acoustic 5 - string cellos. Would they come forward? I know of at least one fine living maker 5 - string cello but the owner has not have gone public
  12. There are also many factors to consider, mostly your playing style, and perhaps the rosin and bow, and the set up. During the current stay at home, many find it difficult to get to a shop or a friend. I try to purchase as many sets as reasonable when a favorite string goes on sale. I mostly use Pirazzi on everything except cellos. When I visited a major midwest symphony about a dozen years ago, was surprised about how many cellists were using Pirazzi. Lately have tried most every thing else in my bins. The number of performances has been significantly reduced. I still perform under specific conditions but the audience size has been reduced to less than a dozen or possibly a few dozen, with a pianist. These are the strings I have tried closer to $50 a set ( on sale: ) Dominant, Savarez Cantiga and the Alliance series. In smaller spaces, or outdoors, the strings that can be played softly and clearly really help, the Cantigas being the "warmest" and most expressive. I do not generally use these strings because they do not feel as full or sound louder on a larger stage. The modern instruments used tend to be brighter and a bit more punchy so the Pi and other Thomastik strings were off the table. The Reds and some of the D'Addario strings are favored by some students but I often feel like I am losing to the piano. I have had Zyex on some teaching instruments and was surprised how long they lasted despite the beatings they received.
  13. Too many executions. I meant teachers.
  14. And that is the better the teacher who is also willing to work within the confines. Whether they utilize ABSRM, Suzuki or RCM is ultimately unimportant. But I see the most problems with Absrm and am frustrated by the execution by the local execution. But if the system dictates to the student what is necessary, a good teacher will make it work. I have not asked what the full program costs, but it has to be more expensive than the $100 for a Suzuki set of 1 - 10 volumes, another $100 for Wohlfart, Kayser, Kreutzer, Trott and Hrimaly/ Sevcik/ Mazas/ Flesch and the last $100 for choice works ( or a subscription to your favorite music sites. ) Yearly instrument tuition is in the $5k range for the major markets but another $3k for music and testing can add up. An orchestra, another $2k per year. Parents do a lot for their kids. Out here, Music participation on the college application is virtually meaningless so a parent offers their kids the gift of music purely for its sake.
  15. a variety of teachers of some who I coach on the side. This past year, there was a Rach. Elegy in the Piano series, and it seemed out of place for those in their early teens. It is a difficult piece which over- achievers start but will find difficult to finish. I still sit at the piano occasionally and play through accompaniments but I rarely perform in public unless it is for fun. But I am asked to help these kids get through the piece as there is either insufficient teaching ( the teacher ) or practice ( the student. ) I am sure that with your musical background, better choices were made. But with little parental musical assistance, some of these students get stranded within the system. I also help in their sight-reading which can be time consuming. Each student needs to know their strengths and those need to be used to further their skill set. There are also talented students who flounder within the system. They deserve a flexible environment that allows them the challenges of music. Working with students with a variety of disabilities, I know there are a few teachers who take on a few and still pursuit RCM but realistically, can one tell insure the parents that the system will be worth the time? I singled out Absrm simply because in the nearby locales, there are greater number of issues with kids getting their high-level certificates. Some teachers prep all year for the test. As I hate preparing kids for seating auditions in local orchestras and evaluations ( as the results can be unfair ) and occur at least yearly, I only see them for about three or four weeks. It is necessary to prepare for set audition dates and be able to complete the skill sets required for that audition, but it is sad to prepare a full year for an 8min audition.