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Dr. Mark

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About Dr. Mark

  • Birthday 02/15/1951

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    Trenton NJ
  • Interests
    Violins of course.

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  1. To clarify in light of the above comment (which I understand may not have been written as a response to mine) - in my case no, I'm not asking for justification but rather for a definition. If I want a meaningful definition I usually try to find a reliable source for an answer, and I appreciate that sometimes the more you know the more difficult it can be to give a meaningful response to a naïve question. I also appreciate the expertise of these people and their willingness to engage on MN.
  2. For my information - tossing an Amati label into a Strad model violin is not a copy, because the maker made no attempt to replicate the essential features of an Amati violin. So a 'copy' is a violin that was made with the intent to reproduce characteristic features of the products of the maker indicated on it's label - ? Then there's the replica of the Kreisler del Gesu with the actual (not dG's) maker's name on the label. Still a copy I guess, because the maker deliberately incorporated Kreisler characteristics into the violin - except for the label. Then there's the replica of the Kreisler del Gesu with the fake Vuillaume label. Still a copy certainly, but ... Maybe it's easier to define what is not a copy...? I'm having a little fun here and I don't mean to offend - the serious question is: what is the criteria for differentiating among violins that are 'copies' and those that aren't?
  3. I thought it was likely a reflection at first, bit it is visible in the full-frontal picture in the same position...
  4. I get the point...but I will forego responding with an off-topic witticism to avoid being a distraction to those (and I am quite seriously referring to yourself here, and others) who have the knowledge and experience to contribute to the conversation...Now that I've gotten started in another thread, I should note that I unfortunately also have trouble resisting self-referential paradoxes lol.
  5. Btw my position and suggestion regarding the subject researchhasn't changed - and I am still willing to discuss my specific objections. It might be of interest to first read some related articles, for example this paper by J. Ioannidis: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1182327/. The title of this paper is 'Why Most Published Research Findings Are False' and it is available from the National Library of Medicine. The subject of Ioannidis' research rather amusingly brushes us up against self-referential paradoxes and Gödel's incompleteness theorem, as it concerns published research. In this article Ioannidis brings up the effect of 'pre-study odds' alluded to by my earlier expressed concern regarding hearsay evidence. To lend some additional support that Ioannidis is taken seriously in the medical field and elsewhere, here is a discussion of the issues he raises published in the AMA Journal of Ethics: https://journalofethics.ama-assn.org/article/when-research-evidence-misleading/2013-01, and an in-depth discussion of the topic, with examples and interesting results obtained from a predictive model: https://elifesciences.org/articles/21451
  6. It comes from 'bet', like "I bet I can sell this violin if I display it along with some real junk", hence a 'better' violin. And that figure of speech passed into common usage...
  7. Bill - Let's stop with the ad hominem b.s. ok? If you're satisfied with your own arguments you certainly don't need my concurrence. There are a lot of constructive and interesting places this conversation could still go, unless you want to go through with your earlier threat. And if I screw up in my work then yes, a lot of kids could die needlessly and that may make me both overly conservative in what I accept as significant research, and what details indicate that additional questions need to be asked before accepting published results. Enough of that. So...do you teach violin? If so, what physical characteristics do you think are essential to a student's ability to excel?
  8. Since there don't seem to be additional questions or discussion, I'll tie up some loose ends by citing my references: [1] 'Assessment of the presence of independent flexor digitorum superficialis function in the small fingers of professional string players: Is this an example of natural selection?', Godwin, Y., G.A.C. Wheble, C. Feng, J. Hand Surgery (E), Vol. 39E(1) pp. 93-100 (2014). I downloaded this paper from ResearchGate at no cost, and it is the source of the Strad article, as cited on March 29th by BernieR. Per my observation that the research was predicated on a single piece of hearsay: [2] This study was conceived after an 11-year-old patient volunteered that she had given up playing the violin because of difficulty and discomfort manoeuvring [sic] the left small and ring fingers independently. On examination, she was found to have absent FDS function in the small finger", ibid, p 99. This quote is the entirety of the Discussion section's first paragrpah.
  9. ?? - I enjoyed this discussion with you as well.
  10. If I had read this before posting I would have quoted LovingMusic and saved myself some effort.
  11. Hi Bill! Where to start? Since I assume that you read the article you'll be aware that the study is predicated on a single piece of hearsay correspondence from a child. It's not so much that the study justifies this approach to signifying possible effect in an adult population, but rather the quite evident (and partially acknowledged) focus on the presence or absence of this single physical attribute as a determining factor of a child's likelihood of achievement - and further, reaching this conclusion based upon a study of middle-aged adults. And yes, things like a paralyzed hand can present insurmountable difficulties to a would-be violinist. Such difficulties would be directly demonstrable. Since the conclusion in this paper results from an implication rather than a demonstration, these authors try to preclude objection by asserting that compensation or alleviation by dedicated study effectively does not occur: "Because an anatomical variation is fixed, training and strengthening exercises will be unlikely to correct any issues of technique that arise as a result." Yet this may be precisely what the study illustrates - that training and strengthening in the course of professional practice eliminates the subject symptoms in many cases. Cause and effect seem to be inadequately differentiated. I may change my mind after I have some coffee, but for now....
  12. I'd like to suggest that the research in the referenced article is effectively irrelevant to violin students, teachers, and other professional violinists at any level; other than as food for gossip. To be clear, I have no medical training but would support my conclusion on other grounds.
  13. Wood has arrived - looks good thanks!
  14. That's a rather nice bit of work on the scroll and pegbox.
  15. Just coming out of the blue I'd interpret 'Master made' as an instrument made by a trained master maker, either entirely or in all aspects that would affect appearance, quality of construction, and tone. I'd expect the tonal quality would be sufficient to enhance or maintain the reputation of the maker. On the other hand I'd expect a 'shop' instrument to be constructed and finished by one or more employees or sourced from outside, possibly made in part by machine, use cheaper materials, and have lower tonal quality. If there are intermediate grades it' might be to cover shop instruments that turn out surprisingly well or master instruments that are surprisingly not up to standard. Within rather loose limits I would expect master instruments to have more consistent 'playability' than the shop instruments. My 4 cents (accounting for inflation)
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