Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Chin Rest?


MarkHoffman

Recommended Posts

I'd like to support insearchofcremona and question why one needs a chin rest at all.

I have seen so much damage caused to edges and ribs over the years that I have systematically removed all chin rests from my collection.

Coincidentally, I, also, have found a piece of chamois leather the perfect interface for varnish protection. It causes no damping of the tone, is extremely comfortable and the violins look much more attactive without this modern contraption clamped on them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

I'd like to support insearchofcremona and question why one needs a chin rest at all.


My old bakelite chinrest was low, flat and small. For me the Hollywood provides additional stability for holding the violin and a more comfortable neck position. I suspect that no chinrest would be a step further away from this comfort.

The same question could be asked of the shoulder rest also - for example, my teacher uses a chinrest and no shoulder rest, insearchofcremona suggests a shoulder rest and no chinrest.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know this much, there are a lot of very intelligent and talented people participating in this forum, and everyone has some little way of finding the most comfortable way of holding their particular instrument. Be it a violin, viola, or violoncello, the bottom line is how well the violin sounds to the player.

For the true professional musician, the projection of tone is equally important as the quality of the tone. These are both called "very subjective" by many.

What I love to do is carefully restore a beautiful, battered and shattered old violin back to the best possible condition, set it up, and take it outside on a warm spring morning. Then....put a bow to the strings and start playing upon it. If the birds stop singing and chirping their songs, and listen to the violin sing, then you know that you have done your job well. Chinrest or no chinrest.

Musical instruments must be God's way of showing that all people can communicate and understand each other. At least that is how I believe it to be.........

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Is the music reception on the right side of the brain?"

The current issue of Scientific American has a very interesting article that answers that question and others.

Fascinating reading!

"Music and the Brain"

What is the secret of music's strange power? Seeking an answer, scientists are piecing together a picture of what happens in the brains of listeners and musicians

By Norman M. Weinberger

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article....F8683414B7F0000

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Glen.

If you recall the interior pictures of the Antonio Amati II violin I purchased on eBay last year, the {"sympathetic support", as you described it}, placed on the lower rib, on the left side of the lower block is a perfect example of the damage which can result from the use of a chin rest.

The ribs on this particular violin are of absolutely the thinnest dimensions I have ever encountered in 30 years of doing restorations. The hole in the left center rib was caused by a rather sharp blow to that part, I believe.

Anyway, the repairs are now complete, and the power of tone this small, very elegantly shaped violin possesses ranks with the largest, most powerful instruments in my collection. I firmly believe that the reason the little Amati resonates so much is due to the ribs being so thin. To my eye, the interior construction is purely Cremonese, thus the stamping in the wood (A. Amati II) below the Nicolo Amati label. I believe this stamping was placed there by the craftsman/authority who repaired the lower rib, the break in the peg box at the "A" string peg hole, and replaced the neck.

My, my, I forgot, we were talking about chin rests. I do believe each player should be very careful when applying pressure to the threaded nuts, when tightening them in order to secure the chin rest properly, especially if the violin is of substantial age.

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Quote:

Next-to vs over the tailpiece results in a distinctly different tone. I usually prefer sound of the side-mounted ones, tonally. But players seem stuck on the over-the-tailpiece types.

I haven't looked at differences in materials.


I agree with what Michael said; the type of chinrest mount that you use DOES make a difference in tone. I have always wanted to find the answer to this question; so one weekend, a few of my orchestra colleagues and I experimented with various chinrests and have found that the side-mounted ones allow the violin to produce a more resonant tone; whereas the over-the-tailpiece models tend to slightly mute the sound. I am a professional violinist in NYC, and many of my colleagues agree with this finding. However, most of my colleagues aren't aware of this (or don't care), and they continue using the ever-popular Guarneri model chinrest.

Why does the mount-type make a difference? My theory is that the over-the-tailpiece chinrests dampen the vibrations in the area surrounding the tailpiece and tail gut. To prove this, I clipped two pieces of cork wood directly on to the tailpiece using a metal clip; this is the same type of cork wood that is used on the metal fittings of chinrest mounts. The resulting sound was similar in color to the sound produced using an over-the-tailpiece chinrest.

Regarding materials, I have found that boxwood chinrests tend to produce a darker and more powerful sound than their counterparts -- rosewood, ebony, and plastic. Rosewood and ebony tend to produce a brighter sound. I have found similar results in tailpieces.

Archet

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's another vote for the tonal superiority of the side-mounted chinrests.

Best of all, in my experience, is to go bareback (i.e., no chinrest at all) as insearchofcremona suggests. I have tried that from time to time and find it remarkable how much the sound of the instrument evens out and deepens. Unfortunately, I find that playing without a chinrest for several hours gives me rigor mortis of the neck and upper back, so these experiments always wind up abandoned. But the sound sure is nice.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I find the same as Michael too ... on almost all violins the side mounted chin rest seems to free up the violin especially on the A string as I have noticed. I think that the Guarneri model chinrests are useless, not comfortable (for me) and just add unwanted mass to the violin. They should be made without the cup which I also find many players do not even use, they just clamp thier chins over the part that bridges the tailpiece.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.


×
×
  • Create New...