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Cremonese verus the rest


Argon55
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Calling it data doesn't make it so. Not in any meaningful way.

So you are going to lump together as a repetition of the same "experiement" the trials by Nagary and the one you've participated in? Those which blindfolded the players and those that did not? Those that used experts and those that used laymen as the judges? You think such a lumping constitutes replication of an experiment and therefore qualifies as a scientific method?

Good thing you weren't working for Pasteur or Salk.

I'm saying the "evidence" from "'violin testing' precedent" is flawed by it's not being replicable, that it is more like a poll than a scientific experiment.

I acknowledged that historical precedent is NOT DATA. You should do the same for these trials. My only suggestion was that usage by performers is as valid, if not moreso, than any trial, as a judgement of worth.

Your usage of precendent -- as describing previously conducted trials -- is not the same as my use of preecdent as in a quantifiable practice. Using the word to describe a behavior does not make the behavior, in any useful way, a precedent.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Dr. Bearden Axelrod

The term "performance vehicle" says it all. HAHAHAHA!

Good one, man!

It's important that it's a Corvette though, so we can say things like,

"Plastic cars for plastic people".

The first three letters on the license plate are TDF.

A friend of mine says it stands for "The Dumb...........

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quote:


Originally posted by:
David Burgess

Tell us a little about yourself. Are you a statistical analyst, employed in the science field, a professional player, and amateur, a collector of rare instruments?

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a dealer in Cremonese instruments.

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a collector of Cremonese intruments.

(Though I've played a few.)

I am not a scientist. Though I can read a definition as well as the next guy. And the definition of scientific method is pretty straightforward.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
falstaff

Calling it data doesn't make it so. Not in any meaningful way.

I can't find where I've used the word "data", except in response to your using it.

I was exploring whether the word, as defined by you might just as easily apply to the violin experiment, or whether you might have a double standard for your definitions.

quote:


Originally posted by:
falstaff

So you are going to lump together as a repetition of the same "experiement" the trials by Nagary and the one you've participated in? Those which blindfolded the players and those that did not? Those that used experts and those that used laymen as the judges?

Naw, I'll only give major value to the ones judged by musicians, and where both the player and the audience didn't know what was being played.

quote:


Originally posted by:
falstaff

You think such a lumping constitutes replication of an experiment and therefore qualifies as a scientific method?

I don't know. Again, it appeared that it might be described as scientific method, as you had previously defined it.

quote:


Originally posted by:
falstaff

I acknowledged that historical precedent is NOT DATA. You should do the same for these trials.

I don't know, man. I can't find where I ever descibed these trials as data. However, after hearing your definition of "data" (which follows), I thought it might apply to results of violin testing which seem to have been largely replicable by different observers over time.

"But they don't become DATA until they are replicable, and replicable by different observers over time."

quote:


Originally posted by:
falstaff

Your usage of precendent -- as describing previously conducted trials -- is not the same as my use of preecdent as in a quantifiable practice. Using the word to describe a behavior does not make the behavior, in any useful way, a precedent.

I don't know what to do here, Falstaff. It seems like if I use your words, as you have defined them, it's still somehow different and you beat me up.

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The crux of the matter is your objection to my saying such a trial has more in common with a poll than with a scientfiic experiment. The former produces opinion, perhaps even consensus, within a margin of error. The latter produces hard data.

The secondary point is that historical precedent -- the fact that the majority of solists have used and continue to use Cremonese instruments -- has some authority. Though also, as I've said, not the authority of proof.

The last point is: even if every such trial came down in favor of modern instruments, it would not have the power of a proof, and in my opinion not even the authority of precedent, as the variation among the trials and the flaws of each, preclude their being considered a replication (as that term is used by experimenters) of the same trial. If each individual trial is flawed, then the conclusions are flawed. Repeating the same mistake and getting the same result ten times doesn't make the mistake less of a mistake.

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If the average listener can't distinguish between a good modern violin and a Stradivari in a common consert situation, then what do we need a test for?

I don't really see the need for a test to prove that the old violins are superior and modern ones can be great. The fact that we're talking about an 'expert' panel of judges shows in itself how little need there is for this kind of test.

However, if it ever becomes reality, I'd love to go...

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This gonna be never ending story....But listen to me.

From the time of Cremonese makers until today, a Strad or Guarneri

remained a symbol or wealthiness and fame.

If you own a Strad or Guarneri, regardless what you are, you are

'something'.

If you're taking a Strad or Guarneri to concert or exhibition,

people will come, just to see the instrument.

It's like, you will go to a fine art exhibition, which features a

highlight of the REAL Mona Lisa portrait by Leonardo Da

Vinci, even though you HATE arts...

Who cares if you're playing on XXX modern violin?

We have a clear winners here...

PS: No insult to music...

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quote:


Originally posted by:
falstaff

The crux of the matter is your objection to my saying such a trial has more in common with a poll than with a scientfiic experiment.

But...but....but I never commented on the term "scientific experiment". The term at issue was "test", not "scientific experiment". Your statement:

" One thing that needs to be clarified. This idea is consistently described as a "test" or an "experiment."In the final analysis this is a POLL, not a TEST."

The first thing under the definition of "test" in The American Heritage Dictionary is "A means of examination".

I guess I'll stand by my previous position. I still can't see that this word has been misused.

quote:


Originally posted by:
falstaff

The last point is: even if every such trial came down in favor of modern instruments, it would not have the power of a proof, and in my opinion not even the authority of precedent, as the variation among the trials and the flaws of each, preclude their being considered a replication (as that term is used by experimenters) of the same trial.

Hmmmmm. After reading this and reflecting on past posts, I have some simple questions. Would you consider taking a moment to answer them?

(1) Do you think old Cremonese violins are clearly superior to modern?

(2) How did you come to this opinion?

(3) Approximately how many Strads have you played?

(4) Approximately how many modern fiddles have you played?

(5) Approximately how many of each have you listened to?

(6) I'm suspecting that you might be a professional writer. Do you have a fondness for romance?

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Obligato

Ahhhhhhhhhh David its a corvette? I was think its a Ferrari F40. Ok Italian Sportscar versus the rest?


Dang! I was happy with you thinking it was a Ferrari!

Now you know it's just a mid-life crisis car.

However, it's done pretty well in "tests" against Ferraris. I'm not sure we could call them "scientific experiments" though.

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If you don't see how these solicitations of subjection opinion have more in common with a poll than with a test then it can't be helped. We have different understandings of the language.

The question shouldn't be "Are Cremonese violins superior" but "Are the preponderance of superior violins from 18th c Cremona." I don't think all that is Old is superior. I've never even come close to suggesting that modern instruments can't compete.

Like Jeffrey I would say it depends upon which Old vs which New.

My hands on experience of both 18thC and modern violins is far more limited than yours (and several others here).

I believe the proposition that most of the best violins are Cremonese 18thC primarily because I grant authority to those in a position, over hundreds of years, to choose. I do not believe those choices were primarily vanity or smoke and mirrors or deception by dealers.

Secondarily, I believe the authority of players and makers of my acquaintance who do have a great deal of hands on experience.

Lastly, my own limited exposure to the instruments in a small room left me with the impression that those other authorities (past and present) had reason behind their choices and their opinions. I was particularly struck by what others have described as "omnidirectional" sound.

I have not found anything I have read about trials to demonstrate otherwise sufficiently compelling to alter my opinion. Perhaps your trial will succeed.

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Hi all,

Lisajames's post ( a few page before p.7 ?) was wonderful. One should read it again and agin.

She said it so beautifully.

However, it is true as much as she could observe, namely a "small sample" How many modern

violins have not been made to that stage for comparison with Cremonese violins ? Will the same

truth still hold if we allow 500 violins? Or 5,000 violins? (of course it becomes impractical)

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I didn't really expect such strong opinions to be expressed when I first started this topic.....maybe it was a bad idea! But then again, it's interesting and meaningful that the topic has stirred up such strong responses. Freud would have had a field day.

In reply to Falstaff, you're right in saying that results and conclusions need to be replicable to be accepted as valid. My original idea about a trial of instruments was essentially a thought experiment......to do it in a scientifically robust manner would be impractical or incredibly expensive (amounting to the same thing) in real life. And to produce statistically useful information (as opposed to data) it might have to be repeated. But at the end of the day, the data produced would be subject to statistical analysis in the same way as nearly all data from experiments is subject and information would emerge as a result of that analysis.

I'd just like to re-emphasise a couple of points. The first is that the only audience that matters is the audience that pay to hear musicians i.e. non-experts. The idea that a panel of experts is required is something of a red herring as well as undermining the idea that Cremonese instruments sound better than most. If they are that good, then it should be obvious to anybody. My own opinion on this is that they do sound good and therfore I wouldn't have any problem in non-experts being on the panel. However, I might be wrong. The second point is that there is an important issue about the integrity of the violin trade involved here. People are making significant sums of money from dealing in these instruments at the expense of others. Although it involved different issues, the Segalman case is deeply troubling and certainly suggests that some dealers at the top end of the market have been behaving at best, with a lack of integrity and makes the trade look very grubby indeed. If Cremonese instruments really arent much better than the great makers that followed, then somebody is making money for no objective reason (as I've said before, this does not necessarily mean that there is conscious dishonesty) out of others.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Argon55

The idea that a panel of experts is required is something of a red herring as well as undermining the idea that Cremonese instruments sound better than most. If they are that good, then it should be obvious to anybody. My own opinion on this is that they do sound good and therfore I wouldn't have any problem in non-experts being on the panel. However, I might be wrong.

Since it seems average person can't tell the different between two violinists (see this thread), this exercise is probably five steps ahead of the game. If an audience can't hear the difference between Laredo and Mutter, then how can they distinguish between Laredo playing a Strad versus Laredo playing a _____ {insert favorite modern instrument}... or for that matter, Laredo playing an eBay special? Sigh.

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Well, I suppose my hope is that they would be able to tell if they listened carefully under controlled conditions as the variability between players would be eliminated in the experiment. But of course they might not be able to. Which begs the question why not buy a £200 ebay instrument :-)

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Exactly, no way it (a test) can be objective as long as human being involved.

The title "Cremones verus the rest" was a big claim. (Not clear what claim ? Sound, Feel, Appearance, some or all above)

If the title was "Cremonese violins are great" ( a lot easier to accept ). Opinion poll will bE

sufficient. No test is needed.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Argon55

The second point is that there is an important issue about the integrity of the violin trade involved here. People are making significant sums of money from dealing in these instruments at the expense of others. Although it involved different issues, the Segalman case is deeply troubling and certainly suggests that some dealers at the top end of the market have been behaving at best, with a lack of integrity and makes the trade look very grubby indeed. If Cremonese instruments really arent much better than the great makers that followed, then somebody is making money for no objective reason (as I've said before, this does not necessarily mean that there is conscious dishonesty) out of others.


I think you may be mixing apples and oranges here in terms of value... and I would caution doing so. Evaluation of violins is complicated by sound issues, not simplified. As has been mentioned earlier in the thread, the fact that these pieces are rare works, art pieces if you like, has much to do with their value. I would assume that the Messiah would fetch an amazing price if it ever went up for sale... but few have ever heard it.

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Oh absolutely.....things do have value as antiques for a lot of reasons. But if you are say, an aspiring musician on the verge of a sucessful career and are looking for an instrument with a good sound and pay a considerable sum (or more likely somebody else does on your behalf) for something old and Italian because "they sound good", are you being ripped off?

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Although this remains a hot debate I have looked back and

there is some common ground on both sides although not from all

participants. ...And all serious contributions should be

respected.

Violin sound as we love it is a cultural aesthetic..By it's very

nature it is difficult to deconstruct or scientifically

evaluate...( Jeff Holmes hinted that whist we continue to aim at

Strad or del Gesu sound we maintain a target that is defined by

THAT sound)

I guess that all participants in this debate could accept that

there are great modern instruments available from the best

 contemporary makers that would do very well as solo

instruments.

I also guess that most participants in this debate would accept

that a good modern will be better than an expensive  bad old

Cremonese as a solo instrument.

There will be makers here who have presented an instrument or a

copy to a top player and found the player preferred it to their Old

Cremonese....

There will be restorers here who have taken in an old Cremonese in

tired condition and set it up properly to the eternal gratitude of

the client.

Some makers will have combined both jobs....

My own personal feeling is that the best instrument I ever played

was a Strad violin....The best I heard was a Strad cello.....What

it was is hard to quantify but more easy to recognise

But if a player has $100,000 to spend on a violin.....I would say

buy modern....Burgess can advise on what kind of Corvette to by

with the change!...Mr Darnton could give saner advice that might

include a Toyota Yaris or not....I've got no advice to offer..I'm

looking at a hybrid turbo that will make my Swedish Q car faster

than Mr B over a standing quarter

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