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Deluge! Effect of perspiration on an instrument


Rue
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I came across this very excellent rendition of Bach's Gavotte en Rondeau...



If you look at the violin around the 1:30 mark you will notice Mr. Shaham is working very hard indeed! :huh:

 

I never quite understood some of the 'wear' due to perspiration before since I've never worked this hard playing a violin in a suit in what I assume is a hot room...

 

So if this is 'normal'...no wonder an instrument's finish suffers and I'm now surprised luthiers don't just polyeurathane everything... :ph34r:

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I came across this very excellent rendition of Bach's Gavotte en Rondeau...

If you look at the violin around the 1:30 mark you will notice Mr. Shaham is working very hard indeed! :huh:

 

I never quite understood some of the 'wear' due to perspiration before since I've never worked this hard playing a violin in a suit in what I assume is a hot room...

 

So if this is 'normal'...no wonder an instrument's finish suffers and I'm now surprised luthiers don't just polyeurathane everything... :ph34r:

 

Opera singers fare better - no pants needed 

 

 

 

Poor Mr. Shaham! [Adjusts her strapless gown and grins]  I have just two words for you, Renaissance Wax!   :)  :P  :lol:

 

All humor aside, thank you for posting this, Rue, it's a serious matter, particularly for outdoor performers in summer.

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I had quartet rehearsal last night...it is very hot and humid here at the moment...and we rehearse in a tiny house with no AC...

 

We were fine...but I had my new found appreciation of sweat and violins in mind...lol.

 

I suppose if it ever got THAT bad, I'd have to put a cloth over/under the chinrest to soak up the flow...

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I doubt that this sweat was generated by the playing of this particular piece.  Since he's standing in front of an orchestra I suppose he is playing an encore after playing a whole concerto which, probably, was much more demanding to play. 

 

No doubt exposure to sweat is not good for the instrument; sweat around the edge of the lower bout might cause open seams.  Many soloists put a handkerchief-like cloth over the violin under their chin.  I doesn't look thick enough to provide cushioning, maybe it is to absorb sweat.

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Worst I've seen was top wood stained metallic green from sweat.  I eventually got the crap neutralized and pulled out of the wood, but I'm not sure which of the numerous chemicals really did the job best.  Took a long time, and I patched over to match the dark finish because the wood was never going to be quite right.  The player apparently went through strings incredibly fast, too!

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If you look at the violin around the 1:30 mark you will notice Mr. Shaham is working very hard indeed! :huh:

 

I never quite understood some of the 'wear' due to perspiration before since I've never worked this hard playing a violin in a suit in what I assume is a hot room...

 

So if this is 'normal'...no wonder an instrument's finish suffers and I'm now surprised luthiers don't just polyeurathane everything... :ph34r:

It's one of the arguments for keeping some historical instruments in museums, as opposed to having them regularly used on the performance circuit.

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It's one of the arguments for keeping some historical instruments in museums, as opposed to having them regularly used on the performance circuit.

Unkonwn to many, Roger's picture in his underwear was really an educational campaign to urge perfomers to always stay cool while performing. I certainly hope this trend will catch on, I can't wait to see Hillary Hahn live :D

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