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Rene Morel Bridges

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If an expert is not able to define what it means to a kid learning to play the violin, then it is likely to be usesless information or the expert is not an expert. 

 

I wouldn't be too quick to write off vague descriptions that don't seem to make sense to me at the moment.  There could be something of value there that just needs some interpretation.  "Colors" might not be something a beginner kid could understand, but it seems to be a very common term that has some meaning to me.

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I agree. We got the same experience I think. It is tempting to call it a BS word.

 

If an expert is not able to define what it means to a kid learning to play the violin, then it is likely to be usesless information or the expert is not an expert.

I was not there for the Borman reference, but it sounds like exactly the context that we are refering to "cushion" here. What makes it tempting to call it a BS word?

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I agree. We got the same experience I think. It is tempting to call it a BS word.

 

If an expert is not able to define what it means to a kid learning to play the violin, then it is likely to be usesless information or the expert is not an expert. 

Some sensations are difficult to describe with words, to someone who hasn't experienced them. Take the sensation of weightlessness, for instance. For someone who has experienced this, the word will have instant meaning. For someone who has not, you can try to describe it until you're blue in the face, but it won't begin to communicate the experience as well as having actually experienced it. That doesn't make "weightlessness" a BS word..

 

The best way to learn about "cushion" might be to play a lineup of instruments with a wide range of cushion, with someone telling you which is which. However, unless one is already a pretty good and highly experienced player, they might not feel the difference anyway, so it might still be something almost impossible to communicate to a kid learning to play.

 

But many things about learning to play fall into that category. There's little point introducing some concepts (like upbow spiccato) until the player is ready for them. And they may have no value at all in some alternate (non-classical) styles of playing.

 

For instance, how important is it for a Hardanger player to be proficient at playing in tenth position? (I really have no idea, it was just an attempt at a little personal jab) :D

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For instance, how important is it for a Hardanger player to be proficient at playing in tenth position? (I really have no idea, it was just an attempt at a little personal jab) :D

Totally irrelevant, as you so rightly divine.

However, infinitesmal nuances of rhythmic push and pull, beyond the hearing of the majority of classical musicians, are crucial.

it's a good example of what we are discussing - rather like nuances in pronunciation of Croatian words, unless you are Croatian you just can't hear the difference.

"Cushion" to me is a genuine phenomenon, it's just that without pinpointing the various factors that contribute to it (or to the lack of it), it's rather hard to know what to do about it.

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Totally irrelevant, as you so rightly divine.

However, infinitesmal nuances of rhythmic push and pull, beyond the hearing of the majority of classical musicians, are crucial.

it's a good example of what we are discussing - rather like nuances in pronunciation of Croatian words, unless you are Croatian you just can't hear the difference.

"Cushion" to me is a genuine phenomenon, it's just that without pinpointing the various factors that contribute to it (or to the lack of it), it's rather hard to know what to do about it.

 

Well why don't we give that Croatian one a try...

 

Gore gore gore gore, neg' sto gore gore dolje

 

cheers edi

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"Cushion" to me is a genuine phenomenon, it's just that without pinpointing the various factors that contribute to it (or to the lack of it), it's rather hard to know what to do about it.

 

I think it would be helpful to discuss this phenomenon and try to figure it out.

 

When Terry Borman tried to explain it to me, he played the open G string at low speed and with varying bow pressure.  My interpretation was that "cushion" meant something about a range of bow speed and pressure where a string still could be played, with more "cushion" meaning a wider range of pressure and speed would still produce a note... with the emphasis on how low of a bow speed you could still use.  This might be an incorrect interpretation of what he was trying to convey, but it's the best I can come up with.  With this definition, it would seem to me that a more rigid body would have more "cushion", as it would not suck energy out of the string as quickly. 

 

Anyone else want to chime in on what they think it means?

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Couldn't of said it better Don.  

 

Maybe flex and cushion could be used together.  I'm not the most experienced bridge cutter but flexing the bridge is about the last thing I do before restringing.  Cushion does have a nice sound to it - wouldn't want the bow bouncing all over the place while playing. 

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I think it would be helpful to discuss this phenomenon and try to figure it out.

 

When Terry Borman tried to explain it to me, he played the open G string at low speed and with varying bow pressure.  My interpretation was that "cushion" meant something about a range of bow speed and pressure where a string still could be played, with more "cushion" meaning a wider range of pressure and speed would still produce a note... with the emphasis on how low of a bow speed you could still use.  This might be an incorrect interpretation of what he was trying to convey, but it's the best I can come up with.  With this definition, it would seem to me that a more rigid body would have more "cushion", as it would not suck energy out of the string as quickly. 

 

Anyone else want to chime in on what they think it means?

I suspect the opposite. I see "cushion" almost like temporary compliance, allowing the player to pick up the string with less bow pressure at the very beginning of the stroke.

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I suspect the opposite. I see "cushion" almost like temporary compliance, allowing the player to pick up the string with less bow pressure at the very beginning of the stroke.

 

We seem to be talking about the same effect, but perhaps "more" and "less" cushion just need to be worked out.  In my experience, a more flexible body structure means low mechanical impedance, which then shows up at the bow as a rapid energy suck, which then needs more bow energy (higher speed/pressure... mostly speed) to get the string operating properly.  The fiddle feels mushy.  Whether that is more cushion (mushy) or less cushion (less range of playable bow speed) I don't know.  But that's my novice observation.  Or maybe cushion is something slightly different?

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We seem to be talking about the same effect, but perhaps "more" and "less" cushion just need to be worked out. In my experience, a more flexible body structure means low mechanical impedance, which then shows up at the bow as a rapid energy suck, which then needs more bow energy (higher speed/pressure... mostly speed) to get the string operating properly. The fiddle feels mushy. Whether that is more cushion (mushy) or less cushion (less range of playable bow speed) I don't know. But that's my novice observation. Or maybe cushion is something slightly different?

Yes, we are talking about the same thing. When I see what you are talking about we are way in the other direction of too much flexibility. In relation to a bridge, Rene' was looking to get the cushion from the bridge to counteract the rest of the instrument being set up very stiff. The theory being that once the string is moving the extra stiffness could be utilized. Similar to a cellist plucking the c string to aid in initial attack.

I pushed Rene' about this is his later years as it always fascinated me. After he died I was searching through my notes from the 80's that were supposedly from Sacconi and found evidence of the same concepts.

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I haven't done that much with bridge adjustments, but in theory I can see that bridge flexibility and body flexibility would behave quite differently.

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Well why don't we give that Croatian one a try...

 

Gore gore gore gore, neg' sto gore gore dolje

 

cheers edi

Hi edi

That seems quite straightforward to me!

 

I spent days trying to learn how to pronounce Cres (as in the island ...). Still to this day I say "Cres" with what I think is impeccable pronunciation, native speakers lean in, look a bit confused, and ask me to repeat myself ...

"Cres" I say, once again with what I think is impeccable pronunciation. 

 

They frown, think a bit, and then say "Cres?" with EXACTLY THE SAME PRONUNCIATION ..."Cres, you mean Cres the island?"

"Yes" I say lamely, "Cres ..." 

 

For those who don't speak Croatian, "Cres" is pronounced "Tsres" (with a slightly rolled r) - easy, right?

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Hi edi

That seems quite straightforward to me!

 

I spent days trying to learn how to pronounce Cres (as in the island ...). Still to this day I say "Cres" with what I think is impeccable pronunciation, native speakers lean in, look a bit confused, and ask me to repeat myself ...

"Cres" I say, once again with what I think is impeccable pronunciation. 

 

They frown, think a bit, and then say "Cres?" with EXACTLY THE SAME PRONUNCIATION ..."Cres, you mean Cres the island?"

"Yes" I say lamely, "Cres ..." 

 

For those who don't speak Croatian, "Cres" is pronounced "Tsres" (with a slightly rolled r) - easy, right?

Great example.

I spent nearly a week in Russia, learning to pronounce my own name, before anyone could understand it. :lol:

On the flip side, I don't think the Russians understood why we English speakers got so much amusement from a sausage vendor in a nearby park,  with a sign that read as "Krapdog" (I don't remember the exact spelling, but it was close enough).

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The concept has been discussed many times by different wording. I wouldn't say "it's only real if someone famous says it's so", but it certainly lacks credibility if someone anonymous says it's so.

 

Well, after 5 years here +/- I shouldn't be anonymous to anyone, especially to an esteemed professionall luthier active on MN, and most especially after I mentioned in several of my early posts that I'm a professional string player with decades of ICSOM experience.  While I wouldn't know a poiriette from a pirogi, I do understand some things from a certain perspective, even if concrete definitions are hard to come by.

 

In any event, considering the long thread this problem has instigated, I'd suggest going back to the very beginning, and getting a very close look at the bridge location first of all.  I understand it sounds jejune, but then the sound/response of a fine instrument can be just as sensitive to bridge placement as to SP placement.   My instrument is a fine Venetian from the 18th. century, and I know whereof I speak (unfortunately!) While it's very sensitive, it's also quite stable (in spite of its many table cracks!) once set up properly.

 

After the bridge is properly located, I'd want to check the validity of the strings again.  ML mentioned the player had tried several different sets, but of course if the bridge wasn't properly located in the first place, she was looking in the wrong (and tres expensif!) place for her solution.

 

While I'm neither a luthier nor even ever pretended to be one on television, it should be second nature to understand that if the fundamentals are wrong, everything that comes later must be considered suspect.  Thus the very beginning is often the best place to start.

 

In the end, of course, there truly are neurotic players who are never satisfied.  And then there are those who are satisfied in the shop, but then soon fall out of love.

 

And then, the worst category of all are those unmentionables who never know one way or the other!

 

Ever so helpful,

Larry M. LeMaster

Atlanta SO

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Well, after 5 years here +/- I shouldn't be anonymous to anyone, especially to an esteemed professionall luthier active on MN, and most especially after I mentioned in several of my early posts that I'm a professional string player with decades of ICSOM experience.  While I wouldn't know a poiriette from a pirogi, I do understand some things from a certain perspective, even if concrete definitions are hard to come by.

 

Larry M. LeMaster

Atlanta SO

Larry, your profile does not list your name or any information about you and shows you have only been a member since July 2016. If your profile is anonymous and inaccurate who's fault is that?

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Hi edi

That seems quite straightforward to me!

 

I spent days trying to learn how to pronounce Cres (as in the island ...). Still to this day I say "Cres" with what I think is impeccable pronunciation, native speakers lean in, look a bit confused, and ask me to repeat myself ...

"Cres" I say, once again with what I think is impeccable pronunciation. 

 

They frown, think a bit, and then say "Cres?" with EXACTLY THE SAME PRONUNCIATION ..."Cres, you mean Cres the island?"

"Yes" I say lamely, "Cres ..." 

 

For those who don't speak Croatian, "Cres" is pronounced "Tsres" (with a slightly rolled r) - easy, right?

 

Hi Martin - that Primorski dialect must be unique. I open my mouth and "Ah - you're from Primorje!"

 

I was apologising to a cousin about my poor command of the language and he said "No, no - incredibly you speak with not a trace of accent. If I didn't know how old you were I would say that you were in your nineties and from the village" Obviously I had picked it up from my Dad - the only source for my learning the language. Initially I just thought that my cousin was being polite - but one or two incidences (in Ljubljana and Munich) with total strangers greeting me like long-lost family - they were apparently exiles from Primorje and were thrilled to meet someone from home! Maybe my cousin was right.

 

My Dad was born just down the road from Cres. Kamenjak was a small hamlet of about 20 houses. That impressed me - until while chatting to one of the cousins I discovered that Grandfather actually came from Mirosi which was about 3 - 4 km away and higher up on the mountain. Drove up to have a look and found that it was only 6 houses! I didn't dare ask where Great grandfather was born - scared that they'd take me to a cave somewhere.

 

My neighbour, Niki Toich, I first met when we were both about 9 year of age. His uncle, George Sinovic, would bring a whole tribe of family from Pretoria to Cape Town (~1500 km)  for Xmas holidays. Niki and I hit it off.  We again met up when he came to University of Cape Town to study architecture. We both qualified and he returned to the North.

 

Time passed and I bought a plot and built a house. A land surveyor appeared on the plot below mine and I wandered down to find out what was happening - and discovered that the owner of the plot was about to start building - his name - Niki Toich. I grinned to myself and waited. Sure enough, come Xmas time a VW combi arrives, parks on the plot and out steps Niki. From my balcony I ask him in Croatian "Why don't you come up for a cup of tea?" Friendship renewed.

 

Anyway that's all a long way around to say that his family have their roots in Cres - while his Uncle has his on the island of Korcula - where Marco Polo was supposed to have been born.

 

cheers edi

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Larry, your profile does not list your name or any information about you and shows you have only been a member since July 2016. If your profile is anonymous and inaccurate who's fault is that?

 

Mea culpa. I kept having troubles forgetting my password so I've had to change usernames several times.  When I get a moment I'll go into it and fill it out.

Thanks for pointing out my error.

L.

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The concept has been discussed many times by different wording. I wouldn't say "it's only real if someone famous says it's so", but it certainly lacks credibility if someone anonymous says it's so.

Now if you could adopt a French accent everything you say will be real. ;)

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Well why don't we give that Croatian one a try...

 

Gore gore gore gore, neg' sto gore gore dolje

 

cheers edi

Would that be Al Gore you are referring too?

:blink:

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Figured I'd get us back on track with Rene Morel bridges. Here is one that I decided to leave in a markneukirchen body Asa White violin. What is the AGM on the bridge mark.post-48427-0-87140100-1472492712_thumb.jpeg

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