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How objective is projection?


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On ‎9‎/‎11‎/‎2019 at 12:46 PM, A432 said:

You have a very simplistic conception of what this involves -- one which lacks information necessary to comprehend what I am talking about.

One example : Gregor Piatigorsky was a highly skilled orchestral player (principal and solo 'cellist of the Berlin Philharmonic) before coming to the USA and launching a purely soloist career.

When he acquired the Batta Stradivari 'cello, he kept it at home for a year, learning how to play it while continuing to perform with his Montagnana. Only after exploring every aspect of the Stradivari, and mastering the adaptions in his technique necessary to play it did he take it out in public.

It would be better, IMO, if you got over yourself. No one here answers to you.

Simplistic or realistic?

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On 9/11/2019 at 7:46 AM, A432 said:

You have a very simplistic conception of what this involves -- one which lacks information necessary to comprehend what I am talking about.

t would be better, IMO, if you got over yourself. No one here answers to you.

While that wasn't directed at me, I'll say, "Sure thing, dude", mostly in anticipation of the amusement of what you will try to foist on us next. :lol:

 

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On 9/11/2019 at 12:47 PM, A432 said:

"To everyone's knowledge, there are experiences, common to all, which simply cannot be explained, or convincingly explained-away, by the reductionalist, dialectical materialism which purports to define -- and even impose boundaries on -- reality itself".

 

 

Don't get carried away with your reasoning here. Though sometimes things aren't explained away it does not mean they can't be explained away with more complete information. And it certainly doesn't mean that alternative spooky paranormal explanations are therefore correct. By defination if something exists it is normal. So I say if something is not yet explained you keep studying it. It's not helpful to just claim it is beyond "the reductionalist, dialectical materialism which purports to define -- and even impose boundaries on -- reality itself", whatever that really means.

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"Ysaye wasn't some male model of perfection himself."

Come on, Rue. It doesn't work that way. The unisex standards business is a fraud. You know this.

In the sense that people resemble animals (Princess Di a doe, Winston Churchill a bulldog, &c.), Henry Kissinger (a political big deal in the USA for several decades) would have been a toad.

Relevant quotation from HK : "Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac."

He spoke from experience.

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Yes, I know...but ...

I looked at photos of both his wives, to see what you meant.  The first looked fine.  So I'm not sure what your beauty standards reflect...^_^

The second was 44 years younger, and a pupil of his.  He married a nursemaid...<_<

Says a bit about his character too, no?

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"in anticipation of the amusement of what you will try to foist on us next. :lol:"

I once asked Hans Nebel why, given his formidable skills, he didn't make violins himself.

Although the term hadn't been coined yet then, what he told me boiled down to : because of the Glass Ceiling -- the invisible but very real limit to what he could accomplish. His work, no matter how expertly crafted, would never equal that of the great Cremonese makers, and he knew it.

Since Carlo Bergonzi checked out, nobody's ever has. Something died with the last of them -- failing the recovery of it, noteworthy accomplishment would be joining makers like Guadagnini, Gagliano and Balestrieri in the Hall of Very Good.

This outcome did not appeal to him.

It is possible that his long-time, detailed familiarity with AS and GdG (not to overlook the violin makers' violin maker, Pietro of Mantua, whose birthday was celebrated every year in the Wurlitzer shop), and years of interacting with the heavyweights and welterweights who play(ed) them, put him in a privileged position to make this assessment. 

It seems similarly possible to me, looking at it from outside the arena, that the longstanding pattern of subsequent makers (to whom this idea is uncongenial) announcing that they have equaled, even surpassed the work of the ancients -- and buttressing their contentions with innumerable blind tests -- will continue until either the key is found that opens the Cremonese lock or Gabriel blows his trumpet. Certainly, such starting-from-the-attainable-and-rationalizing-away-the-discrepancies proclamations have been an historical constant since, at least, the time of Vuillaume. As Tevye said, "Why should today be different ?"

Yet when allegation is not accepted as fact, ignoring what is said by parties with an interest in the outcome and watching what is actually done, it turns out, for example, that when one of Isaac Stern's pets needed a great violin, he did not give her his Zigmuntowicz, or any of his other moderns, but arranged to get her a GdG.

What does this tell you ?  I know what it tells me. What it tells me explains his quote that if someone cannot afford an instrument costing (at that time) at least $250,000, it is better to get a good modern one. (NBB : not that the modern one is better, or even equal -- just second best, and preferable to an antique wreck with never-ending problems).

The information I have been posting is drawn from the first hand experiences of people who understand what is involved through direct perception of it in daily life, where careers hang on outcomes, and this repeated throughout 230+ years. All I can liken denial of it to is a joke : "Who are you going to believe -- me, or your lying eyes ?"

Sorry for the complex wordiness. The more serious and focused I get, striving for precision, the more my prose becomes architectural.

PS : I don't mind, and even expect, disagreement. But I think it not unreasonable to expect that people at least put some effort into understanding what I post rather than shooting at noises.

Thank You.

 

 

 

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I looked for images of both his wives & came up empty after the first one. Your search skillz (and Bill's) obviously surpass mine.

Did Ysaye hold a gun to the second one's head ? 

I didn't think so.

It brings to mind Pablo Casals' last marriage to (wiki quote) "20-year-old Marta Montañez y Martinez.He is said to have dismissed concerns that marriage to someone 60 years his junior might be hazardous by saying, "I look at it this way: if she dies, she dies."

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20 hours ago, A432 said:

"in anticipation of the amusement of what you will try to foist on us next. :lol:"

I once asked Hans Nebel why, given his formidable skills, he didn't make violins himself.

Although the term hadn't been coined yet then, what he told me boiled down to : because of the Glass Ceiling -- the invisible but very real limit to what he could accomplish. His work, no matter how expertly crafted, would never equal that of the great Cremonese makers, and he knew it.

Since Carlo Bergonzi checked out, nobody's ever has. Something died with the last of them -- failing the recovery of it, noteworthy accomplishment would be joining makers like Guadagnini, Gagliano and Balestrieri in the Hall of Very Good.

This outcome did not appeal to him.

It is possible that his long-time, detailed familiarity with AS and GdG (not to overlook the violin makers' violin maker, Pietro of Mantua, whose birthday was celebrated every year in the Wurlitzer shop), and years of interacting with the heavyweights and welterweights who play(ed) them, put him in a privileged position to make this assessment. 

It seems similarly possible to me, looking at it from outside the arena, that the longstanding pattern of subsequent makers (to whom this idea is uncongenial) announcing that they have equaled, even surpassed the work of the ancients -- and buttressing their contentions with innumerable blind tests -- will continue until either the key is found that opens the Cremonese lock or Gabriel blows his trumpet. Certainly, such starting-from-the-attainable-and-rationalizing-away-the-discrepancies proclamations have been an historical constant since, at least, the time of Vuillaume. As Tevye said, "Why should today be different ?"

Yet when allegation is not accepted as fact, ignoring what is said by parties with an interest in the outcome and watching what is actually done, it turns out, for example, that when one of Isaac Stern's pets needed a great violin, he did not give her his Zigmuntowicz, or any of his other moderns, but arranged to get her a GdG.

What does this tell you ?  I know what it tells me. What it tells me explains his quote that if someone cannot afford an instrument costing (at that time) at least $250,000, it is better to get a good modern one. (NBB : not that the modern one is better, or even equal -- just second best, and preferable to an antique wreck with never-ending problems).

The information I have been posting is drawn from the first hand experiences of people who understand what is involved through direct perception of it in daily life, where careers hang on outcomes, and this repeated throughout 230+ years. All I can liken denial of it to is a joke : "Who are you going to believe -- me, or your lying eyes ?"

Sorry for the complex wordiness. The more serious and focused I get, striving for precision, the more my prose becomes architectural.

PS : I don't mind, and even expect, disagreement. But I think it not unreasonable to expect that people at least put some effort into understanding what I post rather than shooting at noises.

Thank You.

 

 

 

As I pointed out earlier, posting under the handle A432 means your credibility is already blown before we even begin to read your name dropping ramblings.

 

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20 hours ago, A432 said:

What does this tell you ? 

Nothing, other than you haven't "been around the block" very much. ;)

Lots of us have worked on Strads and Guarneris, and I know (knew) many of the people in the Wurlitzer shop reasonably well, including Hans Nebel.

Looking forward to what you try to foist on us next. cheers2.gif

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You two keep trying to make this be about me.

It is not about me.

It's about projection, and contextual information that puts that in perspective.

You keep trying to to hijack the discussion and turn it into a soap opera that you frame yourselves as stars in -- changing the topic from information about instruments to a conflict of personalities and egos (very much about egos). IOW, staging a war dance to re-declare your alpha status in the cool guys hierarchy, and parlaying this into creating the impression -- by suggestion -- that nothing I've been at pains to point out is of any value and should be rejected on a non-rational (emotional) basis. The usual term for this is "debunking" (creating the impression of rebuttal via mockery).

But contempt is not rebuttal. Nor is it any legitimate aspect of an intelligent discussion. My screen name and anonymity are, from experience, by design -- to frustrate the (sadly, given human nature and discussion boards overall, predictable) attempt to do exactly what you're trying to pull off by providing nothing (other than deciding to not be a name and vitae) to base it on. IOW, to put the focus on information and keep it there.

If you disagree with the picture I've painted, with the information I've used to delineate it, fine. Disagree. As robustly as you (pl.) like. But state a competing case. Not some variation on, "You're a stinky old poopy head." A discussion board is not a tree house and we are not eleven years old.

And kindly note that I am about done pretending that a carefully reasoned presentation does not deserve an equally serious one in response.

 

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What even is your point in this thread, that modern making can't be as good as old cremonese making? It seems like projection and its perception or measurement is simply a different topic. 

You are right about cool guy clubs, there always will be, but most of the contempt and rejection you perceive from the outside, is, on the inside, I think, just skepticism and friendship. I'm sorry if you feel bad about your status on this forum. If you'd like to start a cool^2 guys club, I'll be in it with you! 

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20 hours ago, A432 said:

You two keep trying to make this be about me.

It is not about me.

It's about projection, and contextual information that puts that in perspective.

You keep trying to to hijack the discussion and turn it into a soap opera that you frame yourselves as stars in -- changing the topic from information about instruments to a conflict of personalities and egos (very much about egos). IOW, staging a war dance to re-declare your alpha status in the cool guys hierarchy, and parlaying this into creating the impression -- by suggestion -- that nothing I've been at pains to point out is of any value and should be rejected on a non-rational (emotional) basis. The usual term for this is "debunking" (creating the impression of rebuttal via mockery).

Dream on. Did you even realize that you were using mockery as a rebuttal?

Sure, I'll sometimes run "tit-for-tat" games on people, because the results can not only be enlightening from an informational perspective, but also highly amusing. :lol:

What would you like to do next? Would you like to compare the prissiness and length of our posts, the people we have actually worked alongside, the dimensions of our tallywhackers, the amount of starch we put into our underpants, the diameter of the broomsticks we have accidentally sat on, or what?

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https://nobaproject.com/modules/the-psychology-of-groups

Common Knowledge Effect

One of the advantages of making decisions in groups is the group’s greater access to information. When seeking a solution to a problem, group members can put their ideas on the table and share their knowledge and judgments with each other through discussions. But all too often groups spend much of their discussion time examining common knowledge—information that two or more group members know in common—rather than unshared information. This common knowledge effect will result in a bad outcome if something known by only one or two group members is very important.

Researchers have studied this bias using the hidden profile task. On such tasks, information known to many of the group members suggests that one alternative, say Option A, is best. However, Option B is definitely the better choice, but all the facts that support Option B are only known to individual groups members—they are not common knowledge in the group. As a result, the group will likely spend most of its time reviewing the factors that favor Option A, and never discover any of its drawbacks. In consequence, groups often perform poorly when working on problems with nonobvious solutions that can only be identified by extensive information sharing (Stasser & Titus, 1987).

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1 hour ago, A432 said:

https://nobaproject.com/modules/the-psychology-of-groups

Common Knowledge Effect

One of the advantages of making decisions in groups is the group’s greater access to information. When seeking a solution to a problem, group members can put their ideas on the table and share their knowledge and judgments with each other through discussions. But all too often groups spend much of their discussion time examining common knowledge—information that two or more group members know in common—rather than unshared information. This common knowledge effect will result in a bad outcome if something known by only one or two group members is very important.

Researchers have studied this bias using the hidden profile task. On such tasks, information known to many of the group members suggests that one alternative, say Option A, is best. However, Option B is definitely the better choice, but all the facts that support Option B are only known to individual groups members—they are not common knowledge in the group. As a result, the group will likely spend most of its time reviewing the factors that favor Option A, and never discover any of its drawbacks. In consequence, groups often perform poorly when working on problems with nonobvious solutions that can only be identified by extensive information sharing (Stasser & Titus, 1987).

This is irrelevant. You could apply this to either side of the argument.

You may well be right about projection, but you are offering vague anecdotes that don't make any attempt at analysis, while some of the people who don't share your opinion have put a lot of time and effort into studying the phenomenon.

But generally people who use their own names are accorded more courtesy on Maestronet that those who don't, both in the way they are addressed ad the seriousness with which their posts are considered. 

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At the risk of co-operating in the focus of this thread being thrown  (i.e.,devolving into an issue of personalities) (a soap opera) :

1) Kindly stop and think for a minute, Martin.  Analysis requires -- presupposes -- that the relevant variables are reasonably well known, understood, and useful in arriving at a solution. In this case, they simply aren't. As witness, the incredibly detailed and arcane studies that Dan (and others) have reported on. The tools available in the standard toolkit simply come up empty. That being the case, analysis is off the table as a reasonable expectation, while observations, if unsatisfying, are of potential value. 

2)

Quote

generally people who use their own names are accorded more courtesy on Maestronet that those who don't, both in the way they are addressed ad the seriousness with which their posts are considered

This pattern describes the operation of ALL groups -- it is basic, elementary group dynamics (social psychology) -- a matter of human beings behaving like human beings. And while many people will, typically, regard group consensus and validity as virtual synonyms, history abounds with examples of erroneous ideas holding back progress for decades because they have become institutional dogmas, upheld by force of group allegiance/identification (denial of continental drift in geology for an example, and "Clovis First" in US archaeology).

I've explained why I chose to operate as I do. FWIW (assuming anything), information (necessarily including observations of potential significance) is my focus. Only.  If my ambition were to ingratiate myself, I would operate differently.

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58 minutes ago, A432 said:

 

This pattern describes the operation of ALL groups -- it is basic, elementary group dynamics (social psychology) -- a matter of human beings behaving like human beings. And while many people will, typically, regard group consensus and validity as virtual synonyms, history abounds with examples of erroneous ideas holding back progress for decades because they have become institutional dogmas, upheld by force of group allegiance/identification (denial of continental drift in geology for an example, and "Clovis First" in US archaeology).

 

Exactly - I regard you as a member of the group that advances the myth of the supernatural powers of projection of classical Cremonese instruments.

To be honest this is a much bigger group than mine, encompassing almost all classical musicians and most dealers in fine violins (at least as concerns their public pronouncements - behind closed doors is a different story).

My group is not scientific - it's simply made up of people who have open-mindedly sat in halls with soloists and sometimes orchestras and worked through dozens of violins in double-blind conditions trying to hear differences.

When examining the subject seriously, it's clear that you need to eliminate all other variables - the player, the stage/hall, the repertoire, the bow. Unless you have been through that process of rationalisation you are just relating your impressions of a particular situation, and while these impressions are legitimate, they don't help a reasoned debate.

I should point out that it's not in my interests to promote new violins, nor do I in any way denigrate the great classical Cremonese makers.

 

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it's clear that you need to eliminate all other variables - the player, the stage/hall, the repertoire, the bow.

When you ignore what people say, and take a sober look at what they actually do, you don't see things the same way any more. Take biology for instance. This, when I was in school, was nothing but taxonomy -- dissecting dead things into ever finer little bits and giving them names. Yet Biology is -- by definition -- the study of living organisms, and biologists knew nothing about living things. They weren't equipped to even approach the matter because their toolkit (scalpels, microscopes, gram stains and the rest of it) were completely unsuited to it.

They could have just scuttled that entire approach and started over. But that would have entailed rejecting the mentality (and mindset) of "the enlightenment" : the wooly insistence that everything can be understood by taking it apart to see how it works. And since everybody else was doing that (and in chemistry, physics and other fields, it worked), they would have been drummed out of the "scientific" community.

But you don't learn much about time by taking a watch apart, even though watches tell time. And you don't learn anything useful about transcendental violins that way either. Because the factors in their operation are not partitive, but cumulative.

Keith Hill writes of having taken one of his violins to Isaac Stern and asking him to play it, explaining, "I know what it sounds like when I play it ; what I want to know is what it sounds like when you play it." (Needless to say, it sounded better). It is widely held that a really good player can make even rubbish sound good, or at least passable. Yet, in the interest of "science" (as it defines itself), the first thing you want to eliminate is the player. What's wrong with this picture ?

You know from your own experience that the right bow can make an instrument come alive. Yet you want to eliminate that from consideration as well. Which, to me, borders on madness.

And so on with the rest of it. Can you hope to understand a sensitive Cremonese fiddle -- say, a Joseph Filius that won't stand being dug into -- by having some scrubber assault it with an over-tightened carbon fibre bow ?  Replicability would require that, or something close to it, because the deal is, in order to be "scientifically valid," anybody anywhere must be able do the same thing and get the same result. How can people allege that this approach is anything but a useless joke with a straight face ?

"When you cut it, you lose it" -- Lao Tse.

IMO, a more sensible -- and potentially more productive -- approach would be to carefully note every factor ascertainable in those moments when magic happens and note them. Do that often enough and a pattern emerges. People have noticed and reported it over the years, consistently. It doesn't vary by location and it doesn't vary by time. It was the same for Joachim as it is for Vengerov. It's A + B + C = X : a matter of the right people, the right stuff, and everything working in synergy.

IOW, about what I'm reporting and having it dismissed as old wives tales. And maybe they are. But old wives know things too.

 

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You want me to repeat myself. OK. I'll repeat myself.

Quote

It seems similarly possible to me, looking at it from outside the arena, that the longstanding pattern of subsequent makers (to whom this idea is uncongenial) announcing that they have equaled, even surpassed the work of the ancients -- and buttressing their contentions with innumerable blind tests -- will continue until either the key is found that opens the Cremonese lock or Gabriel blows his trumpet. Certainly, such starting-from-the-attainable-and-rationalizing-away-the-discrepancies proclamations have been an historical constant since, at least, the time of Vuillaume. As Tevye said, "Why should today be different ?"

And while we're on it,

Quote

you haven't "been around the block" very much.

I got off the fiddle playing/fixing bus in 1983. I suspect I was riding it before you were born. History does not begin in 1980.

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1 hour ago, martin swan said:

Exactly - I regard you as a member of the group that advances the myth of the supernatural powers of projection of classical Cremonese instruments.

To be honest this is a much bigger group than mine, encompassing almost all classical musicians and most dealers in fine violins (at least as concerns their public pronouncements - behind closed doors is a different story).

My group is not scientific - it's simply made up of people who have open-mindedly sat in halls with soloists and sometimes orchestras and worked through dozens of violins in double-blind conditions trying to hear differences.

When examining the subject seriously, it's clear that you need to eliminate all other variables - the player, the stage/hall, the repertoire, the bow. Unless you have been through that process of rationalisation you are just relating your impressions of a particular situation, and while these impressions are legitimate, they don't help a reasoned debate.

I should point out that it's not in my interests to promote new violins, nor do I in any way denigrate the great classical Cremonese makers.

 

I didn't realize how important it was to eliminate all the other variables like you said.

It has often be stated that the bowing point distance from the bridge has a large affect.  Playing close to the bridge increases the note's loudness while increasing its brightness both of which are claimed to improve projection.

I tried bowing close and far from the bridge on one of my violins and sure enough it subjectively sounded louder and brighter to me.

I then recorded the playing of the open G,D,A,E, strings and, with Audacity,  measured the sound intensity and plotted the results.  The  dB increase for all four strings averaged about 7dB from going from bowing about 6 cm down to about 1cm distance from the bridge as seen in the attached graph.

I also did a Audacity  fft spectrum analysis of an open G note played close and far from the bridge and I discovered the higher harmonics did indeed increase in amplitude as seen in the attached graph.  It appears that the increase in loudness is mostly result of increased amplitudes of the higher harmonics.

The nonharmonic noise between the lower harmonics of the G note also increased by playing close to the bridge.

I believe all three of these objectively measurable things--loudness, brightness, and nonharmonic noise improve projection.

I found it is very difficult (I'm a lousy player) to play close to the bridge (due to a real narrow range of minimum and maximum bow force).  A great player has great bow control skill at playing close to the bridge thus projecting better if he chooses to.

So it is important to eliminate player variables when doing violin projection comparisons as you know  the double blind testing organizers also fully know.

I suspect solo players want violins (new or old) that can be played close to the bridge.

 

 

Open G .jpg

bowing position.jpg

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Marty, any competent player could have told you that without needing gadgets.

He could also have told you that playing closer to the bridge produces a more treble-y sound at the expense of a richer one.

And that a good fiddle produces both without having to be particularly careful with where the bow is on the string.

The only performer I know of who was ever meticulous with bow placement was Mischa Elman.

 

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