How objective is projection?

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59 minutes ago, Evan Smith said:

Certainly a lot of core to the sound, doesn't seem to disappear throughout the entire register.

The crunch of the bow is  an interesting feature and says a lot to me, it possibly says more to the player.

Certainly, i was not there, but... the way these instruments are being played on video, any number of living maker violins would have sounded better. It is fascinating how he does not ease into these instruments, listening for details, range or sensitivities of any particular instrument. I realize that a true evaluation session would not make for an interesting video. All these historic instruments behave differently... The young actor/ violinist would likely be more violinist/ actor on his next visit to the Museo.

The way he started the session, it looks as if he expected more from the 1715 "Cremona" and attacked the high contact point almost immediately. For the Guarneri, his expectation was de-tuned a bit from the experience with the 1715, so did not press it any harder than necessary. To my relief, it was nice that his own violin appear to sound the clearest and most dynamic. In the 2nd half of the video, he relaxes a bit and starts to sound better, notably in the upper octaves.

On the spectrum of curiosity, if he had been playing a $100 violin and played the instrument a la David Garrett, that would - at least to me - be fascinating. How would he have adapted his playing. He might sound the same - which would be his brand. Certainly, he is not a bad player, just one ( once ) dimensional.

There are plenty of muscular graduate violin students that make this type of sound, or better. If this is acceptable playing, then the mystique of the ancient instruments really is nothing but marketing. 

The hall without people in it is insurance. Every maker in Cremona needs to book the hall with a fine instrumentalist but sell only about 100 tickets, printed with the wrong dates on them.

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17 minutes ago, Porteroso said:

 ( ... )

Edit: About bow crunch, as I related earlier in the thread, if projection is being heard by the audience, Sassmanshaus did a lot of research on the topic and found that articulation is one of the most important things, even more than the volume of the violin. I forget his numbers, but let's say he found that violins can sustain 75 decibels in long bowing, but a really harsh articulation can be 90 dB just for one instant. 

He found that our brains respond to that pinprick sound, and can follow the sustained bowing sound, even if the orchestra is louder than the soloist, because the brain latched onto the articulation. Someone playing the same dB as another, using harsher articulation, or bow crunch, will be perceived as louder than someone with smoother articulation. 

This is reply is not to criticize Sassmanshaus' research or work, as your point is well taken.

We do need to take this further as instrumentalists ( because this is how we communicate ) and many people have worked in this area and still discussing the subject. But for those unfamiliar, the concepts are still strange because now along with dynamics developing how we articulate bow strokes ( the use of fingers in the right hand ) complicates technique.

There will always be curiosity about sound post placement, its response and tonal effects. The guy that ( *hem ) that impressed me about working a sound post or its adjustment ( more than 10 years ago ) was Maestro Rabut. At the time he quantified resulting tonal quality of the violin in terms of vocalizations of vowels as in "aahh-- " or "eee--" and that - simplified? - discussing adjustments with players. There was a Strad magazine article on the approach at the time. Nowthere are D'Addario videos also...

Articulations are the corresponding consonances on the back drop of a warmer tonal vowel sound. Vowels and consonants make poetry and the greater the contrast, a more noticeable difference. There are several open and more closed vowel sounds, which work well, but some of my "friends" kid me about the "stereo-typically nasal" modern Italian sound require a umlaut - which is a shaped vowel sound, or a tone through a "horn."  

In the US, anyway, post - Ms Delay, there does not appear to be centralized teaching technique, though there are many fine pedagogue ( some argue demagogues ) but using consonants to describe the articulations have become much more common. The first master class i remember the usage, was with Jorja Fleezanis, again a dozen years ago about the time she was starting to teach at Indiana University. There were others who hinted at it, but were not as explicit as Ms Fleezanis. She was a soloists, CM in Minnesota a dozen years before that.

My teacher in the late 70s was trying to explain the use of vocalizations to me, but i only remember the jazz and scat singing had something to do with bowing. It was the audio writer Dick Olsher's comments in Stereophile magazine that any of this made any sense to me. He had commented that some speakers were more rhythmically accurate than others. At the time, this seemed highly unlikely, as the source CD or LP would have had the identical information. Other writers started commenting on this subject of rhythm. It was likely that the subjective accuracy was from the articulated high frequencies from the tweeters starting to be manufactured during the era, which were domed metal tweeters.

Anyway, it has been in use for awhile, and almost as crazy as the Westcoast vs Eastcoast ( really just - NY. Boston people thought that NY players were just hard of hearing practicing in vocal booths. ) sound rivalry/ debate of the time, these vocalization method in the US appears to have died down a bit as we teach 10 year olds Khatchaturian and the Tchaikovsky for their Mitzvahs. There was a Midwest sound, but it could have been divided into three camps, mostly generated out of Chicago. For the longest time, one of my favorite - idealized - sounds was that of Becker. When people were arguing Italian, i would have bought most Beckers i heard or played, though they were never affordable to me: Open, ever-so-slightly nasal, with clear spirited articulation.

The difficulty is that vocalizations can not be used, reasonably, all the time. The muted 2nd mvmt of the Tchaikovsky is always problematic. But the best mute is a nasal one if you have to use one, no? Do not lend out your best mutes; you will never get them back.


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3 hours ago, Casey Jefferson said:

What do you guys think?

dunno.  i want you to try one of these bows and report back:

worst that can happen is you have a nice bow to give to a beautiful little student

about 15 yrs ago i went through a bow phase and tried very expensive cf bows and couldn't have been less impressed, but speaking as a player that one is alive.

this seems to be the one i got, incl the gaps and misalignments you see at the frog :)



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52 minutes ago, Bill Merkel said:

dunno.  i want you to try one of these bows and report back:

worst that can happen is you have a nice bow to give to a beautiful little student

about 15 yrs ago i went through a bow phase and tried very expensive cf bows and couldn't have been less impressed, but speaking as a player that one is alive.

this seems to be the one i got, incl the gaps and misalignments you see at the frog :)



I had Arcus Cadenza Gold which should be top of the line best sounding bow. I've since sold it moved on (maybe 10 years ago) and now couldn't care for any cf bows, they just don't have the same organic overtones of fine wood bows, nor the flexibility and agility.

I do have a cheapo cf bow for teaching and gigging, which I also used to tap the music stand for counting during teaching...

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