carl1961

What is the correct sound of a Excellent Violin?

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carl1961   

As I personally have never heard a Strad or any violin that is worth a whole lot, how is a good way to know when you have made a violin that is acceptable? attached is the sound file of what I think is a excellent sounding violin. what level rating would this violin be considered?  the violin player is Chubby Wise. Youtube has many video's of him playing. I could never find out what violin he has.

sample.mp3

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I dont know in which region of the world you live but maybe you can listen to a good violin in concert, imo preferably in a chamber concert. 

I think its hard to really judge a violin before it has been played by a decend player. 

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33 minutes ago, WorksAsIntended said:

I dont know in which region of the world you live but maybe you can listen to a good violin in concert, imo preferably in a chamber concert. 

I think its hard to really judge a violin before it has been played by a decend player. 

I see this idea frequently, and it assumes that I can understand what I am hearing. It's like looking at art, some people can look at a painting and understand it, some people - like me - can look at a painting and see nothing. 

I listen to violin recordings posted here and then read the comments posted here and almost without exception, don't understand what "experts" are saying. 

I believe that it is possible to learn to hear music, and I believe that some people even have a native ability to hear and understand music, but I do believe that understanding music is, for most, an acquired taste. 

So, my advice is to find someone you respect for what ever reason, and ask them for advice or opinion on the subject of a particular instrument. I know in my case, I will be working on finding a local talent that I can use to evaluate my violins and cellos. There are several orchestras and several universities within an hour or two, and I expect with a little effort I will be able to find a suitable "slave" :)

 

Frank

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We've plowed this ground quite a bit on Pegbox.

The question is based on the assumption that the violin has some sort of fixed sound of its own that is somehow independent and separable from a player.    I don't much believe that's a true premise.   I player will want to make a wide pallet of different sounds, the better the player the more they will want this.     So I don't think you can really separate the definition of good violins and good violin sound from the players.    I'm inclined to believe that a good violin is one that helps a capable player produce all the colors and movement and articulation they desire, and a great violin helps inspire a player to reach for as even broader pallet than they might have realized they had in them.

 

Torbjörn already said to look to the opinion of good players.    That's really all there is in a sense.    The only way a violin deserves to be called 'great' is if amazing artful players love to play it.   Not to say all players will agree.   But still, I can't imagine any other measure that could really matter. 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, David Beard said:

I'm inclined to believe that a good violin is one that helps a capable player produce all the colors and movement and articulation they desire

Yup, Thew purpose of a violin is not to produce good sound - by itself, it is silent and a wall hanger. A violin must be played.

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22 minutes ago, FrankNichols said:


I listen to violin recordings posted here and then read the comments posted here and almost without exception, don't understand what "experts" are saying. 
 

You'll do just fine, better than fine,  but you'll need to give time - couple of years. Human brain, rare exceptions aside, is not prepared for violin sound. It's prepared for human voice. Does great at that - within a couple of months AND with some instruction you'll be able to figure out good vs bad singers almost fool proof. You'll have to transfer those skills to violin and more than half of that needs to be taught. It gets more difficult if you are a violin player - the perspective is not always the best one.

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1 minute ago, FrankNichols said:

Yup, Thew purpose of a violin is not to produce good sound - by itself, it is silent and a wall hanger. A violin must be played.

Well, I'd stay away from those sorts of generalizations - they sound cute but most of the time fall flat in practicalities.

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The great Itzhak Perlman passed on this story in an interview. " PERLMAN: Playing is playing. You know, to tell a very funny story about the great Jascha Heifetz. You know, he played a concert, and a lady came backstage and she said to him, Mr. Heifetz, your violin sounded so good tonight. And he picked up the violin, and he said funny, I don't hear anything. "

It's not the violin itself, it's what an excellent player can make it do. You need to find a very skilled player, and have them play it. Sometimes you can tell something by how long they play it. If they play for a long time, they're probably liking it.

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14 minutes ago, David Beard said:

We've plowed this ground quite a bit on Pegbox.

1. The question is based on the assumption that the violin has some sort of fixed sound of its own that is somehow independent and separable from a player.    I don't much believe that's a true premise.  

2. I player will want to make a wide pallet of different sounds, the better the player the more they will want this.    

3. So I don't think you can really separate the definition of good violins and good violin sound from the players.    

4. I'm inclined to believe that a good violin is one that helps a capable player produce all the colors and movement and articulation they desire, and a great violin helps inspire a player to reach for as even broader pallet than they might have realized they had in them.

 

Torbjörn already said to look to the opinion of good players.    That's really all there is in a sense.    The only way a violin deserves to be called 'great' is if amazing artful players love to play it.   Not to say all players will agree.   But still, I can't imagine any other measure that could really matter. 

 

 

1. But of course it does. And that doesn't mean that a player can't modulate it more in line with his intentions should he have any.

2. No. Some do, some don't. Most of the ones who do, shouldn't. At least in classical music. There is a lot of exaggeration going on on this subject. To a large extent the palette should be build into "good violin".

3. But of course one can. How did you come up with that ?? 

4. That's a nonsense - it NEVER happens. Unless the player reduces his "desires" to what is safely and comfortably achievable. The foremost quality in a great player is reliability.

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<crickets>

I feel that no definitive answer to the OP question does or can exist, at least while the violin continues to remain a living part of the musical artistic tradition for players, makers, and listeners, as well as while "free artistic expression" remains one of our widely shared societal ideals.  Setting a definitive standard just isn't going to happen. :)

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

<crickets>

I feel that no definitive answer to the OP question does or can exist, at least while the violin continues to remain a living part of the musical artistic tradition for players, makers, and listeners, as well as while "free artistic expression" remains one of our widely shared societal ideals.  Setting a definitive standard just isn't going to happen. :)

Which tradition would that be ? In classical, solo violin concert tradition, this issue is about cast in stone. And I remember seeing around '72 or so a bunch of real gypsy children trying out a Strad and they got it immediately - didn't want to let it go. None of the guests complained either and I think the Strad was played non stop for around two days.

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26 minutes ago, carl stross said:

Which tradition would that be ? In classical, solo violin concert tradition, this issue is about cast in stone. And I remember seeing around '72 or so a bunch of real gypsy children trying out a Strad and they got it immediately - didn't want to let it go. None of the guests complained either and I think the Strad was played non stop for around two days.

Carl, my point is that this particular herd of cats (which appear, IMHO, to be a representative sample of the violin world in total) will never agree on what "good" is to begin with.  Not everyone accepts the  "classical, solo violin concert tradition" as a benchmark, and even among those who do, "good, better, and best" in performances (along with how best to experience them), is a matter of perpetual squabbling.

Give it up.  Endless chasing of one's own tail leads nowhere.

My advice to the OP, if you like Chubby Wise, by all means try to sound like he does.  Some will agree your violin sounds good.  Some won't. Your result will be acceptable. :)

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GeorgeH   
2 hours ago, David Beard said:

I'm inclined to believe that a good violin is one that helps a capable player produce all the colors and movement and articulation they desire, and a great violin helps inspire a player to reach for as even broader pallet than they might have realized they had in them.

I think the bow has as much to do with this as the violin. Playing a great violin with a crappy bow will produce more colorful language than colorful music.

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14 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

Carl, my point is that this particular herd of cats (which appear, IMHO, to be a representative sample of the violin world in total) will never agree on what "good" is to begin with.  Not everyone accepts the  "classical, solo violin concert tradition" as a benchmark, and even among those who do, "good, better, and best" in performances (along with how best to experience them), is a matter of endless squabbling.

Give it up.  Endless chasing of one's own tail leads nowhere.

My advice to the OP, if you like Chubby Wise, by all means try to sound like he does.  Some will agree your violin sounds good.  Some won't.  Big deal. Whatever. :lol:

Well, your herd of cats can not possibly be accepted as a"representative sample of violin world in total". That's not a category we can define. Could be anything. I on the other hand expressed an opinion which I think is valid in the narrow field of "classical solo violin concert tradition". That tradition is literally littered with attempts to improve things which eventually went nowhere. It seems that once a certain level of sufficiency is reached, improvements are not wanted despite the fact they might be needed. But classical music by large is the field of the snob and the narrow minded. A place I call home. :) 

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1 minute ago, carl stross said:

Well, your herd of cats can not possibly be accepted as a"representative sample of violin world in total". That's not a category we can define. Could be anything. I on the other hand expressed an opinion which I think is valid in the narrow field of "classical solo violin concert tradition". That tradition is literally littered with attempts to improve things which eventually went nowhere. It seems that once a certain level of sufficiency is reached, improvements are not wanted despite the fact they might be needed. But classical music by large is the filed of the snob and the narrow minded. A place I call home. :) 

I quite agree.  Your degree of sine nobilitas and aesthetic bigotry is legendary here on MN. :P:lol:

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Just now, Violadamore said:

I quite agree.  Your degree of sine nobilitas and aesthetic bigotry is legendary here on MN. :P:lol:

Thank you. It's heart warming to see one's efforts appreciated.

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28 minutes ago, GeorgeH said:

I think the bow has as much to do with this as the violin. Playing a great violin with a crappy bow will produce more colorful language than colorful music.

I've never quite understood what makes a bow considered good. On top of that, no one has ever really adequately explained this, at least on here and in a way that my puny mind can understand. 

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Don Noon   

Using Chubby Wise as an example of an "excellent violin" demonstrates that a LOT more needs to be understood about this instrument.

First, Chubby Wise is a fiddler, not a violinist, and as such always plays close to a microphone, as well as usually preferring a more bottom-end type of tone.  I couldn't really tell from any images, but my best guess is that he used a large-body old German trade fiddle of low value, probably thinned out.  No professional violinist would ever be caught playing that, from either an aesthetic or performance standpoint.

That's just the tip of the iceberg.  After a decade or two of careful listening to a variety of players and instruments, if you have a good ear, you might get halfway there.  A good player is the other half.

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25 minutes ago, Nick Allen said:

I've never quite understood what makes a bow considered good. On top of that, no one has ever really adequately explained this, at least on here and in a way that my puny mind can understand. 

It makes certain things easier and certain things just plain possible and it doesn't feel like it's working against you.

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GeorgeH   
24 minutes ago, Nick Allen said:

I've never quite understood what makes a bow considered good. On top of that, no one has ever really adequately explained this, at least on here and in a way that my puny mind can understand. 

A good bow (or a good violin) is like pornography: You know it when you see it, but whether it is or not can be debated endlessly.

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