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Stradivari's secret was a concept?


Andreas Preuss
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13 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

Regarding the restoration: I know a restorer who manages to kill the spirit in a lot of his restorations. He himself is sort of a buzz-killer, as well, a man of no joy at all. I know a maker who's really a wild man, and makes cellos that sound that way too. It's an interesting problem.

Of course, it can be hypothesized that this does not necessarily refute materialism.

If a violin-maker, by the nature of his personality, values (or fails to value) certain attributes of a violin... then they will tend to be found (or not found) in the violins he makes or works on. Not because of magic, but because of where he puts his efforts, and what things he knows how to listen for.

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3 hours ago, Don Noon said:

as long as there is a solid way  to evaluate the results

... meaning evaluation by impartial, highly skilled violinists, which is all that really matters.

Other technical methods to try to understand what is happening is of interest to me, but again not to be confused with what really matters.

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21 minutes ago, Emilg said:

yes, but which church and/or religion.. time for another double blind test?  :lol:

We've attended several annual "Blessing Of The Bikes" events. Haven't crashed since. ;)

Forgot to ask the affiliation of the officiators. Bet I could sneak a fiddle or two in there.

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

I don't see a need to choose between one approach and the other. If I have some post-Stradivari physics notions that seem to lead to enhanced outcomes, I'll use them. If I found that having instruments blessed by the church made them better, I'd do that too (as long as one didn't end up negating the benefit of the other). ;)

Dualism is OK as a philosophy, but I am not sure that it is effective as a lifestyle. I believe that the people who most effectively work the idealist side would say that in order for it to work, you can't just go through the motions, but you really have to fully open up and live the totality of the concept. I found this link yesterday when I was considering this aspect of things, and I think it gets to the core of the issue:
 https://www.drwaynedyer.com/press/power-intention/

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1 hour ago, David Burgess said:

We've attended several annual "Blessing Of The Bikes" events. Haven't crashed since. ;)

Forgot to ask the affiliation of the officiators. Bet I could sneak a fiddle or two in there.

https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Blessing-of-S-F-taxi-fleet-in-Tenderloin-3270401.php

Reading an account of this annual event some years ago, I was amused by a Jewish cabbie who told the reporter, "Next year we'll have a rabbi with a cutting torch take a quarter inch off the tailpipes".  :ph34r::lol:

1 hour ago, Michael Darnton said:

Dualism is OK as a philosophy, but I am not sure that it is effective as a lifestyle. I believe that the people who most effectively work the idealist side would say that in order for it to work, you can't just go through the motions, but you really have to fully open up and live the totality of the concept. I found this link yesterday when I was considering this aspect of things, and I think it gets to the core of the issue:
 https://www.drwaynedyer.com/press/power-intention/

Dyer is too "New Age" for me, but he makes some valid points.

Leaving my core beliefs at the curb, for the moment, I'll note that I've seen a number of things happen that the materialist paradigm calls impossible, often with multiple witnesses and repeatability.  OTOH, it's often very difficult to get professionals to examine things that might get them laughed at (which, in "science", can destroy a career).  If you want to start a riot over drinks at a GSA convention, BTW, just say the word "dowsing".............

IMHO, the scientific approach is still very, very new, compared to the entirety of human history, has only been professionally practiced by a vanishingly small minority of the world's population, and because of its newness and shortages of competent investigators as well as of theorists, is still only barely scratching the surface of what Reality actually is (consider this particular thread about violins, and how little certainty has emerged..........).  Given how little we know and understand, in the multi-dimensional, multi-universal, complicated environment that current research and theory is starting to unveil to us, closed-mind "skepticism" is probably not the most profitable path to choose for the future of Humanity.   Before wholeheartedly embracing Materialism, let's discover quite a bit more about the material itself.  :)

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56 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

it's often very difficult to get professionals to examine things that might get them laughed at (which, in "science", can destroy a career).

Which is a polite way of saying that the professed objectivity is basically a scam, when push comes to shove. When the biased contingent is able to shut down all opposition that is attempting to play by the rules of genuine objectivity, the whole system is by definition corrupt.

This reminds me a lot of the fallacy that there are only a few bad cops: when a supposed vast majority of "good" cops can't police their own, they are all, by their choice of combined inaction, bad cops.

No one wants to admit they are corrupt, right?

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37 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

Which is the lure of delusion.

One facet of which is confusing tactlessness with honesty.  I feel it's deluded to provoke instead of persuade, particularly when the situation is still fluid, and provocation is strategically as well as tactically inelegant.  Slicing an aggressor from the draw is the soul of battojutsu, and a great many founders of the koryu, such as Musashi, Togo (of Jigen-ryu), and the Yagyu, prohibited picking fights on purpose. 

Also recall that Scheherazade prevailed in the end, and entertained half the world in doing so.  [Settles her thumbs in her obi, and does "Mona Lisa"] :)

Follow me, everybody, the topic is back over here....  [Trots towards the smell of fresh shavings and wet varnish].

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3 hours ago, Don Noon said:

... meaning evaluation by impartial, highly skilled violinists, which is all that really matters.

Other technical methods to try to understand what is happening is of interest to me, but again not to be confused with what really matters.

What's an impartial violinist? I have met a few highly skilled violinists. You are as likely to meet an impartial one as to meet the dodo. The violin world is far more full of controversy than the world of any other musical instrument (possibly aside from voice).

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

One facet of which is confusing tactlessness with honesty. 

Attachment and ego vs data would be another way to state it. I don't believe that the fields of higher knowledge are much into the sugar-coating. For instance, I had a hard time for a while resolving what I viewed as conflicts in Rudolph Steiner until I caught on that winning friends and influencing people--the worldly need to "be someone"-- has nothing at all to do with it. I think that most of the Eastern religions/philosophies/esoteric practices feel the same way about that topic.

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34 minutes ago, John_London said:

What's an impartial violinist? I have met a few highly skilled violinists. You are as likely to meet an impartial one as to meet the dodo. The violin world is far more full of controversy than the world of any other musical instrument (possibly aside from voice).

Honestly, I think this is one of the advantages of having ears. Aside from impartiality, it isn't really the business or skill of a player to be verbally clear or mentally consistent. They play violin.

Who do you like? What do you like about them? How do they achieve that? What tools are they using to do that? Then after you figure that out for yourself, check yourself against other's impressions. Eventually you can sort out why certain players are universally popular, why others are popular among only certain demographics;  what the general criticisms and praises are; why some get nowhere at all. Then, if the subject is for you as a violin maker about violins, how do those people sort out as regards their tools?

For instance, there's a particular player, relatively popular, about whom every single violinist I talk to says the same thing "I wish I had those fingers." Not one has mentioned "that sound". I think comments like that have some meaning in sorting these things out. Because there are many different opinions that appear as raw data not to be meaningful, it doesn't logically follow that there is no solid information to be had from that data---the trick is to try to sort the data into subsets that do provide useful information. When I was taking experimental psychology and statistics classes, a lot was made of designing studies properly to efficiently extract what was needed. It isn't just a matter of collecting a lot of random stuff and mashing it all together, then complaining that it's a mess.

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5 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Conor, I made the experiment with two violin tops one sounded good the other bad. When I switched them the good one on the wrong body still sounded good and the bad one sounded bad. Both backs had good thicknesses. 

However only if a back is getting too thick and stiff the sound is getting small like a Chinese instrument from the 80s.

 

 

Surely that just confirms that the top wasn't good.

Anyway, my point was that the back is absolutely essential to a good working violin. A violin with a poor back is really limited. Thick but flexible in the right places is what I go for.

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2 hours ago, John_London said:

What's an impartial violinist?

Perhaps "impartial" isn't the right description, just a short one.  I mean one who will give honest opinions of what they like and don't like, rather than just nice things that you might want to hear.

1 hour ago, Michael Darnton said:

I think this is one of the advantages of having ears.

That's for sure too, and developing an ear for sound (not just having ears) is an important goal.  Still need a good violinist to exercise the range of the instrument, unless the maker happens to be one, or can somehow extract all the needed information from dinking around on it.

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6 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Conor, I made the experiment with two violin tops one sounded good the other bad. When I switched them the good one on the wrong body still sounded good and the bad one sounded bad. Both backs had good thicknesses.

This would fit to, what mostly is said. However, who made the judgements in this case ? Some quite fine players, who could also judge the playability ?

If your observation really would be true in general ( you have had only the smallest possible sample n=1), it would make the things much more easier. One wouldn´t have to regard any sound-concerns in the wood-choice of maple and could concentrate totally on beautiness.

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6 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

Perhaps "impartial" isn't the right description, just a short one.  I mean one who will give honest opinions of what they like and don't like, rather than just nice things that you might want to hear.

In the vast majority of cases players do the last thing - at least I do so. Possibly because it´s a hard thing, to tell the "truth" to a maker, who needed hundreds of hours to finish the violin while you are knowing at the same moment, that your own judgement is (as always ) only a very subjective one.

However with a lot of experience makers should be able to separate some nice words from real enthousiasm - if they really want.

In general I think, you are absolutely right. Acoustical violin-science seems not to be developed enough for a completely own quality- validation of violins. Yet only players and listeners can (try to) do the job. Eventually some people/makers have done some more steps on the scientific way - but they keep it secret.

 

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59 minutes ago, Danube Fiddler said:

Possibly because it´s a hard thing, to tell the "truth" to a maker, who needed hundreds of hours to finish the violin

One thing I do when asking for criticism is to ask for the one, two, or three (depending on the situation) very specific things  "you" would like me to do to improve this violin. That invites limited criticism in a way that encourages the giver to understand that he's not just trashing you completely, but simply fulfilling a simple request. I do the same when I am asked for criticism: I pick the two things I see that are both the most immediately obvious, yet are also easiest to correct the next time. If I can, I offer ideas about how to make the improvement, too.

A player equivalent might be that someone's a terrible player overall, but it's pretty direct to point out that he's cutting the last measure of a phrase a beat short every time and moving on too quickly to the next phrase. That's concrete, and a simple counting job, and will fix something that's actually pretty irritating to a listener.

You don't have to feel compelled to fix everything in one sitting!

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6 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Leaving my core beliefs at the curb, for the moment, I'll note that I've seen a number of things happen that the materialist paradigm calls impossible, often with multiple witnesses and repeatability.  OTOH, it's often very difficult to get professionals to examine things that might get them laughed at (which, in "science", can destroy a career).  If you want to start a riot over drinks at a GSA convention, BTW, just say the word "dowsing".............

Is it accurate to condemn a biologist as "corrupt" because he isn't willing to devote time to investigating Bigfoot?

For starters, I would think it could be noted that most biologists are sincere in their belief that Bigfoot is utter crap, and thus they aren't refusing to spend time on investigating it because they are putting career advancement ahead of finding the truth; instead,  they are avoiding spending time on looking for Bigfoot because they believe there is no truth to be found there.

And just take a look at YouTube. Bigfoot? Free energy devices? Antigravity? Ancient astronauts? It's all there.

It doesn't seem that the forces of orthodox science have very effective teams of Men in Black silencing alternative viewpoints... and, indeed, if you take a look at how people express those alternative viewpoints, you might well come back with the impression that these alternative viewpoints are dismissed by the forces of orthodoxy... with very good reason.

Isaac Asimov once wrote a very good essay explaining that while resistance to new ideas has led to some mistakes in the past - rejecting the extraterrestrial origin of meteorites, rejecting continental drift - a high level of skepticism towards ideas that contradict what already seems to be known is essential for science to function as an effective organized activity that is directed towards effort that will yield rewards. New ideas that are true will eventually be heard, but if the barriers of skepticism were lower, a lot of time would be wasted on new ideas that are simply wrong.

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1 hour ago, Quadibloc said:

Is it accurate to condemn a biologist as "corrupt" because he isn't willing to devote time to investigating Bigfoot?

For starters, I would think it could be noted that most biologists are sincere in their belief that Bigfoot is utter crap, and thus they aren't refusing to spend time on investigating it because they are putting career advancement ahead of finding the truth; instead,  they are avoiding spending time on looking for Bigfoot because they believe there is no truth to be found there.

And just take a look at YouTube. Bigfoot? Free energy devices? Antigravity? Ancient astronauts? It's all there.

It doesn't seem that the forces of orthodox science have very effective teams of Men in Black silencing alternative viewpoints... and, indeed, if you take a look at how people express those alternative viewpoints, you might well come back with the impression that these alternative viewpoints are dismissed by the forces of orthodoxy... with very good reason.

Isaac Asimov once wrote a very good essay explaining that while resistance to new ideas has led to some mistakes in the past - rejecting the extraterrestrial origin of meteorites, rejecting continental drift - a high level of skepticism towards ideas that contradict what already seems to be known is essential for science to function as an effective organized activity that is directed towards effort that will yield rewards. New ideas that are true will eventually be heard, but if the barriers of skepticism were lower, a lot of time would be wasted on new ideas that are simply wrong.

I see that Michael's prediction is coming true.  Cherry picking obvious hokum from YouTube, and following with material pulled from The Skeptical Inquirer is hardly unbiased on your own part.  I'm not going to mud-wrestle with you over this here, not the place, but I'll note that the sort of anecdotes that we were originally discussing are hardly in the category of Bigfoot, or conspiracy theories.  :) 

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7 hours ago, Michael Darnton said:

Which is a polite way of saying that the professed objectivity is basically a scam, when push comes to shove. When the biased contingent is able to shut down all opposition that is attempting to play by the rules of genuine objectivity, the whole system is by definition corrupt

I don't want to discount the value of scientific inquiry.

But it's good to remember that most people who profess a scientific orientation only have a 'belief in science'.

An actual scientific approach is a demanding walk that requires challenging proposed ideas extensively , , and accepting only with resistance and boundaries.

'Belief in science' isn't science. It is in fact more akin to religion.

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