Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Hand made versus machine made violins


Delabo
 Share

Recommended Posts

Just now, Guy Booth said:

I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree!  As I said, we all have our own definitions of what being original is, and what copying is.
I feel I was in essence making a copy of a centuries old, standardized form in making a violin, even with my own mold design. Others may argue I was being original. In the end it boils down to personal definitions.  

Agreed:)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 520
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Just was realizing we have a good analog to cnc carving in the piano roll.

And some recent piano roll system capture all the details of expressive playing in reasonable fidelity.

So,  

A fine pianist and violin soloist play through Beethoven's Spring Sonata.  They have a great time playing together, and the audience loves it. One of these machines records the pianist's performance.  Several copies of the 'roll' are made.

One copy goes home with a violin teacher.  He gives the roll to a student. "Here, now you can practice with the piano part playing.  Of course, it can't hear and respond to your timing, so that part is BS, but still you'll get familiat with the piano part."       Piano roll as tool.

Another copy goes home with the violin soloist.  He finds the idea intriguing.  Just as an experiment he decides to hold a house party and try out performing the Spring using the piano roll to play the piano part.  He assembles a small group of friends for an evening of dinner and music, including the original pianist.   The violinist performs, with the roll machine playing the piano.  Everyone claps at the end.  Then he and his friend settle into drinka and talk.  Some of his friends thought the Spring came across wonderfully.  One thought it was thw most wonderful he'd ever heard. So friends noted he seemed somehow uncomfortable performinh this time.  The violinist shared that it feel stiffled and confined, being forced to track along with a piano partner that wasn't listening at all, or responding to the moment. The pianist and violinist ended up agree that their real performance were never actually truly identical from one play through to thw next. And the something inportant to their art lay in their moment to moment live interaction with each other and the unfolding work.

Piano roll as replicator

 

Another roll went home with the dealer that sold the systems.  The next day, dealer sold another system to a guy that had recently started playing some piano.  He gave the guy several rolls made by the same pianist, including a copy of the spring sonata roll.   Once the system is setup, the guy wants to show it off to his wife. "Look, I can play Chopin now". He flips the switch.  She laughs.  

Playing the piano roll does not equal playing the piano.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 minutes ago, David Beard said:

Just was realizing we have a good analog to cnc carving in the piano roll.

Playing the piano roll does not equal playing the piano.

I’d have to think about it some more, so I may end-up contradicting myself later, but I don’t think the analogy quite works for a physical object (a musical instrument) doesn’t quite equate to a live performance. 
An instrument is an ‘object’ and performance is an ‘act’. 

I can play the same recording that was produced decades ago, over and over, and it still moves me. It was once a ‘real’ or live performance, but now it’s digital file or a copy, of that performance. 
It is wonderful see a live performance, but the ‘copy’ or recording can also be wonderful, even if now a reproduction. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No? 

A mass produced object that is only designed and then replicated doesn't amount to a performance.

But many unique artistic objects are a combination of their design, and much more that goes in during the process of making.

Carving, painting: each brush stroke, each cut, when made by a skillful engaged real person, each such step takes us toward fulfilling the larger design, but also each speaks in itself.

When you automate such steps, they go mute.

A big flaw in current culture is too much believing that a picture or image of a pai ting is the same as the painting. They are not.  The actual painting has the capacity to be so much more beyond what the image of the painting can be.

Real objects can be much more than fulfillment design.  And when you take the older preindustriallization idea of design as recipe instead of some 'a priori' fixed ideal, then that different between design and actual object gets to be even bigger, and potentially more meaningful.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Guy Booth said:

I’d have to think about it some more, so I may end-up contradicting myself later, but I don’t think the analogy quite works for a physical object (a musical instrument) doesn’t quite equate to a live performance. 
An instrument is an ‘object’ and performance is an ‘act’. 

I can play the same recording that was produced decades ago, over and over, and it still moves me.

Depending on how long ago that recording was produced, the sound may have very little in common with live listener (and player) experiences.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

43 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Depending on how long ago that recording was produced, the sound may have very little in common with live listener (and player) experiences.

Yes very true. And that’s ok! In fact that’s something to embrace. ‘Art’ would remain stagnant otherwise. 
There are some songs that I associate with a time, place or person. There is a Dire Straits song that reminds me of my cousin who passed away. Of course this meaning that I attribute to that song has nothing at all to do with the original intention of the songwriter or time of recording.
But that is part of the beauty of the arts is that we can attach our own meaning and importance to works - and subsequent renditions of them - and that meaning and importance is ‘true’ even if it has little in common with the original intentions and experiences of the work. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

19 minutes ago, David Beard said:

Move you yes.  Same thing as the original actual concert experience, no.

Pointing out these distinctions is not saying all power and value are lost.  But the power and values of replicas and similar are at least different than unique actual originals.  

Yes of course the original concert can move too. That goes without saying. 
I agree there is something profound in a moment that passes and is forever gone.
But again, I see performance as and ‘act’ and a instrument as an ‘object’. A physical object can transition though time. A momentary act cannot. In that respect they are different entities. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, Guy Booth said:

Yes very true. And that’s ok! In fact that’s something to embrace. ‘Art’ would remain stagnant otherwise. 
There are some songs that I associate with a time, place or person. There is a Dire Straits song that reminds me of my cousin who passed away. Of course this meaning that I attribute to that song has nothing at all to do with the original intention of the songwriter or time of recording.

Which Dire Straits song? "Money for nothing"? :blink:

If so, you might want to show  a trifle more respect for your deceased cousin. :P

Link to comment
Share on other sites

9 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

Yes, generate emotions in the viewer, i.e. the primary function is of being looked at.

Primary function of  violins: to be played.

Primary function of a painting ... taking into account the wildly different shapes and sizes they come in ...

To honour a leader

To commemorate an event

To record an event

To be looked at by one person

To be looked at by a collection of people

To stimulate outrage

To communicate the ineffable

To piss off the Turner prize jury

To act as a testament to the originality of the artist

To act as a testament to the humility of the artist

To serve as a map (aboriginal art)

To pass the time

To analyse details of the natural world

One could go on and on - I think you'd have to agree that violins have more limited goals :lol:

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Primary function of a painting ... taking into account the wildly different shapes and sizes they come in ...

To honour a leader

To commemorate an event

To record an event

To be looked at by one person

To be looked at by a collection of people

To stimulate outrage

To communicate the ineffable

To piss off the Turner prize jury

To act as a testament to the originality of the artist

To act as a testament to the humility of the artist

To serve as a map (aboriginal art)

To pass the time

To analyse details of the natural world

One could go on and on - I think you'd have to agree that violins have more limited goals :lol:

 

 

Infinitely more limited, for this reason I am doubtful to consider violins as art.

But art by definition escapes definitions, so I have no problems with those who consider them art, who knows, sometimes they might even be right.:rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are studios in Asia where ‘artists’ produce painting for tourists. An artist will just paint the same paining, over and over producing hundreds of copies. They know the ‘formula’ for that painting and mindlessly repeat the process over and over. Each time they paint it to the formula the result will still be a little different, but that ‘uniqueness’ is not inspired, original or soulful. 

There were workshops in Italy where luthiers produced instruments . . . 

And your point is....? 

My point is apparently operating in a dimension of reality you're not computing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This isn't really an argument for or against anything that's been discussed here before, but I had a couple of free hours this afternoon and decided to advance on the violin I'm currently making. Back and ribs are done and "baking" in the uv cabinet, so today I finished the outline and did the rough arching of the top. I have to say the way the wood "sings" as the gouge goes through it, as well as the feeling of a sharp gouge slicing through a nice piece of spruce, are real sensual pleasures I'd never want to give up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Depending on how long ago that recording was produced, the sound may have very little in common with live listener (and player) experiences.

Listening to old recordings is like looking through dirty windows. If what's on the other side of them is interesting, you (I) make the adjustment automatically.

All-time favorite Elgar concerto recording : Albert Sammons (1929). Haydn "Gypsy Rondo" Trio recording : Cassals, Thibout & Cordot ((1928, I think).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...
On 7/26/2019 at 2:25 PM, Guy Booth said:

1.  My guess would be that it’s mainly hobbyists currently using it and they aren’t as likely to be making top class violins no matter what tools they use.   

2.  So while handmade violins might be currently “superior,” I doubt that demostrates any inherent inferiority of craving with CNC as opposed to a chisels.  

1.  Yeah, that's probably how it is.

2.  What else could it be?  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.




×
×
  • Create New...