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Andreas Preuss

Are claims that Borax treatment on spruce enhance acoustic properties correct?

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12 minutes ago, martin swan said:

But what he did in his very long working life was to set out with phenomenal tool skills, make a couple of thousand instruments, and bring the violin to a point of completeness.

To emulate the basic level of extraordinary competence is very difficult if not impossible in the modern world, and the end point (a fully realised violin) has already been attained, so it's not a "pure spiritual practice" to try to emulate it.

This photo of Everest might illustrate what I mean ...

everest.jpg.404ecc3205b27f65f2e5bb157846227a.jpg

 

Dont think he made a couple of thousands.... 

... but still an impressive number. 

 

The level of extraordinary competence is nowadays  measured in USD. :rolleyes:.

 

 

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2 hours ago, antero said:

Do you refer to any particular trend?

Difficult to say. 

Our music culture is dominated by genres of music not belonging to classical music any more. More and more classical music lovers share their love with other other genres, let it be pop, rock, jazz or still something else. Without any proof for it, I think this changes as well how the audience in classical music perceives the sound of a concert. Sound 'power' is one keyword which I see in this context. Maybe (just my hypothesis) listeners and performers inconsciously look on the other popular music genres where 'sound power' with the means of an amplifier is absolutely no problem. In any case 'loud' seems to be the preferred characteristic not only for the instruments but the music itself. 

Why? 

Our world became louder in general. Most inventions since the steam locomotive are paired with new noises which are unloaded on the perception in our brain without being asked for it. This must have some consequences somewhere. The term of 'noise pollution' is already firmly established and I wouldn't wonder if someone already formed the term of 'sound stress'. 

As a consequence we see already classical violinists jumping on the amplified 'loudness' track and they seem to be very successful with it. I don't think that it is a coincidence. 

 

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Musical style is a reflection of intellect and culture. The Internet has become the great equalizer for better or worse. Personally, I do not feel threatened. If you can play it on a violin, I love it.

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1 hour ago, Michael_Molnar said:

Musical style is a reflection of intellect and culture. The Internet has become the great equalizer for better or worse. Personally, I do not feel threatened. If you can play it on a violin, I love it.

E.g.,

:)

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2 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Difficult to say. 

Our music culture is dominated by genres of music not belonging to classical music any more. More and more classical music lovers share their love with other other genres, let it be pop, rock, jazz or still something else. Without any proof for it, I think this changes as well how the audience in classical music perceives the sound of a concert. Sound 'power' is one keyword which I see in this context. Maybe (just my hypothesis) listeners and performers inconsciously look on the other popular music genres where 'sound power' with the means of an amplifier is absolutely no problem. In any case 'loud' seems to be the preferred characteristic not only for the instruments but the music itself. 

Why? 

Our world became louder in general. Most inventions since the steam locomotive are paired with new noises which are unloaded on the perception in our brain without being asked for it. This must have some consequences somewhere. The term of 'noise pollution' is already firmly established and I wouldn't wonder if someone already formed the term of 'sound stress'. 

As a consequence we see already classical violinists jumping on the amplified 'loudness' track and they seem to be very successful with it. I don't think that it is a coincidence. 

 

Yes.  Also, amplification quality keeps improving. I believe attitudes against it will diminish.

Will this bring changes? Perhaps the 19th century priority to project in a large hall will diminish some in importance.  Perhaps small hall virtues will grow in importance; that is clarity and intimacy of nuance.

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1 hour ago, Violadamore said:

E.g.,

:)

She must be every violin teachers nightmare...."ya, show me how to play slack shouldered and butt jutted like Lindsay does" :lol:

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13 hours ago, Violadamore said:

E.g.,

:)

At the end she said "It took me forever to make that video." I can believe it, because it seemed to take forever for me to watch it.

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19 hours ago, David Beard said:

As a consequence we see already classical violinists jumping on the amplified 'loudness' track and they seem to be very successful with it. I don't think that it is a coincidence.

 

19 hours ago, David Beard said:

Will this bring changes? Perhaps the 19th century priority to project in a large hall will diminish some in importance.  Perhaps small hall virtues will grow in importance; that is clarity and intimacy of nuance.

Well, digital technologies of today allow a lot more "sound improvement" than just power, already.

So at some point the perfect "box" is rendered useless?

And what about skills...:ph34r:

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(Huh.  Quote mechanism isn't working? You show what appears as two quotes from me.  But only the second one actually is?)

I'm only taking about microphone amplification of live human accostic classical playing.   Tech and human creative invention will bring many things, but those aren't of primary interest to me.   I'm of the belief that the diversification of string playing will expand consumation of basic classical playing, not the reverse.   At the same time there are more prancing costumed performers on exotic electeonic strings, I expect there will be nearly as many performances of the Beethoven, Brahms, Bruch, Tchaikovsky, Mendellsohn concertos as every.  But I also expect more performances than ever of things like Stravinsky's concerto, Beethoven's triple, Abel sonatas, Paggani on gut strings, Telemann's unaccompanied violin fantasies etc.

I suspect music consumption will keep expanding and broadening on all fronts.

And for me, a classical accoustic violin performance will remain one of the very most nuanced, connecting, and pure musical vehicles possible.  And I don't expect to be alone in continuing to love that core classical violin experience.

So, despite all the wonderful innovation also going on, my attention will continue to be completely absorb in the traditonal classical violin.   

And I expect, just as we see today, the talent pool and skill level in classical playing will keep expanding and advancing rather than retreat.

 

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On 7/15/2019 at 6:57 AM, Andreas Preuss said:

Difficult to say. 

Our music culture is dominated by genres of music not belonging to classical music any more. More and more classical music lovers share their love with other other genres, let it be pop, rock, jazz or still something else. Without any proof for it, I think this changes as well how the audience in classical music perceives the sound of a concert. Sound 'power' is one keyword which I see in this context. Maybe (just my hypothesis) listeners and performers inconsciously look on the other popular music genres where 'sound power' with the means of an amplifier is absolutely no problem. In any case 'loud' seems to be the preferred characteristic not only for the instruments but the music itself. 

Why? 

Our world became louder in general. Most inventions since the steam locomotive are paired with new noises which are unloaded on the perception in our brain without being asked for it. This must have some consequences somewhere. The term of 'noise pollution' is already firmly established and I wouldn't wonder if someone already formed the term of 'sound stress'. 

As a consequence we see already classical violinists jumping on the amplified 'loudness' track and they seem to be very successful with it. I don't think that it is a coincidence. 

 

 

Loud instruments offer much more dynamic range between soft passages and full out forte, although many genres don't take full advantage of this ability.

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48 minutes ago, Bill Yacey said:

Loud instruments offer much more dynamic range between soft passages and full out forte...

I don't think this is necessarily so.  A common complaint I have heard from violinists about a loud instrument is that it can't be played quietly.  I have made some of those.  Generally, I think it's a compliant, lightweight instrument will be difficult to bow lightly... but they can be loud.

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A good instrument will respond over a wide dynamic range. One of my experiments, a cocobolo violin, neck ribs and back cocobolo, top Engeleman Spruce possessed an interesting characteristic: It would play softly to the most gentle touch of the bow, yet when bowed hard it wouldn't bottom out the way many conventional instruments tend to do. The harder you play it, the louder it would reproduce, as if there was no finite cap. I have yet to build a conventional violin that played like this.

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Interesting... with cocobolo being nearly twice the density of maple, it would be good to find out what is going on acoustically/vibrationally to account for those playing characteristics.

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Cocobolo is a very unique wood in many respects. I haven't found anything that comes close to the acoustical properties of this wood. The only drawback is that it's heavy.

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52 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

I don't think this is necessarily so.  A common complaint I have heard from violinists about a loud instrument is that it can't be played quietly.

This is pretty common in my experience.  I find though that if the instrument is structurally sound, I can always improve the available dynamic range, clarity and response through adjustment.

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16 hours ago, David Beard said:

At the same time there are more prancing costumed performers on exotic electeonic strings, I expect there will be nearly as many performances of the Beethoven, Brahms, Bruch, Tchaikovsky, Mendellsohn concertos as every

So you are confident that prancing costumed performers on electric strings won't take eventually over Beethoven, Brahms and Bruch? ;) I have seen one doing Barber and Paganini, not yet on electric, though.

But I generally agree - the mainstream classical lot is way too conservative to go this way anytime soon.

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Yeah. I'm sure there will be lots of hyped out versions of things, and many more sort of crossover artists. But I also expect an unsugared core to remain.  I believe we're witnessing a decentralization and broading of music consumption, but not really a retreat.

 

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The genius composers alive today are mostly not writing for classical ensembles as they have far more sounds and repertoire to draw from than the great classical composers could ever dream of.

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2 hours ago, GeorgeH said:

The genius composers alive today are mostly not writing for classical ensembles as they have far more sounds and repertoire to draw from than the great classical composers could ever dream of.

I disagree, the problem is no one knows the music exist except in certain circles as seen by the massive number of plays. 

Borromeo quartet, world class ensemble, Michael Ellison, Professor at Bristol,  Fullbright recipient, Copland award, genius composer...25 plays...this is not a symptom of what genre or instruments are being used, it is a  symptom of a species being turned into something they are not, an intellectual regression for the masses and an informational divide creating a controlling class  Control information, control the world, come now, we can't have everyone running around listening to classical music being all intelligent and stuff like that, cause, you know, you might not be able to be controlled as easily as you are if the mass of you, you know, thought about stuff. Just go turn on the tv and listen to some John Williams, that's where it belongs, subpar and on a screen, right? :lol:

 

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Even today, writing for standard groups has an advantage.  Established high quality performance groups already exist, and some want new things to play.

Odd combos can be good too, but can create the extra challenge of forming a unique group for the one piece.

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15 hours ago, Bill Yacey said:

A good instrument will respond over a wide dynamic range. One of my experiments, a cocobolo violin, neck ribs and back cocobolo, top Engeleman Spruce possessed an interesting characteristic: It would play softly to the most gentle touch of the bow, yet when bowed hard it wouldn't bottom out the way many conventional instruments tend to do. The harder you play it, the louder it would reproduce, as if there was no finite cap. I have yet to build a conventional violin that played like this.

Bill,

That sounds like a beautiful instrument, do you have any pictures of it?

I think Cocobolo is beautiful,

Speaking about it in the past tense, I assume someone loved it  more than you did?

It was many years till I was able to say no and keep one for me.

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15 hours ago, Don Noon said:

Interesting... with cocobolo being nearly twice the density of maple, it would be good to find out what is going on acoustically/vibrationally to account for those playing characteristics.

In my experiments I have taken the thicknesses down to thin and light, and the result was instant response, wolf tones and high volume. After learning where to not go too thin,,,, to get rid of the wolfs and coyotes, then they were fast and loud, and could not be played softly. Then came the heart break when I was informed that"That" was a problem.

So I found that adding a thick spot in the back, a rectangle from corner block to corner block, starting about 10 mm in from the c-bouts, and smoothly blended up to 7mm  in the center add the dynamic quality that was missing, while still retaining the high volume capability. It seems that the stiffer and heavier the center of the back the more bow pressure it requires to achieve higher volume. 

If the back is too thin and light and the fiddle has reached runaway status, the edges can be thinned to restore the dynamic component, but that only goes so far before reaching the point of losing the high frequency output, the back will cross over to acting like a mute. On the back there appears to be a balancing point between the heavy center and the thin edges to produce that magical place of dynamic excellence.

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1 hour ago, jezzupe said:

I disagree, the problem is no one knows the music exist except in certain circles as seen by the massive number of plays. 

Borromeo quartet, world class ensemble, Michael Ellison, Professor at Bristol,  Fullbright recipient, Copland award, genius composer...25 plays...this is not a symptom of what genre or instruments are being used, it is a  symptom of a species being turned into something they are not, an intellectual regression for the masses and an informational divide creating a controlling class  Control information, control the world, come now, we can't have everyone running around listening to classical music being all intelligent and stuff like that, cause, you know, you might not be able to be controlled as easily as you are if the mass of you, you know, thought about stuff. Just go turn on the tv and listen to some John Williams, that's where it belongs, subpar and on a screen, right? :lol:

 

I thought Itzhak Perlman playing the Schindler's List Theme" written by John Williams was pretty good.

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54 minutes ago, Evan Smith said:

In my experiments I have taken the thicknesses down to thin and light, and the result was instant response, wolf tones and high volume. After learning where to not go too thin,,,, to get rid of the wolfs and coyotes, then they were fast and loud, and could not be played softly. Then came the heart break when I was informed that"That" was a problem.

So I found that adding a thick spot in the back, a rectangle from corner block to corner block, starting about 10 mm in from the c-bouts, and smoothly blended up to 7mm  in the center add the dynamic quality that was missing, while still retaining the high volume capability. It seems that the stiffer and heavier the center of the back the more bow pressure it requires to achieve higher volume. 

If the back is too thin and light and the fiddle has reached runaway status, the edges can be thinned to restore the dynamic component, but that only goes so far before reaching the point of losing the high frequency output, the back will cross over to acting like a mute. On the back there appears to be a balancing point between the heavy center and the thin edges to produce that magical place of dynamic excellence.

This is why I believe the old system my research found is worth resuming.

The system amounts to a mechanism for the community's culture of making to 'evolve', in a literal way.  All they had to do is keep making in the tradition they knew, and keep favoring almost entirely repeating the choices from the recent instruments they liked best.  That was enough for the designs and instruments to naturally evolve to a great balance of all the factors.

Hard to beat the pinnacle of centuries of design by evolution.

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