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hannaz

Resources for learning to identify violins

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2 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

Aren’t there seven continents? I think the Australians and Antarcticans Would like a word.

Well, nobody's from Antarctica but penquins, but the Aussies may have a comment or several about Jacob's geography.  OTOH, don't aggravate him with facts when he's on a roll.............  :ph34r::lol:

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On 2/12/2020 at 2:20 PM, hannaz said:

Are there any resources for someone that would like to learn to identify violins?

This is the usual question. Rarely I've heard somebody asking "Is there a way to learn how violins do sound?"

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1 minute ago, Blank face said:

These common consumers or violin (s)hoppers don't need an expert, of course. They know the origin already. "My violin is by Ebay".

Just wondering why so many of them are coming here to ask.

Maybe they have "inquiring minds".  :P

Both you and your Darth are evading the question of whether or not a violin should sound beautiful as opposed to just accrue value like a stock certificate.  :lol: 

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Here we are counting five continents, like the Olympic rings, and a big piece of ice down south.

USA seems to be a continent on it's own, so you might get to seven. Otherwise is America what was in the way as a single block when Columbus tried to sail to India, wasn't it?:ph34r::)

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1 minute ago, Violadamore said:

Both you and your Darth are evading the question of whether or not a violin should sound beautiful as opposed to just accrue value like a stock certificate.  :lol:

I'm doubting that we ever will get a consensus what "sounds beautiful". We even failed to agree about paintings when I'm recalling right, didn't we? I like a violin sounding like a Picasso looks like.

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Even the Strad Magazine seems to have the same taste like me.;)

I received this Email advertising today, the model is obvious. (might be allowed to copy it as support)

 

bundle-secrets.jpg

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3 minutes ago, Blank face said:

I'm doubting that we ever will get a consensus what "sounds beautiful". We even failed to agree about paintings when I'm recalling right, didn't we? I like a violin sounding like a Picasso looks like.

Okay, let's declare peace and get back to helping Hannaz learn to sort F-holes and scrolls and such.  You and Jacob absolutely proved what I said about sound being dismissed by some here as irrelevant, anyway.  :lol:  :)

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32 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

 You and Jacob absolutely proved what I said about sound being dismissed by some here as irrrelevant, anyway.

The thread is called “Resources for learning to identify violins”, a theme where “sound” is supremely irrelevant. Perhaps you could start your own thread about whatever you want to blether on about?

 

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2 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Okay, let's declare peace and get back to helping Hannaz learn to sort F-holes and scrolls and such.  You and Jacob absolutely proved what I said about sound being dismissed by some here as irrelevant, anyway.  :lol:  :)

Irrelevant to authentication and to the identification of geographical origin - not irrelevant to its being a violin.

Why is this so difficult to understand?

If a violin has little or no antique value, then all it has is sound value. You don't need an expert to tell you about that ...

Or if you'd like further clarification of the issues, just go and play 10 Guadagninis.

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1 hour ago, jacobsaunders said:

The thread is called “Resources for learning to identify violins”, a theme where “sound” is supremely irrelevant. Perhaps you could start your own thread about whatever you want to blether on about?

 

The word is “Blather”

humph...

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Just now, martin swan said:

 

If a violin has little or no antique value, then all it has is sound value. You don't need an expert to tell you about that ...

On the other hand, if a violin has little or no sound value in all it has is antique value?

My dear former colleague played frequently on a Joseph Gagliano That had almost no sound at all. I could barely hear him even when sitting next to him, yet the condition was excellent, the Provenance unquestioned, and the cello is worth pots of money, except as a cello…

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2 minutes ago, PhilipKT said:

On the other hand, if a violin has little or no sound value in all it has is antique value?

My dear former colleague played frequently on a Joseph Gagliano That had almost no sound at all. I could barely hear him even when sitting next to him, yet the condition was excellent, the Provenance unquestioned, and the cello is worth pots of money, except as a cello…

Even if a Fagnola sounds like a barbecued cat, there is still always some idiot who will pay 6 figures for it.

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1 minute ago, martin swan said:

Even if a Fagnola sounds like a barbecued cat, there is still always some idiot who will pay 6 figures for it.

That made me laugh hard. One of these days I will see if I can find out what a barbecued cat sounds like.

And yes, I would imagine if my friend Bob decided to sell his Joseph, he would find no shortage of takers. On the other hand, his daily driver was a 1907 Colin, which I have learned from the good folks here was a French factory name. Except for one lonely little worm hole in the back, it’s in perfect condition and sounds splendid, and I would much rather have it than the Joseph...go figure.

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14 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Given the reality that many of us here are constrained to do our initial selection of fiddles from Internet photographs, I've found that, if one is primarily interested in finding violins and bows fit to practice and perform with, learning to spot quality in craftsmanship is more important than certainty of provenance, as a violin which is made with care is more likely to sound good. 

Good point, and this is something that I'm definitely interested too!

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My two cents concerning appraised value and sound, fo what it's worth:

A well made (classic arch, classic design, first class materials) instrument arguably has the best potential to sound well, however, it may or may not (sound well) the day it visits the appraiser.... or be to the appraiser's taste.

The value of an instrument is determined by the provenance, condition, quality of the example and originality of authorship... not how it sounds on a particular day.

This is evident when one examines the relative market value, design, and performance characteristics of the wonderful Amati style instruments compared to the bolder, generally more powerful 18th century Cremonese designs.

This "trickles down" to the successful (not the 15 minutes of fame type) modern or contemporary makers. Many if not all of the most expensive Modern Italian instruments are built in a classic Italian style, classic design, and materials. The most expensive of the contemporary makers are those who have built reputations on the same criteria. In the same way, those who are considered "innovators" in design (and who try and capitalize on this in terms of price) most regularly have a brief popularity, then become rarely requested. For example; Though Vuillaume's "classic" instruments are quite sought after and relatively expensive, his innovations are pretty much objects for collectors and not so terribly valuable.

Value is often a self fulfilling prophesy.  If an instrument's value is 7 figures, even spending a good deal of money to insure it sounds as well as it is capable will only be a fraction of the value.  Spending 10K to restore and trick out a $10,000 instrument leaves one with a (although possibly very sellable) $10,000 instrument.

Now, all this being said.. within any "class" (price range/style) of instrument... when an instrument is selling to a musician... the one which sounds best is probably the most desirable in the rack, so to speak. Supply and demand tempered by appropriate value, quality and appeal..... which includes sound.

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To try and get this out of the "value" rut, I'll toss out another piece of VdA wisdom.  The (IMHO) easiest antique schools to identify, Bohemian/Saxon, and Mittenwald, are also probably the most commonly encountered, as well as the ones that you need to eliminate before going any farther in an identification.  I'd recommend memorizing those first, followed by Mirecourt French.  :)

 

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7 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

To try and get this out of the "value" rut, I'll toss out another piece of VdA wisdom.  The (IMHO) easiest antique schools to identify, Bohemian/Saxon, and Mittenwald, are also probably the most commonly encountered, as well as the ones that you need to eliminate before going any farther in an identification.  :)

 

Or being able to tell a Mittenwalder from a Mirecourter (if that's even a word!).

I would say start with models, loosely as they are, Amati, Strad, Guarneri.

As the past 2 and change pages show, nothing is really in print in one single place or another, and a long period of examining instruments is required. 

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15 minutes ago, duane88 said:

Or being able to tell a Mittenwalder from a Mirecourter (if that's even a word!).

I would say start with models, loosely as they are, Amati, Strad, Guarneri.

As the past 2 and change pages show, nothing is really in print in one single place or another, and a long period of examining instruments is required. 

Yup, but you can reach the point of not being sold a Markie as an "Old Italian" without spending a lifetime of apprenticeship fondling fiddles.  :lol:

Gee, could the Sith of Star Wars have been modeled on the violin business ("always a master and an apprentice")?  :huh:

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41 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

To try and get this out of the "value" rut, I'll toss out another piece of VdA wisdom.  The (IMHO) easiest antique schools to identify, Bohemian/Saxon, and Mittenwald, are also probably the most commonly encountered, as well as the ones that you need to eliminate before going any farther in an identification.  I'd recommend memorizing those first, followed by Mirecourt French.  :)

 

OK...  start with learning Stainer, Amati, Strad and Guarneri models then... It might even help you date the German, French and Bohemian fiddles once you have them in your hand.

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