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Is the research on violin acoustics a viscious circle?


Andreas Preuss

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55 minutes ago, David Burgess said:

Alternate-appearing violins are certainly available, but for some reason, rather conventional looking violins still account for the overwhelming majority of beginner and student violin sales. Maybe playing the violin is unusual enough already, that playing something that obviously look like a violin is cooler than playing something which is less recognizable as such?

I don't know but it is an issue I think about, You are correct but again I think it has more to do with an established orthodoxy and group think/not wanting to stand out as different based on "traditional" expectations of what an individual violinist/group of them are supposed to do, look like, sound like and all that.

that may just be what people want, they like their tradition and they don't want it "messed with"

but then again I think of this much more like someone going out on limb , doing something different , being someone special and showing others that "its ok" ...

I do feel that one well known violinist could flip the tables, to a certain extent Hillary Hahn has done that within the realm of "tradition" by opting for French instead of Italian

again I think its why I like guitars, I can get my "creative jollies" without people looking at it funny and or actually liking it and expecting it.

Well in the meantime I still plan on making some fiddles  and why with my "master plan" in tact still, well as long as Maxim V. is still alive, I've still got hope. My friend is good friends with one of his friends so one day I hope to get one of my wav's in his hands and well who knows, maybe I can get him to do a "live at Buhdakan"  session that all the kids will love ...well you know a guy can dream

 

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Jezzupe, human behavioral tendencies are fascinating to observe, aren't they?!
When my kids were in high school, it was fashionable to be a "skater". This did not require any special skill with a skateboard, but mostly to be seen with one. :D

My wife and I have pretty good familiarity with the "biker" culture, having participated in it, I a lot more than she. While the "image" is that of someone who is taking a stand against conformity, don't they all wear pretty close to the same "uniform", and mostly ride the same brand of motorcycle?

I was willing to mess with it more than my wife was. She was rather embarrassed by my putting little kids tricycle handlebar tassels on the end of my Harley handlebars, and frequently using a Spiderman backpack to transport my gym clothes to and from the gym. A riding buddy of ours said more than once, "Dave, you're going to get us beat up". But that never materialized, so I hope he's not disappointed in me. :)

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6 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Jezzupe, human behavioral tendencies are fascinating to observe, aren't they?!
When my kids were in high school, it was fashionable to be a "skater". This did not require any special skill with a skateboard, but mostly to be seen with one. :D

My wife and I have pretty good familiarity with the "biker" culture, having participated in it, I a lot more than she. While the "image" is that of someone who is taking a stand against conformity, don't they all wear pretty close to the same "uniform", and mostly ride the same brand of motorcycle?

I was willing to mess with it more than my wife was. She was rather embarrassed by my putting little kids tricycle handlebar tassels on the end of my Harley handlebars, and frequently using a Spiderman backpack to transport my gym clothes to and from the gym. A riding buddy of ours said more than once, "Dave, you're going to get us beat up". But that never materialized, so I hope he's not disappointed in me. :)

Ah yes, well somewhat unironically I ditched the motorcycles long ago, I was the "sport bike boy" , you know that crazy a hole who'd pass you at 180mph , but I had to quit the speed, on the stuff since 15, I was hooked and on a one way trip to splatsville, my last bike was a Hayabusa, 2000 not limited , cut airbox, power commander, basically hell on wheels, and so somehow I just was able to quit cold turkey...

but then recently I was getting a hankorin' to up my prices based on dangerous hobbies...and that's when , Pay attention Andres, I discovered that the Chinese did reinvent the wheel...you see 4 wheels, ya that's fun, two wheels, that's a little funner BUT if you really want relatively low speed {40 mph top speed} with high thrills one wheel is the only way to go

I was promised jet packs when I was a kid, and gosh darn it we finally got them in the form of high power electric unicyles , heck you can even play violin while you ride it, or guitar or sax, for added elements of excitement and raised prices based on death
 

And so now I zoom all around town on one wheel and have to deal with the fact that EVERYONE is looking at me as the odd man out cuz I'm the only guy crazy enough to ride one in my town, well that I've seen...

furthermore, I  thought that it would be something that all the kids would be into, but they apparently only do things on their phones now and it seems most riders of these things are at least 30, more likely to be in their 40's 50's

but I love it because it feels like your flying like Ironman and I can go "hiking" with it and go places into nature that would take hours to get to in no time

It might be right up your alley...this, is the viscous circle

this is what I ride, they have been getting faster and faster, better and better, now with suspension

 

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46 minutes ago, Shelbow said:

I have to say that I really like Jan Špidlen's blue violin for Pavel Šporcl. I think it looks great.

I wouldn't mind a violin in a nice British racing green :D.

 

That reminds me of the sad story of purple violin girl, long ago someone posted a story of a little girl who got a purple violin given to her and she loved it, but the evil wicked witch of the orchestra told her she couldn't use it because it was too loud...looking :angry:

anyway he sure did a nice job with the transtint on the top, hard to get colors that even, I'da lopped off the corners, stuck a bird head on there with some diamond eyeballs and a custom feather tailpiece, but it's still real cool

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13 minutes ago, Michael Darnton said:

There's a violin that was floating around Chicago for a while that sounded absolutely fabulous and was stop sign red in color. It was a nice modern Italian violin, maybe $60 or 70K. No one would buy it because of the color. They didn't want to be the visible one in the orchestra.

 

You'd need a strong tolerance for all the obvious wisecracks about "The Red Violin" that it would attract, too.  :lol:

Did the price ever drop on it?  :)

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10 hours ago, jezzupe said:

Ah yes, well somewhat unironically I ditched the motorcycles long ago, I was the "sport bike boy" , you know that crazy a hole who'd pass you at 180mph

David just might have gone through that phase too..., the self imposed conditions under which he gave it up were rather unique.

It was a scary fast bike and there was SO much more available than I was willing to experiment with.

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10 hours ago, Shelbow said:

I have to say that I really like Jan Špidlen's blue violin for Pavel Šporcl. I think it looks great.

I wouldn't mind a violin in a nice British racing green :D.

amiata.jpg

Looks like the joke dinner by Alfred Hitchcock. He invited guys he knew for a first class dinner except that all the food was colored blue. No one had really appetite to eat it. 
 

But anyway it’s a cool experiment! (pun intended)

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4 hours ago, Mark Norfleet said:

David just might have gone through that phase too..., the self imposed conditions under which he gave it up were rather unique.

It was a scary fast bike and there was SO much more available than I was willing to experiment with.

I'm convinced that if you don't stop the speed will eventually stop you, well glad we all can still walk and talk and are here, too many can't and aren't

I just love my euc because it really is thrilling but way less major damage factor when you crash, and it's really quite a good work out, kinda like alpine skiing

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4 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

Looks like the joke dinner by Alfred Hitchcock. He invited guys he knew for a first class dinner except that all the food was colored blue. No one had really appetite to eat it. 
 

But anyway it’s a cool experiment! (pun intended)

It's also a fantastic sounding violin in constant use by a pretty high profile soloist.

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36 minutes ago, martin swan said:

It's also a fantastic sounding violin in constant use by a pretty high profile soloist.

Yes, I recall hearing what I thought was a great violin on the radio, and was motivated to find out what it was.  I was rather surprised.

11 minutes ago, Shelbow said:

I honestly don't understand why people hate it so much. It's a nicely made violin with a lovely varnish. It just happens to be blue varnish instead of the usual red / orange.

Some people prefer traditional.  In fact, I'd bet most classical music fans are that way.  A blue violin in a rock or jazz group would probably be less objectionable.

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6 hours ago, martin swan said:

It's also a fantastic sounding violin in constant use by a pretty high profile soloist.

This just shows that as long as the sound is ‘in the right place’ visual alterations are acceptable. Just IMO we have more possibilities than most violin makers and professional musicians do believe. However for me varnish color is rather on the very end of things I would change. 

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On 5/27/2023 at 12:05 PM, Don Noon said:

I have clients who want traditional violins.

I don't have any clients who want something that sounds/plays "better" (whatever that might be) but looks different.

I have a pretty good idea what the sound of great old violins is like... but newly built violins don't seem to quite get there, for some unknown reason.

A Curtin ultralight violin was out here some years ago at the Museum of Making Music.  I played it, and didn't like it.  No doubt his ultralights have evolved since then.

Don , those old violins you are talking about… mean , Cremonese , or not limited to that ? 
 

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2 hours ago, Andreas Preuss said:

This just shows that as long as the sound is ‘in the right place’ visual alterations are acceptable. Just IMO we have more possibilities than most violin makers and professional musicians do believe. However for me varnish color is rather on the very end of things I would change. 

Jan Spidlen is quite an innovator - I think it goes rather deeper than varnish colour.

The model and the scroll are some other obvious outward manifestations, but he's worked on a lot of internal structural issues too.

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36 minutes ago, martin swan said:

Jan Spidlen is quite an innovator - I think it goes rather deeper than varnish colour.

The model and the scroll are some other obvious outward manifestations, but he's worked on a lot of internal structural issues too.

Does anyone know if he's only made this one of blue violins, or is he making them on a regular basis? There may be several reasons for doing something unusual, it would be pretty different to make a living producing them exclusively.

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2 hours ago, Davide Sora said:

Does anyone know if he's only made this one of blue violins, or is he making them on a regular basis? There may be several reasons for doing something unusual, it would be pretty different to make a living producing them exclusively.

Well here is the violin, it records very well, probably processed to hell so not the raw sound, that being said thing I would note

The varnish system, if I were to guess is a traditional ground with a transtint dye job with most likely a lacquer or blonde spirit top varnish, or perhaps just transtint dyed spirit "polyshades"

but whatever it is, it is not a durable varnish system, and it seems in not that much time there is not going to be much blue left on the blue violin, which quickly is becoming the "ground color violin" which kinda puts the kibosh on the whole blue violin thing if it's not really blue anymore, or so it seems to me.

So in regards to your query, let's hope not:)

 

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7 hours ago, Arsalan said:

Don , those old violins you are talking about… mean , Cremonese , or not limited to that ? 

Most of my exposure to very old violins has been Cremonese, but I've heard some other old violins with what I thought was a similar sound.  Some contemporary instruments sound great, but a bit different.  Again, this is dangerously close to the never-ending old vs. new debate.

2 hours ago, jezzupe said:

... in not that much time there is not going to be much blue left on the blue violin, which quickly is becoming the "ground color violin" which kinda puts the kibosh on the whole blue violin thing if it's not really blue anymore, or so it seems to me.

In the transition period, the contrast between blue varnish and worn off varnish is not a good look to my eye.

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2 hours ago, jezzupe said:

but whatever it is, it is not a durable varnish system,

Yep.

7 minutes ago, Don Noon said:

In the transition period, the contrast between blue varnish and worn off varnish is not a good look to my eye.

I think it is pretty ugly. Maybe he should have used a different ground color, like a very light blue. 

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19 hours ago, Mark Norfleet said:

David just might have gone through that phase too...,
It was a scary fast bike and there was SO much more available than I was willing to experiment with.

Yeah, my insanely fast sportbike era. That one had a built engine, and even had a nitrous bottle strapped to the side, before all was said and done.
I remember Bruce Carlson going to the dragstrip with me once (he had been into Nortons)

It was later that I got more into Harleys, because I figured they were slow enough to keep me a lot safer.

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