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Bram Heemskerk

This could happen with your viola

February 17, 2009 at 4:31 PM

 

 


From Tom Holzman
Posted on February 17, 2009 at 7:58 PM

I arrived at my teacher's house once for a lesson, and, when I opened up my case, I found that the tailpiece had become detached like that.  That's a wonderful clip;  thanks for sharing it.  Glad it was Yuri and not me, and that he was able to laugh.


From Anne-Marie Proulx
Posted on February 18, 2009 at 12:05 AM

Oh my god a good thing it didn't slap him in the eyes!

Anne-Marie


From Becky Jenkinson
Posted on February 18, 2009 at 12:00 AM

It can happen of course to violins too!   I always make sure that the gut tail piece loops are removed and replaced with the black nylon fastener which is pretty indestructible in my lifetime, I would imagine!!!!


From SAM MIHAILOFF
Posted on February 18, 2009 at 12:19 AM

 

OUCH...that was painful to watch


From David Allen
Posted on February 18, 2009 at 2:43 AM

Yes, I'm glad he escaped injury.

I opened my case one day to find the ebony tailpiece had actually broken where the tailgut connected. It was a very clean break and I was able to repair it with a bit of epoxy. That was almost six months ago and the repair has held up splendidly with no change in the sound of the instrument. Luckily for me the sound post didn't fall or even shift!


From Josh Henry
Posted on February 18, 2009 at 4:41 AM

I think that qualifies as having a bad day.

He acted very graceful about the whole thing--if it were me, I'm not too sure I'd be laughing about it so soon after it happened.


From Mendy Smith
Posted on February 18, 2009 at 7:03 AM

Ouch!!!!  I would have cried!  I couldn't afford the repairs right now!


From Emily Grossman
Posted on February 18, 2009 at 10:29 AM

He'd be a good one to keep as a friend, because you know he'd react well to just about anything.


From Matt Pelikan
Posted on February 18, 2009 at 2:34 PM

On the other hand, it would improve my viola playing....


From Robert Spear
Posted on February 18, 2009 at 3:34 PM

You haven't really experienced a tailhanger failure until you've experienced it sitting behind a contrabass. They don't just break-- they explode!!


From Friedrich Sprondel
Posted on February 19, 2009 at 10:11 AM

Exactly that happened to me during a class recital back when I was ten or eleven years old. Until then, the tailpiece of my violin was held by some red-dyed gut sling, really antique I guess. Ironically, I hadn't wanted to play that night, and my mother had had a hard time to convince me into it. But when it happened, just when I had started to play, I wasn't relieved at all. Rather, i was in shock and left the stage quite shaken, though with a sheepish grin on my face.

About the risk of injury – I don't think there is much of that, at least for a violinist or violist, since the strings pull the tailpiece off the face and mostly above the left hand. It just goes "crack", some pathetic string curling noise, the bridge falls off with a"click", and that's it. For a cellist or double-bassist, it's something completely different. I hear teeth are lost frequently in that quarter.

Best, Friedrich


From Vincent Le
Posted on February 19, 2009 at 7:38 PM

After watching that I startled to check my black nylon string that the luthier said was suppose to be the new innovative cord to hold the tailpiece. I even see the knot they tied and wonder when it would un tie itself.


From Terez Mertes
Posted on February 19, 2009 at 9:34 PM

Oh my gosh, that was shocking (and oddly entertaining) to watch! I watched it three times in a row. Shocking! But hey, good publicity for the violist in the end, though, I'll bet! (Never mind repair costs or viola damage. We won't think about that.) Thanks for posting, Bram. 


From Bonny Buckley
Posted on February 20, 2009 at 3:00 AM

Ah ha ha ha!  A good laugh.  Thanks.  It happened to me once while practicing during college.  The button had apparently grown weaker and weaker over the years and when it broke, it broke in half and the strings and tail piece exploded in my face!  The tail piece was fine and this was relatively easy and cheap to repaire.  I was really shocked though. It's one of the things we might warn against when trying to persuade parents to buy good quality instruments and they are entertaining getting a cheap one. 


From Bonny Buckley
Posted on February 20, 2009 at 3:00 AM

Ah ha ha ha!  A good laugh.  Thanks.  It happened to me once while practicing during college.  The button had apparently grown weaker and weaker over the years and when it broke, it broke in half and the strings and tail piece exploded in my face!  The tail piece was fine and this was relatively easy and cheap to repair.  I was really shocked though. It's one of the things we might warn against when trying to persuade parents to buy good quality instruments and they are entertaining getting a cheap one. 


From Johnny Fang
Posted on February 20, 2009 at 5:58 AM

 Bram:  Bedankt voor de leuke video!


From Nick W.
Posted on February 20, 2009 at 7:38 AM

 Erm, "good publicity for the violist"? I think people already know who is Yuri Bashmet,  thank you.


From Jairo Muniz
Posted on February 21, 2009 at 1:06 AM

AH YES... all in our days/nights of our trials and "other unworldly" events as students and or performers.  In my 'active years' [35+] this phenomena has happened at least a dozen+ times.  At lessons, recitals, performing in the 'pit', and oh yes one incident of "look MA, pass the violin" = self-destruct.!   Even though i don't/can't play my violins/violas much anymore [recent ER Neurosurgery= neuropathic trauma> right side of my body], i still maintain constant contact and due diligence with the/my music and arts community; nationally-internationally.

Well over a year ago, i treated my mom to a "Brunch with the Classics", at the DIA [Detroit Inst. of Arts].  The performers were the "THE HARLEM STRING QUARTET".  i made a pre-performance call to them, a week before the event.  To defer: we[collective 'we'] = mom, my younger brother [SPHINX Laureate], and i have known them since violin camps and competitions for a long-time.. so it was going to be a kind of "home week" get together.

They were phenomenal, vibrant, expressive as ever... long story short we all hung out after the performance, chit chat, yada, yada and GAVILAN and MELLISSA noticed my "old school" hard case, with stickers/patches galore.. i brought one of my 'ancient fiddles' that i request performers for the auto/sigs.  i had four, now only two are left..  this particular one was kinda 'antiquish".  Current signators are NATALIE MacMASTERS, MICHAEL DOUCET, an now also THE HARLEM STRING QUARTET... BUT, this is the "other world event.. after they all signed it, GAVILAN handed it back to me... well "BOING, POP, CRASH"... it self-destructed in my hand... everyone "freaked out".. i was a little stunned YET, i, just "cracked up".#!  Mom yelled, the Quartet took several steps backwards, and i had to almost forceably 'calm them down'..  Bottomline, the "neck had snapped, then the bridge, then, well you get the picture"... it was old, and been sitting in the case for about a year...#

To date i have not repaired it, and to think of it, hmm..i probably never will.. something else for my archives...  If ever you make contact with The QUARTET, ask them, about this "mini epoch happening"..

dum spiro spero [while i breathe i HOPE

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