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April 2007

Private Collection of Violins popped up on E-Bay

April 30, 2007 20:24

They were mostly 50 to 100 year old German Violins from a private collection that took 40 years to collect.

There was an undisclosed reserve price on each that must have been about $500. Only one violin sold out of about eight.

I wasn't "in" the market but chased one to $210 and didn't get it. I knew it was worth more but I have a lot of haying expenses coming up before I sell any hay to get a profit going again.

Some one, in my opinion, didn't keep the listing for a week or longer and got in and out before very many people saw what was going on. Then they ended bidding on a Sunday. Well my computer goes off Saturday night and I don't turn it back on until Monday morning, so that didn't work either.

Then, the double safety net was missing - there was no return privilege and no certificate of value from a Luthier. That's a big "no no!" Five hundred bucks sight unseen from Holland and we have to take your word for the sound and guess at the value - I don't think so.

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Perlman vs Hahn

April 28, 2007 16:15

Brahms A. Non Troppo

The differences: Nails

Sometimes Hilary reminds me of riding a fast horse. You know, like a Stud that sets you back in your seat at blast off and then the wind pins your ears back and your heart races like mad. I love it. Can that girl fly. So does Mr. Perlman but you can't hear it like you do with Hilary.

Then ... Strad, experience versus the most brilliant high notes in the world - Hahn.

Watch it Perlman, when Hilary gets your experience and more interpretation.

For now ... your are the King

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Sudden Student Death Syndrome

April 26, 2007 12:46

I played through eight lessons from my Violin book that I got from a friend for my teacher to show her the organization and format of what I was practicing when I ran out of fundamentals that she had asked that I practice.

She agreed that all students should fight boredom with some extra treats and liked the structure of the new book. She then played with me on counting, which I was horrible with and encouraged me to count out loud to practice my whole, half, etc. notes. She said if I did it in my head I would end up making the count in my head equal what my arms and hands were doing when they really were not.

In all, we came to an understanding. Unofficially I am pushing myself harder than she realized and was running out of stuff to do and had taught myself how to read music. Officially, I had not covered the basics well enough and had introduced mistakes into the new material which I now have to correct.

She said I was re-enforcing bad habits.

Sudden Student Death Syndrome is what happens to those that have absolutely no talent and to those that do and let someone else squash it. I think each one of us must keep our balance with our lessons. Keep them interesting but realize some constraints were put on us for good reasons. She is now correcting all the things I did wrong while I was concentrating on learning to read and play my music and yo-yo'ed my wrist and elbows, bow hold etc.

She saw my new violin wood and got real excited over me going out and purchasing it on my own and asked how much I paid for it and where I got it. Remember she has made five violins. I told her about $150. She said, "I will have to start shopping for wood with you, I paid over $400 for the wood for my first violin." I got mine from a fellow up in Canada by Quebec and he and I met on E-Bay. He had better wood, but I went middle of the line because this was to be my first violin and could have a ton of mistakes in it.

I am going to drive to Salt Lake and visit the Prier Violin Making School. Annual tuition is $10,500 as I recall and it is a three year course. I will stay the night by the Cracker Barrel and eat my head off going an coming. When we go the the Golden Spike Event center in Ogdon we do the same thing.

This school brings in about a dozen Strad's and most of the top violinists in the world have visited this school while playing in the area.

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Learning to read/play the lower strings with dbl stops

April 23, 2007 18:45

After Thursday's one hour chewing for not bending my wrist right, pushing with my elbow and setting my elbow distance and height in-correctly, I practiced for two days hard and got my bow hold down and practiced keeping my right arm and wrist movement in line - then I started learning the upper string notes and reading upper string music.

I got pretty good at that and picked up the book today and discovered the Wabash Cannon Ball - all lower strings, double stops, hip hops and I haven't studied them but want to play it so bad.

Bo is howling and moved into the bathroom, he loves those double stops; Old Nanner suddenly had to run into town, the horses are cowering behind the windbreaks - but I'm starting to get it. I just take a little bit at a time and get the notes memorized, guess at the double stops and hang on.

This is sure train wreck stuff. I got that much right. I wonder what the heck "Teach" will be hollering about next Thursday? C____, its my nickel, who cares!

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What has Sony given to Musical Enrichment?

April 21, 2007 05:33

Read about the Dixie Chicks or Joshua Bell and the probing swirl of Sony seems to bring the cream to the top - and re-define it.

What are your takes? Where would we be today without Sony's influence. Break away from Sony and talk about Avery Fisher etc. Thank you.

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Ambiance, What colors Do You Have Where You Practice?

April 19, 2007 04:06

My wife's best friend at the hospital was a house painter before working at the hospital. We had egg shell in the last house before building and I was sick and tired of it. Judy came out and suggested Sea Foam which is a very light green, plus we have 16 green plants in the living room, wood tones, with six three by five windows and three sky lights and the view: Sawtooth, Lost River, Copper Basin, Lemhi's and Bitter Root Mountains. I'll tell you my violin music fits this room to a T. I hope you have a fantastic view and pleasant surroundings where you labor.

When I feed horses on a spring morning before sun up, the horses love that, I can watch the stud colts running and mock fighting in the pasture, the duck pairs quacking and flying the irrigation ditches for food, the pheasant roosters issuing their challenges and as the sun comes up in the light red time, the snow on the mountains turns blood red at times and absolutely takes your breath away.

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Bow Battles

April 18, 2007 17:15

I wanted a stand-by bow and the composite Glasser Arcolla CFVN 4/4 was suggested to me as being lighter than my 1991 wooden bow of good quality; so I have used it now for several days. It is lighter and at 70, that is something that makes a difference.

It is also a touch more comfortable in the handle. As a beginner I am fighting the handle anyway. I had 45 days to return it if I didn't like it, which is why I went ahead and tried it.

This bow has a regular retail of $330 and I got it for a little less than half on sale. Not bad.

I am using the CD, DVD and Music Book from Mel Bay. I like their bow grip a lot better than what my teacher was telling me. I just could never get her method down as I was to only put one finger on the frog and leave the last two in the air. Mel Bay - two fingers on the frog with the first knuckle of the index finger out front and the curved pinkie in the rear works for me.

1 reply | Archive link

Born in the USA / Turnip Truck

April 18, 2007 08:03

One Violin Mastery Course offers it's students this promise:

On Refunds and Cancellations:

We believe in the incredible value of our product and truly stand behind the immensely valuable information it contains. Therefore we offer no refunds, returns or exchanges.

Surely this guy must have sold three balls for a quarter at a carnival!

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Thanks e-Bay

April 14, 2007 04:15

Call it dangerous - call it stupid; but I just hit a home run on e-Bay.

I purchased a Gotz violin, one owner, 1991 that cost $1250 new and at a very reasonable price; he couldn't sell it because he would not offer a return privilege (my thought).

I had many emails with him and got the feeling he was more than O.K. and could be trusted. He had an appraised value of $1,000 to $2,000.

It arrived yesterday and my impulse was to tune it right now - but I put my hands on the wood and it was very cold (sitting wrapped up in a UPS truck in Idaho all night and it dropped to freezing). I let it sit three hours while I ran into town.

Wow - I hit a home run. Very dirty and cleaned up to new looking and the sound was rich and even, three times better than my old violin. I will replace the strings.

Don't try this unless you are willing to strike out or get "ho-hum" results.

3 replies | Archive link

Moving 'Sound Centers' of top and bottom Plates

April 13, 2007 03:52

Here is the article which I found by typing violin tap tone in at Google Search.

Also, when tapping the tops and bottoms of a violin to see if the plates have a 1/2 to a hole tone difference, I discovered this - always have the plate facing you when you tap it - never tap the bottom while it is not right side up. The tap tones will be changed and could be inaccurate especially on the half tone, if it is present. You could get a 50% error if you do not keep the plate you are tapping up and facing you.

I am going to record the weight of my violin wood when it arrives next week from Canada; date it and expose it to my climate. I will probably do this every three months and record the changes. When it stabilizes I think it will be acclimated and I can start my building project.

Also, I have heard of cellos being shipped to new owners in the NE and the boxes are being opened and the instrument is being set up or tuned immediately while the wood is still frozen.

Guess what - ruined! You must let the instrument warm to room temperature first.

I just received a violin made by Gotz in Germany and cleaned it up and noticed dents in a semi-circle below the sound post. They start under the right f hole and curve upward. Da - here is a company in Germany back in 1991 that knew exactly how to move the sound center to the post area. Four are deep and the two last ones are very faint and all are about 1/4" apart.

Update: The factory denies that they ever made such alterations and tells me someone that owned the violin prior to me must have done the alterations - but ... the alterations are under the original finish ... which is a point that I told them about to start with.

There are workmen that will follow their genius no matter what. In the Navy during overhaul one of our radios was found to have circuits never before seen. They tore them out because they didn't understand them. That radio never operated like it use to and was full of static.

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April 12, 2007 08:20

In her book - Louisiana Voyages - Martha R. Field documented her extensive travels through La. writing her stories for the New Orleans Daily Picayune, circa 1890's.

One trip focused on "Sinkers," logs that were forgotten and sunk below the surface for many years but were hunted by professionals, brought to the surface and floated out to the saw mills.

Enter research from of all places, Texas A&M on the microscopic examination of StradWood. A nugget fell out of this examination - microscopic critters were all through the wood. Some say the rich tones of the Strad come through soaking the wood in rain water, the minerals did it, but I am wondering if he didn't use wood from "Sinkers?"

If so, how far does water penetrate cellular wood pockets and did Antonio just use the outside cuts?

Like the famous line from M. Monroe - so many questions, so little time.

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Tap Tone Part II

April 10, 2007 23:40

I am reading "Strativari's Genius" by Toby Faber. I like the history a lot.

At page 125 or thereabouts a nugget fell out. When Strad's were torn apart and studied and one tapped on the belly or top, it was thicker and tapped lower than the bottom by 1/2 to 1 tone.

So, what is going on? The bass bar and post are vibrating the bottom and it is acting as a diaphragm and sending the voice out the f holes?

I went over to my favorite guitar and tapped the top and bottom - I could hear it. The top tap sounded lower than the bottom. I went to a violin I'm sending back - the top and bottom sounded the same.

If you are looking for a new instrument, I suggest when the dealer gives you four violins to try, tap the tops and bottoms and if you don't hear the above sound differences don't even try them. They will have no voice. Also, run your finger down the back over the flaming. If it feels corrugated or wavy or if the alignment of the strings running down the finger board falls off to one side or the other but the bridge is centered - Stay away from it, it is made out of green wood no matter what the dealer says - very true of Chinese violins. Good workmanship on terrible wood. Some woods are being cut green and instead of aging them, they are kiln dried with fire and heat. These instruments will be very unstable and react to humidity variations to an unreasonable extent.

I am going to take my new four year old wood from a two hundred year old tree and let the air hit all the sides in storage in my shop and hang for quite some time and adjust to the Idaho High Desert and low humidity - but higher than you might expect - center pivot irrigation has added a lot of moisture to our air that use to not be here and the Mountain Home Bombing Range with it's clusters of four bombs will give the wood that well rounded experience from the vibrations we feel all the time, especially if they are dropping bunker busters.

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I just bought the wood for my new violin

April 7, 2007 07:30

I just bought the "boards" for my new violin. Here is a picture

Let me know if that won't load for you. I use to have a tool that would shorten those long addresses but I just replaced my 16 year old computer with a dual core screamer . Boy, does that feel good.

There is a pretty famous mandolin maker just two miles from me and other very good luthiers around. I will have to have them help me get the right tools, forms, etc. I also have to knotters to re-build on my New Holland 320 baler and 20 acres of grass/alfalfa hay to raise on my reduced water allotment for this drought affected season.

The violin will take a while to make. I am told not to touch the top or bottom until I have enough time to work on it each day. You have to use six inch calipers and track what you are doing with the curved top and bottom thicknesses and one hour a week don't cut it. I need to spend lots of time when I get started on these projects. I'm excited.

With our Quarter Horses, we always went into the show ring riding something we had broke and trained and put all the buttons on the horse. We laughed at the Doctor's kids and their fancy store bought horses that they didn't train. They usually blew apart in the show because they didn't "build" the horse. They didn't know where the buttons were.

I'm wondering is violin playing isn't the same thing. If you didn't build your own, something is missing.

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Perfect Pitch vs. Electronics

April 7, 2007 07:14

I just had the best practice ever. I used my Intelli 500 to get close but seemed too high in practice so half way through I re-tuned and dropped the scale down to where my ear said the good solid note should be, not what the electronic windshield wiper told me. I was getting a high "tin-y" sound that just screamed false note, but the 500 was straight up and down.

Sorry, Korea - I'll take my ear over your windshield wiper.

1 reply | Archive link

If you want it done right

April 3, 2007 06:03

I am thinking of buying a "kit" and building my own violin. At first, my wife thought I was going over the top as my Russian pen pal would say, but now she is getting use to the idea.

It would really answer a lot of questions, like: is my nut and bridge set properly to give the optimum string height, is the sound post in there right and then there is this book and CD that explains how to "tap tune" you violin while making it. I could custom build a bridge for my violin and set the feet curve to match the top curve of my violin and lay a straight edge down on the finger board and mark the height for each string and get the exact shape I need for the bridge top and sand it thin to make it more responsive to the sound.

My violin/fiddle teacher, yes I'm in Idaho - the violin and fiddle making state, and she has made the violin that I am playing now, plus her own and her son's two violins that he plays. We both own farm land and fight with balers and cheap hay prices and have a lot in common.

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