August 17, 2008 at 4:39 AMApplying Practical Experience in Violin Playing
In my experience, I have never had the privilege to study with major name violinists, although one can learn by listening, but nothing can replace the real deal. Personally, my interest lies in authentic Baroque and Classical performance practices, but made most of my living playing popular music (Classic Country, Bluegrass, Rock, Fusion and Jazz!)
This practice and the improvisational skills required mirrors exactly what the Baroque performers were required to do. Things changed after 1850, and due to the public demands in taste, musical styles, etc, it would make common sense to accept these changes as necessary.
When I was performing with popular bands,( for over 17 years!) I used a ZETA JAZZ model electric violin and digital effects (mostly medium reverb, but sometimes wild rock distortion, flang, etc). Sometimes the music would be ear splitting or beautifully delicate. In rendering pieces, I was able to use both my Baroque and Modern technique, with effective results. A Violin, whether it is Baroque or Modern requires the same learning process. It is how the violinist perceives how the music, whatever the style, should be interpreted (which produced many arguments wit my teachers in the past!) Take the Bach Unaccompanied Sonatas and Partitas, some would prefer hear it them performed in an “Authentic “style” or A “Modern” style. It all boils down to personal preference, and as for the violin itself, the future holds many mysteries and possibilities.
Currently, I’ve returned to playing an acoustic 5 String, utilizing a Baroque Bow, performing some Authentic Baroque and Classical music for weddings, Massed and other events and Bluegrass and Jazz under much more controlled and professional conditions.
Jerald Franklin Archer (Tartini)
Where you draw the line defines what you consider artistic.
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