Most Hated or Favorite Thread Topics

April 6, 2008 at 06:03 AM · Personally I'm so sick of threads about which strings to use but I understand the necessity of them I guess.

My favorite threads are those where there is room for debate and opinions go flying like daggers.

Replies (76)

April 6, 2008 at 08:46 AM · Marina, I don't think there is a necessity for threads about which strings to use, instead I'd suggest there is a need for an FAQ.

Of course putting together a good FAQ is quite a bit of work so we can't really blame anybody that there isn't one. It would make sense though. Perhaps it's worthwhile asking for knowledgeable volunteers to start one?

April 6, 2008 at 11:06 AM · my all time love to hate, hate to love topics on

shoulder rest vs bare minimum

modern instruments vs strads

heifetz vs rest

popularity of A player vs B

classical music dying vs not:)

must be more, but i need coffee:)

April 6, 2008 at 01:16 PM · Self-promoting ones can be a bit annoying too. "Please tell me what you think of this performace." I guess it's necessary though. I don't want to discourage anyone from posting anything they wish.

April 6, 2008 at 02:37 PM · My least favorite..."How hard is it to get into Conservatory X". ^^

April 6, 2008 at 03:24 PM · I could do without: "Why is so-and-so not better known?"

April 6, 2008 at 03:55 PM · Any thread that is hijacked by some god-bothering fanatic pushing their religious beliefs as the reasons for or against anything and everything. It's VIOLINIST.COM and not RELIGIOUSFANATIC.COM!


April 6, 2008 at 04:04 PM · Amen.

April 6, 2008 at 04:32 PM · Hi Neil, no offense, but maybe consider softening that comment a little. Everyone has feelings.

April 6, 2008 at 05:39 PM · Yes, Mitchell everyone does have feelings and maybe my strongly worded message adequately displays my feelings towards those who push their irrelevant beliefs down our throats.


April 6, 2008 at 06:16 PM · I get a little disappointed when someone provides a link 15 miles long, and then it dislodges the text so it is hard to read all the words. It looks something like this:




Links are great, but not when they make the comments unintelligible. That is the only thing I have to complain about.

April 6, 2008 at 07:40 PM · Oops! I am one who has very much benefited from the threads regarding strings, bows, shoulder and chin rests. LOL As a result, I may have found THE shoulder pad that'll work for me, and I have another chinrest along the way to try out.

I think an FAQ with these sorts of questions, including helpful links, would be just what this website needs, and it’ll keep these kinds of questions from reappearing in the Discussions. Let me tell you how I have been helped by all of you:

I had played in pain for so many years, that I stopped practicing all together many years ago. All I did was play at church. I missed it so much that I joined an area symphony about ten years ago, but was nearly hiding tears at the end concerts and rehearsals (neck and upper back), the pain was so bad :( BUT - having spent the last few months lurking around here, listening and reading, I feel my old motivation, and itch to get my violin under my chin, coming back. Thank you to all of YOU! It was through following a link at that I learned that many violinists suffer as I do which got me searching the web to find out what can be done about it- I had thought, nothing! My chiropractor is not sure I should play yet though. Oh well.

One of you had said that you “had just gotten [your] five hours in” and it reminded me of the time I used to put into practicing when in college. This week I put on the best strings I have ever had, because I didn't know they existed until reading these discussions and following some of the posted links. I spent a large part of my tax return on a good bow (and I am unemployed, oops) and I am delighted with how my violin sounds now: I love the tone: round, full and warm and since I don't perform like you all, I don't need it to be bright. I’m hearing more overtones than I ever had before! I've had nothing but junk bows.

New strings, new bow, new shoulder rest, not playing in so much pain, and my violin sounding beautiful, I practiced 2.5 hours yesterday and loved it. Like a little kid, I even got violin cleaner and polish from Shar’s and polished up my violin. J Beautimous!

Now, I don't play at the level you all do, but I'd like to gain back what I had, and then more. In 1973 and 1974, I received full scholarships to Brevard, where I swear I was in heaven! My first time taking lessons from “real” violin teachers! I would constantly watch the girl in H.S orchestra. who took lessons from the Conservatory and copy her. LOL In 1975 as freshman music major, I juried at a four. I know from hanging around here, I have a good chance of regaining the technique I had (where the HELL did my bow arm go??? Lol) My dream was to play with the Boston Pops when I was a kid. Keep in mind, you guys are living the dreams lots of other musicians have and I know that when I attend or play a concert with a solo violinist, to this day, I can pretend that it’s ME up there, and not feel embarrassed. Now I’ll get off my podium. Thanks for listening.

April 6, 2008 at 09:27 PM · A string FAQ would be hard, because each string reacts differently to each instrument. But I guess if someone had the time, it would be possible to go through the archives and compile all the opinions and try and find some middle ground.

As for the long URL's, here's a handy site for everyone: Here's an example from their website:

Turn this URL:








into this tinyURL:

You can also get a plugin for Firefox that will incorporate it into your browser, so you don't even have to go searching for it.

April 6, 2008 at 10:27 PM · My favourite threads are anything to do with violin technique (intonation, vibrato, bowing, rhythm, etc) and practice. Discussions on teaching and learning and are always interesting too.

My least liked topics, hmmm, people have feelings, can I name a few without offending the original posters of these threads? Probably not, so I’d better keep my thoughts to myself.

April 6, 2008 at 10:11 PM · For me it has to be instrument topics whether it be antigues vs. new, or can you get a cheap quality instrument, there's just too many opinions, and too many people overly passionate about their opinions to make for a civil discussion. Some people act very condescending during those discussions or even downright offensive.

April 6, 2008 at 11:17 PM · I hate those threads that get hijacked by people who feel they have every right to state their opinion on a subject and then get offended when someone with a different view expresses theirs. For example, someone in an earlier post called my beliefs about God irrelevant when they are used in relation to some discussion on this website. If I were to say otherwise that person would probably get upset and be the first to try to blast me for stating my opinion yet totally self righteous about having the right to state theirs. Stuff like that really bothers me.

April 6, 2008 at 11:49 PM · I'm always amused how the god-botherers are the only ones with a right to an opinion, yet get so easily offended by mine.

See how circular you can make your own argument?


April 7, 2008 at 05:41 AM · "Sick of the same old topics of strings, yearn for interesting debates"

For that plus the most civil debates on the internet, there's the shaving forum. Is the same blade different in different razors? Is the vintage fat boy really better than the vintage slim adjustable or is it hype? Shaving cream, or hard soap and brush? Be glad maniacs swing violins instead of razors.

April 7, 2008 at 04:51 AM · If somebody starts a thread with a title such as "Do you believe your religious conviction makes you a better musician?" I wouldn't have any problems with that nor would I have any problem if such a thread then turns out to become a kind of collective religious manifest where religious musicians chime in to praise their beliefs. The topic of the thread is obviously intended to invite such a discussion, so everybody will know right away and if we don't like it we can simply ignore such a thread.

What I do have a problem with is when an obviously non-religious topic is misappropriated by somebody to promote their religious beliefs or in any other way diverted in a diametrically off-topic direction. This goes against good manners. It's like crashing a party. It is all the more objectionable if the thread is of great interest to the majority of those who do wish to discuss the actual topic. The first thing we should be able to expect from a religious person is that they respect this.

In my book respect is that you do not bring up religion if you can reasonably assume that the crowd you have joined does not wish to discuss religion. If you do so anyway, then you are being disrespectful and in my opinion you could do your religious beliefs no greater disservice than to come across as disrespectful whilst in the pursuit of your religious ideals. This will put everybody off and even lead many to oppose these beliefs even if they might have been favourable otherwise.

April 7, 2008 at 05:20 AM · Benjamin: I often heard the same goes for politics and religion. Overall I read this site for entertainment more than as a music research tool. I cut all posters slack and don't hold people to any opinions they may want to change later. However, I do like the posts that are specific or provide detailed information or reference specific sources, unless of course they start with "In my opinion.." or "In my experience...". If qualified I don't mind strong opinions but am often too busy to read those types of threads.

April 7, 2008 at 08:10 AM · Just a question - if nobody acknowledged those 'bothersome' posts, would the threads get hijacked? I really don't understand why we can't simply ignore those things (threads, posts) which we find pointless or distasteful. Here on the internet, at least.

April 7, 2008 at 09:14 AM · Trouble is that somebody always responds because they feel if they didn't it would mean some kind of universal acceptance of the propositions put forward.

In fact such offenders often keep going in their direction and draw others in by claiming that silence, ie. not responding to them any further was a confirmation of acknowledgement. We have seen exactly such a statement in one of the recent future of classical music threads. This then prompts somebody again to respond.

It seems the only thing that works is persistent steadfast reminders of the form "look this is really off-topic, please can you not start your own thread with a new topic?" until they accept this.

April 7, 2008 at 11:42 AM · i would like to protest in the name of balance that this forum has recently been giving attention of unfair proportion to religion while ignoring sex and politics:)

i think this forum is possibly the most fun and sane internet hangout, at least for me:). it is not perfect and nothing is. appreciate what you have. sure it can be better, but also lot worse. it has a healthy mix of solid individuals, interesting characters and um, out of control parents like me (ok, only one).

on occasion there may be rough waters, so sit down and buckle up. :)

i will leave to you guys to decide the role of god, but i myself hesitate to play god by using the words hijack and troll when referring to anyone who can use violins bows as piercing weapons:)

April 7, 2008 at 11:18 AM · Well said Benjamin!

And al, LOL


April 7, 2008 at 11:51 AM · Yes, very well said Benjamin. I can't speak for the other "god-botherers" on this site, but I know I have never tried to just take over a thread with my beliefs. I have not however remained silent when someone says something offensive to my beliefs, something that is just plain ignorant about the Christian faith, or frankly something that is offensive to me. For example, the use of the derogatory name above..."god botherer." What is the purpose of that other than to be offensive or stir things up. I'm not saying you can't or shouldn't say it, but don't expect me to not respond to something like that. If you wish to state your opinion about something, by all means do so, but I will do the same. Whether the thread is about which type of rosin to use or about which "great flood" story is older, I would expect everyone to be able to state their opinion. Including me. If someone says something during the rosin thread that is offensive to the Christian faith, just plain ignorant, or offensive to me, I am going to comment on it. If I say something that is offensive to the athiest or agnostic system of beliefs, something that is ignorant, or something that just plain offends someone...I am sure I would hear about it too. It goes both ways. Don't be surprised by that or claim that its just the "god botherers" stirring up trouble. Also, the idea that being a Christian means being silent and "respectful" when someone says something that goes contrary to what a Christian believes is a convenient belief for those who don't want to hear what a Christian has to say. Respectful yes...I respect everyone on this site. But respectful and silent are not necessarily synomymous with eachother.

April 7, 2008 at 12:33 PM · I never used the term "god botherer" nor did I use the term "christian". I would also like to clarify that the incident I am talking about was entirely unprovoked (the initial "future of classical music" thread).

April 7, 2008 at 12:35 PM · I dislike threads that are post-mortems of earlier threads.

April 7, 2008 at 12:48 PM · It's hard for me to imagine "hating" a topic.

Even if the topic title doesn't interest me, I usually find some pearls of general wisdom or some great humor.

April 7, 2008 at 01:31 PM · "In fact such offenders often keep going in their direction and draw others in by claiming that silence, ie. not responding to them any further was a confirmation of acknowledgement."

Yeah, I dislike that too. I think somebody tried to read something into Mr. Burgess' "silence" in another thread on Eastern European violins.

On topic, I enjoy all threads about our equipment. Sure we could have a FAQ (I mean, what hasn't been said about the four or five pieces of equipment we use?), but what's the fun of that?

April 7, 2008 at 01:46 PM · Thanks Benjamin,

I guess I wasn't clear. I know you didn't say those things. I thought your post was good, as I said. Neil however did say "god botherer". I'm the only one who used "Christian" as that is how I refer to my beliefs. Hopefully that clears the misunderstadning caused by my poor writing skills.

(I was writing very quickly before my first class of 7th graders apologies).

April 7, 2008 at 01:53 PM · @ C.Abel

that's a misinterpretation of what I wrote, try again

@ T.Gardener

I didn't think the term "god botherer" was very nice, myself. I didn't mean any offense by choosing to ignore it.

As for why I said "religious person" and not "christian", well, there are many other religions and I didn't think that what I intended to say was in any way specific to any particular group.

April 7, 2008 at 03:54 PM · The only time people fight about religion is when the topic of religion arises.

Since we're on to religion and I feel like making some enemies today I'll say this. God brought on to me an opportunity to perform at Carnegie Hall tonight. But I don't think God is looking out for me because the Lord Nelson Mass 1st violin part is too hard to prepare in just 2 days... or maybe that means that God doesn't like Haydn. Or maybe he doesn't like the british people annointing themselves to be Lords. I don't know, all I know is that if God really cared about me he would give me a good bow cause mine sucks.

Anyway, off to Carnegie, I hope God makes the train come quick cause I don't wanna be late.

April 7, 2008 at 04:01 PM · Hey Marina,

If you are going to pray for a good bow, pray for a good one for me too! Mine is kind of crappy. Best wishes on the Lord Nelson Mass.

April 7, 2008 at 04:06 PM · The omnipotent God according to believers has the perfect situation. He's responsible for all the good things that happen to you, but not responsible for the terrible things that happen. It reminds me of Yankee fans and Joe Torre...

O.K. I'll stop stirring the pot, back to the topic at hand...

April 7, 2008 at 04:10 PM · Marina,

What a marvelous opportunity. Best wishes on your performance tonight.

April 7, 2008 at 04:38 PM · Marina - I love the Lord Nelson Mass. You are so lucky to be playing it at Carnegie. Have a great time/experience!

April 7, 2008 at 05:15 PM · Can I respond to what Michael said about "good" and "bad" things or will I be considered a rabble rousing, god botherer? Probably so. Nevermind

April 7, 2008 at 05:39 PM · Never would have expected to see talk of religion on a violinist website. Can't we keep such matters on websites devoted to mythologies and fairytale?

April 7, 2008 at 06:02 PM · Except that religion is a very important part of many violinists' lives and influences how they approach the instrument and the topics that concern the instrument. Why should a religious person be expected to leave that part of themselves at the door when no one expects the non-religious person to leave their beliefs at the door. Non religious people have very strong beliefs about the world too. I don't ask them to not talk or express thier views. Also, the comment about religion being better suited for websites dealing with fairy tales is designed to incite controversy. Who is being offensive now? I'm sorry that my beliefs make you uncomfortable or seem pointless to you. Some might say the same about what you believe. We should both be able to express ourselves equally however.

April 7, 2008 at 07:02 PM · It's not meant to incite controversy in the least. It's a simply statement based on the fact that things considered to be in the genre of a fairytale often have more substantial basis by far than any of the mythologies of religion can aspire to, mostly based on the fact that fairy tales do not make such sweeping statements with not only a complete lack of any empirical evidence, but a vast work of contradictions.

I do not think religion should factor into violin, and do not see how it would. Technique is not inspired by religious belief, as bow pressure, speed, sounding point, or any of the different bow techniques, or fingering techniques, have no religious links. Phrasing, tone, vibrato ... I am not seeing any link to any mythological beings or spiritual beliefs in any of these technical factors either.

At best, I'd imagine one could claim X piece of music holds religious ties, but in instrumental music, I fail to see how rhythms, notes, scales, arpeggios, octaves, times, etc, could have ties to religious belief. Such things might be PERFORMED for religious purposes, but how the music itself could relate is beyond my logical skills. I'd love if someone could explain. The only thing I could imagine, would be if the instrumental music was trying to emulate something innately religious, such as a certain concerto might try to evoke the images/sounds of Spring, but this is a bit of a leap for me. How anyone could ever try to evoke an abstract concept or philosophy such as belief with instruments, seems a bit iffy to me.

In lyrical music, of course there is the direct relation to religious beliefs, when the lyrics are used to express or evoke belief, etc.

April 7, 2008 at 07:49 PM · Jake,

Thanks for raising those points, it is not at all strange to me that a discussion about religion has suddenly sprung up on a violin website. Why? Because music is a very personal thing to a musician, and a musician’s instrument is the means by which he conveys his thoughts, beliefs, emotions, and those of a composer.

While you do not think religion should factor into violin playing, others who have strong religious beliefs might think it does. You’re right, technique does not come from religion, neither does musicality, phrasing, tone etc…but at the same time, music itself and violin playing are a whole comprised of these parts, ie violin playing does not = fingering techniques. But it is the fingering techniques combined with the bowing and music intuition, phrasing, tone vibrato etc. which constitute the art of violin playing.

Although you might not see the connection others do between religious inspiration and this art of playing the violin, let me also point out that for most Christians, their religion is not only a belief in stories and people, but a continuing set of principles and inspiration to live for the glory of God. Thus many Christian musicians would say that they play their music for God’s glory, not their own, since He saved and inspired them. Even though you don’t see the point, I think it is only fair that you allow other violinists to express what is part of them and their music. A person’s beliefs and convictions are, after all a part of him and therefore effect all other aspects of his life. So it is actually more of a big picture, world view thing than sense of character which changes from piece to piece. Playing different pieces in character is a different matter.

Oh good I’m not the only one with a bad bow :P

April 7, 2008 at 07:53 PM · Seems to me that all things are "spiritual" to the follower of a particular religion.

So if you are a Christian and play the violin, the violin is a spiritual subject to you, just as what you eat is spiritual.

At the same time, it is also a spiritual thing for a jihadist, or a Buddhist, or a Zoroastrian.

Shouldn't the jihadists, Buddhist or Zoroastrian violinists chime in on their religious beliefs on too? :)

April 7, 2008 at 07:56 PM · Simply put - if music were only about technique it would be dry, boring, and meaningless.

Many of our great composers: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Hydn, Handel, (to name just a few) not only wrote their music based on their personal faith in God, but many dedicated their compositions to Him, and (based on their own admission) recognized that their ability and talent did not come from within themselves but it was a gift from God. Like it or not, these facts don't change.

The quest for most violinists is to find the meaning within the music. Developing our technique is merely a means to an end. When we play a piece, we are attempting to interpret the intent of the composer – not to insert our personal idea of how it should have been written. As such, faith is inextricably linked to the music. It is not possible to rip the heart out of the composer’s interpretation of their music and still play it with anything more than technique. If a musician wants to play something that doesn’t move an audience, paint a picture, or cause inspiration greater than ourselves - go ahead. But don’t call it music…

April 7, 2008 at 08:07 PM · Debra - I seem to remember Beethoven dedicating his compositions to folks like Salieri, Count Waldstein, Count Rasumovsky, and the Archduke Rudolph. I know that Bach was very religious, and I suppose most composers of that day were, but I remember very few if any compositions specifically dedicated to G-d as opposed to some rich patron. Can you list a few? Thanks.

April 7, 2008 at 08:07 PM · Congrats! Marina


I don't have a dog in this hunt, but you are deliberately being demeaning. Continue if you must, but don't deny the obvious.

April 7, 2008 at 08:00 PM · Marina,

You speak the truth always, and for this most are so very thankful.

You are special--not many would express their viewpoints in the manner you do---being honest,in some cases,that is questionable by many--including me.

Your responses hit to the quick of the note.

Best of luck playing tonite in one of the halls that is world renowned !

To me,you are alive,totally free and independent !

Marina,you are a benchmark of a career in music.

Kudos to you !

April 7, 2008 at 08:21 PM · "Many of our great composers: Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Hydn, Handel, (to name just a few) not only wrote their music based on their personal faith in God, but many dedicated their compositions to Him, and (based on their own admission) recognized that their ability and talent did not come from within themselves but it was a gift from God. Like it or not, these facts don't change."

Their personal faith in God is irrelevant to me. Who they dedicate their music to does not affect the music at all. Someone can dedicate their music to a magical fork for all it matters, I fail to see any logical relation between the fork and physical affects on the composition itself. I am interested in the fact that they claimed their talents came from God, when there's no evidence of any supernatural presence in the nature of condition, but instead all of it is logical and observational environmental conditioning. The actual neurological basis for thoughts is so unbelievably complex that last time I did any research into it, it's a physical impossibility to say with certainty what the trek of any thought or talent one. One may simply try to make cause and effect relations to determine them, but I fail to see how this would be possibly in determining than an omnipotent and omnipresent being was the cause of these thoughts.

Which, in conclusion, leads me to believe whether or not they claimed their talent was from God, it will have no actual bearing upon the music itself.

"The quest for most violinists is to find the meaning within the music. Developing our technique is merely a means to an end. When we play a piece, we are attempting to interpret the intent of the composer – not to insert our personal idea of how it should have been written. As such, faith is inextricably linked to the music. It is not possible to rip the heart out of the composer’s interpretation of their music and still play it with anything more than technique. If a musician wants to play something that doesn’t move an audience, paint a picture, or cause inspiration greater than ourselves - go ahead. But don’t call it music…"

The problem is, all of these things are just illusionary links, much like cloud patterns, only even more abstract. Music is, in essence, an exceedingly abstract language, and most of these assumptions are merely romantic fancies. You can speak of adding emotion to pieces all you wish, but HOW these emotions are produced, are all matters of technique. Technique produces all the components that create these emotions. There are no psionic magic spells that are cast from the violin because you're trying to play how a composer may have intended it (How one can tell the intent of a composer is beyond me in most cases)

"Shouldn't the jihadists, Buddhist or Zoroastrian violinists chime in on their religious beliefs on too? :)"

As a firm believer in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, I'll have to say that my beliefs in Beer Volcanos in Heaven and a skewed conspiracy theory on pirates and global warming, has a direct relation to my violin playing. Sure, it makes absolutely no sense and it's beyond explanation, but I'd just like to throw it out there if others can make the equally outrageous claim that God influences their violining.

April 7, 2008 at 08:42 PM · I'd just like to say esoteric religious debates that degenerate off of a thread....and derail a thread get to me.

HINT HINT hint y'all ;>)

April 7, 2008 at 08:47 PM · I'll take the hint :)

Someone should open up a topic for discussing how personal beliefs (not necessarily spiritual) can/cannot influence musicianship though. Would be an interesting topic.

April 7, 2008 at 10:05 PM · Amen Jake. You've made it clear that you don't understand how my belief in God is in any way relevant to my playing the violin. I don't expect you to understand or really care if you do or don't, its up to you. I'm not trying to convice anyone or convert people on this website. My belief in God doesn't overtly affect which rosin I prefer on whatever type of string I prefer. So when it comes to threads such as those I would usually not say anything as to my religious beliefs. Whenever there is a thread though that gets into a questions which have a moral, philosophical, or spritual nature, then I respond as I would expcet you to respond...based upon your personal beliefs (or logic if you would like). For example...if the question is "Who is your favorite composer for the violin and why?", then I feel quite okay telling you why a particular composer is my favorite, even if it is a spiritual reason. If there is a thread asking me "What does music mean to you and why" then why shouldn't I tell you honestly what I think. You would do the same I am sure. But to ask those of us who hold to a particular belief, whether it is Christian Theism, Buddhism, Islam, Orthodox Judaism, or anything else to basically pipe down and to go visit mythology websites is a little bit bigoted, closed minded, and afraid of opinions you yourself said you don't understand. I tell you what, if I ever try to insert my religious beliefs into a thread about which rosin I prefer or the pro's and con's of one violin maker or another, I invite you to blast me for it to your hearts content. But if the question has any sort of moral, religious, or philosophical basis and I am asked what I think, don't be offended or hurt when I answer it. Also, if someone takes any thread whatsoever and inserts a disparaging comment about something I believe, don't be surprised if I respond to it. You don't understand...I get that. Maybe that is what an open forum of discussion is for, to facilitate understanding. Speak your mind, friend, but allow me the same courtesy.

April 7, 2008 at 10:35 PM · jake and Thomas:

so, start a thread on beliefs and how same

interfaces w/playing violin.

could become interesting,for those involved.

i'm beginning to dislike your responses as the thread is being hijacked into religious beliefs,of which this forum is not concerned !

April 7, 2008 at 10:46 PM · I dislike threads that get hijacked by misappropriators. Or is that misappropriated by hijackers? Or is it misappropriatingly hijacked by hijacking misappropriators?

Anyway, let's all just stick to the point. (whatever the point is).

April 7, 2008 at 11:51 PM · not sure if it will be deemed appropriate, this morning i submitted one thread titled: Faith and Violin,,,forgot the rest:)

April 8, 2008 at 12:18 AM · zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz,snort,zzzzzzzz


Huh,Oh is it my turn.

I like violin stuff

I don't like people teaching things they know nothing about.

I think my eyes are getting heavy again...


April 8, 2008 at 02:15 AM · I am appalled to see jihadism being mentioned in a way that seems to suggest it has a legitimate position amongst religions.

Jihadism is not a religion but an aberration, an example of deliberate abuse of religion for the justification of violence.

To go back to the topic ... I think it would be helpful if some of the posters edit their posts with a little bit of formatting, that is, split their posts into several paragraphs when the text becomes a little longer than a few sentences. It is extremely difficult to read a big block of text without any visual cues.

April 8, 2008 at 02:10 AM · Sorry Joe,

I'm beginning to dislike this thread too. I think my last post said all I need to say. If anyone would like to discuss it further with me just send me an email or something. No sense boring the masses.

April 8, 2008 at 02:12 AM · "I am appalled to see jihadism being mentioned in a way that seems to suggest it has a legitimate position amongst religions.

Jihadism is not a religion but an aberration, an example of deliberate abuse of religion for the justification of violence."

Jihadism is a major part of islam a simple browsing of the Qu'ran and Ahadith proves that point out. Jihad doesn't always to have a negative surrounding it. Jihad can be a call to arms to free Muslims who are oppressed. Jihad can be a personal matter as in Jihad against your inner demons etc..

I'm not religious so I also don't have a dog in this hunt but I agree jake you are definitely trying to be controversial and offensive to folks with faith. Don't insult our collective intelligence by saying you're not.

Anyway back to your regularly scheduled violin discussion.

April 8, 2008 at 02:18 AM · The concept of Jihad is, jihadism isn't, there is a big difference between a jihadi and a jihadist.

In any event, if someone wants to refer to the religion of Islam, then why would they not use the term "Islam"?!

April 8, 2008 at 02:39 AM · There is no difference between a jihadi and a jihadist, both mean someone who participates in the advancement of jihad. I don't know why someone refered to that instead of calling it Islam, but I didn't comment on that. I commented on your statement that jihadism doesn't have a legitimate place in religions and you resent someone saying it does.

My guess is the poster just said it with a slip of the tongue and didn't mean anything offensive by it. On message boards we can be offended by pretty much anything if we choose to be, we should give people the benefit of the doubt.

I studied Islam for two years and thought about converting but alas my mind simply cannot accept magic books from Heaven no matter what the religion is.

April 8, 2008 at 03:55 AM · I lived in the middle east for quite some time and even though this was before 9/11 many of the people I met and worked with there (in various countries) would take offense and insist that there is a distinction between a jihadi and a jihadist.

Now, you may say this isn't representative as those people were all educated enough to have a job and speak English, but I will nevertheless take it as representative of their views and maintain that there is a big difference between a jihadi and a jihadist.

April 8, 2008 at 04:54 AM · "On message boards we can be offended by pretty much anything if we choose to be,..." Indeed.

A little bit grouchiness is understandable and even entertaining, but too much of it is just childish. I think the problem is not so much with a specific topic but rather how we go about discussing. Sometimes people are, probably unintentionally, very good at silencing others by imposing their own rules and sense of propriety on others. I don’t come here to listen to a judge’s decision, nor do we need a chair to control the discussion.

p.s. I just saw Laurie's wise comment and maybe I should follow her advice, but hey, sometimes the girl just has to say what she's got to say:)

April 8, 2008 at 04:43 AM · I'm stayin' out of this one, folks...;)

April 8, 2008 at 05:26 AM · Wow this has taken quite a turn. Lol I won't enter into this one.....

April 8, 2008 at 02:04 PM · Thank you for your kind words Joe. The concert went well although the tempi Rutter took in the Haydn were insane. I felt like the devil was chasing me. LOL

Thomas, you mention that your feelings get hurt when someone mentions that music has nothing to do with God. I find it hard to believe that other people whom you never met can hurt your feelings. You must stay true to who you are. My feelings cannot be hurt by your beliefs and neither should yours get hurt by others. But realize that if you wear your heart on your sleeve it will be poked. Of course music encompasses our whole being, everything from our fingertips to our minds, to our cultural heritage, to our dogmatic beliefs.

Nobody will argue that Bach was a "religious" man and that he wrote much sacred music as well as secular. However, the concept of religion is so tightly wound with politics that I tend to leave the speculation of personal beliefs out of Bach's works. I cannot judge what was in Bach's heart, nor do I doubt that he may have been a devout Christian. But don't forget the hand that fed him. Sometimes he worked as kapelmeister at a church (motets, cantatas, masses...) and at one point he worked for the aristocracy (keyboard concerti, instrumental and secular works). Bach had a job to do and the music he wrote had plenty to do with who signed his check.

April 8, 2008 at 03:12 PM · Hmmm...I don't think I've ever said anything about my feelings being hurt. Maybe that was another person posting right around me. My skin is a little too thick to have my feelings easily hurt. Sometimes the blood pumps a little faster...

April 8, 2008 at 04:46 PM · Tom H. - I'm at work so an actual list of titles would need to wait. But I wasn't saying that various compositions weren't dedicated to different individuals, patrons, etc. as well- just that these composers recognized that their talent wasn't something they came up with on their own.

Wow! I re-read my post and although I don't disagree with anything I said, I realize all over again that "tact" isn't my strong suite. *rueful grin*

April 8, 2008 at 09:10 PM · "I find it hard to believe that other people whom you never met can hurt your feelings."

My feelings are hurt all the time by people whom I've never met. (But they are also lifted up.) I've learned to bite my keyboard, so to speak (write?), when I don't want to risk an emotional sting from an insensitive faceless comment. It's just not worth it.

April 8, 2008 at 09:58 PM · Al Ku,

Yeah, let's hear it for a balanced discussion! Bring on the sex and politics!


What he said.

What was the point of this thread?

Oh, yeah,

I loved the joke thread!

I love the Berber chinrest I tried after reading about them...

I added a half hour of open bowing to my practice after I read about it...

Glad to see I'm not the only one NOT using a shoulder rest..

Nor the only one with an iffy bow(it says "Nurnberger", dang it!)...

Hard to imagine hating a thread. If it doesn't interest me, I move on...

as for religious belief, a discussion can be interesting, a fight is pointless. Nobody is going to be presuaded. For the record, I am an unreconstructed aging hippy pagan goddess worshiper for the every day, a soto zen buddhist for the big picture and doubtless going straight to hell, according to my christian fundamentalist friends. We'll have to wait and see;>)


April 9, 2008 at 12:35 AM · @ Yixi

"too much of it is just childish"

that may well be so, but who is to decide what is too much and what isn't? Isn't that subjective and relative to your cultural background?

For somebody who believes in god, the use of a term such as "god botherer" can be offensive.

For somebody with friends who are peaceful and consider themselves legitimate practitioners of Islam, the word "jihadist" can be offensive.

Yet, to you these two examples may seem childish, but what if a clueless Japanese was to use the term "Shina" or "Zhina" for China? Wouldn't you consider that offensive? To a Western observer who doesn't know the historical background this might then look childish at first sight, too.

Pointing out that manners should also apply in the virtual world has nothing to do with suppressing free speech.

April 9, 2008 at 01:08 AM · benjamin k :

your responses are obtrusive

to the utmost

your comments are null and extremely void in ALL ASPECTS of commonality to all violin players.

remain in your void forever,and then revel in your untimely death.

you have attempted to cut to the quick of responses---you have failed miserably in your attempts of same.

crawl back into your state [whatever that is] and remain there forever !

April 9, 2008 at 01:42 AM · Am I alone in wondering what the heck it is Joe just wrote?

April 9, 2008 at 02:13 AM · I'm wondering if the Shift key is busted on Joe's keyboard, first off....

April 9, 2008 at 02:35 AM · C'mon Joe, your profile says that you learned to play the violin by LISTENING.

Might spirituality come the same way?

In the meantime, one can be discreet about being religiophobic....just one of many options. ;)

April 9, 2008 at 02:27 AM · lol! I think Joe was having a lot of fun here:D

April 9, 2008 at 04:04 AM · Itchy for arguments? Here is a place of you:

April 9, 2008 at 08:37 PM · "Pointing out that manners should also apply in the virtual world has nothing to do with suppressing free speech." Benjamine K

Good point, thanks.

April 11, 2008 at 02:14 AM · Greetings,

>Yeah, I dislike that too. I think somebody tried to read something into Mr. Burgess' "silence" in another thread on Eastern European violins.

I read the complete works of Proust into it.

Need more prunes,


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