I have noticed a peculiar effect when I have been practicing for any length of time with a mute, say for half an hour or more. When I remove the mute, the violin sounds not only louder but extremely harsh and gritty, quite unlike its normal tone. It is really quite irritating, but the effect doesn't last very long. I am wondering: could the violin be responding in its own way to being released from the damping effect of the mute, or is it a my own psycho-acoustical response to the increased volume I am hearing? In other words, has the sound of the instrument actually changed temporarily, or is it all in my head? Has anybody else noticed this?
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