Innovation in Music and Musical Instruments

November 30, 2005 at 05:12 AM · It seems that musical styles and idioms have evolved faster than the evolution of our stringed instrument..........The violin family and its bows made great leaps forward thanks to improvements in the 18th & 19th centuries........

Is there room to go further....do we want to?.... would we welcome new changes???

Replies (90)

November 30, 2005 at 02:36 PM · No. It's nice to still have one or two things in life that aren't constantly being disposed of and replaced with something new and 'improved'.

November 30, 2005 at 02:47 PM · I think one of the paradoxes of the violin is that the best instruments were made 250 years ago. The challenge for makers today is not to improove the violin but it is reach the level of 250 years ago. That's facinating and a bit sad that in our modern era of technology and science we are still not able to make what they could 250-300 years ago. As long as we can't do that I don't see the need to develop further.

November 30, 2005 at 03:10 PM · Yes, but it's still worth the trouble to keep looking. When I worked for a local university several years ago, one of the scientists there was Marvin Camras (at the Illinois Institute of Technology). Marvin was one of the original inventors of wire recording and related technology. He was also an amateur fiddler and violin maker. He showed me a viola he once made that had a round, concave section cut out of the upper right corner of the body, so that you could reach the upper registers without having to twist your entire arm around the instrument. The instrument didn't sound that good to me, but I think there's lots of room for innovations like that.

November 30, 2005 at 03:27 PM · I think acoustically there's not much room for innovation, especailly in the shape. If you look at the shape of the violin, acoustically it's very sound (excuse the pun) and any modifications to the body, as we should all know, will change it dramatically.

I think that the area that will develop is the use of non-traditional timbers (for example, some luthiers in australia are turning to native australian timbers, with very good results), and also the bows. With pernambuco in such short supply, a sustainable solution needs to be found, and hopefully rather soon. Carbon Fibre is one option, with the added bonus that these bows will not break or warp easily. Another option would be to look at non-traditional woods to see if there's anything that might be suitable, whilst still another option would be to encourage plantation farming of pernambuco, rosewood and other high-demand woods that are in short supply.

So yea, as far as shapes and such go, I don't think there'll be much change, but the look into sustainability of the craft will (and must) definately be an important part of where we go from here.

November 30, 2005 at 03:46 PM · Hi, Ben: Yes, of course the basic shape of the violin is not only optimal for sound, but has actually become an visual archetype. But there are still going to be innovators trying to modify the shape, and someone may some day discover an alternate shape that sounds at least as great.

November 30, 2005 at 04:01 PM · thank you for your thoughts ..........but still my question would be if there are new innovations that are truly revolutionary, would you (we) welcome them or not?!

Your thoughts please.......

GF

November 30, 2005 at 04:02 PM · For some possibilities,

see David Rivinus, Pellegrina violas

http://www.rivinus-instruments.com/Maximilian.htm

November 30, 2005 at 05:59 PM · Hi Gennady;

As I’m sure you’re aware, there is an “innovation” movement that is growing in strength presently. The MacArthur grant awarded to Joseph Curtin for his acoustic work with innovative design and nontraditional materials was probably the most recent public acknowledgment of this movement. Also, a good portion of the program at the last VSA convention (PA earlier this month) was devoted to the subject of innovation and plans are being made to expand the subject at the next convention. Some of Oberlin’s workshops are also exploring new ideas.

While I’m more of a “traditional” guy (I like dealing in older instruments and classically designed contemporary ones), I applaud the interest in the subject of innovation. At the most, some new designs and concepts may emerge. At the least, maybe some material (lack of availability for some materials) concerns might be addressed.

Best to all,

Jeffrey

November 30, 2005 at 06:32 PM · It can do everything it needs to do. Form follows function, and there aren't any new functional demands being placed on it. Eventually someday it'll plug into your brain interface module, if that counts.

November 30, 2005 at 07:57 PM · Well you can have as much technology as you want. YOu cant do anything with it if you dont have the materials. I think that's the problem today.

I just think its more than just a coincidence that so many of the instruments from long ago sound so much different than those today. Its really somethign with the lack of materials today I believe.

December 1, 2005 at 12:49 AM · Thank you all for your input and please keep it coming.

.......................

Thanks Jeffrey for joining in,

Actually my point from a players perspective is to see how we players accept or at least are open to new ideas and unconventional designs (and materials for that matter).

And yes I know very well the mvt. of innovation that is going on, and I am all for it:

Joe Curtin with fiddles and Gilles Nehr (Tete-Beche bow/Feldman bow) with bows.

I would like to see a consesus of pro(s) & con(s) from the players side to see if we are ready for change.

I know that I am happy to try new things......feel free to check out the Amber Frog bow article by by Jessamyn Reeves-Brown 1997 STRINGS magazine

cool website

December 1, 2005 at 01:20 AM · The problem is not coming up with ideas. The problem is coming up with ideas which are improvements. I see a lot of ideas, but few improvements. At this point, synthetic materials are looking to be a particularly dead end, from what I can see and will predict, unless players' tonal standards drop quite a bit to accomodate them.

December 1, 2005 at 02:08 AM · I have yet to see a bowmaker try Titanium.

Afterall, these days great Tennis Racquets as well as Golf Clubs are being made from titanium.

I would bet money it could sound better than carbon fiber?! It could be similar to the Vuillaume steel bow but better in sound perhaps?

December 1, 2005 at 02:21 AM · I have yet to see a bowmaker try Titanium for the stick.

Afterall, these days great Tennis Racquets as well as Golf Clubs are being made from titanium.

I would bet money it could sound better than carbon fiber?! It could be similar to the Vuillaume steel bow but better in sound perhaps?

sorry for the double post....my finger slipped ;)

December 1, 2005 at 02:27 AM · Gennady... what is it with the Tete Beche model? I don't understand it.

December 1, 2005 at 02:31 AM · Michael wrote: "The problem is not coming up with ideas. The problem is coming up with ideas which are improvements. I see a lot of ideas, but few improvements. At this point, synthetic materials are looking to be a particularly dead end, from what I can see and will predict, unless players' tonal standards drop quite a bit to accomodate them."

I tend to agree in terms of materials used to make useful prof. quality instruments, Michael... but will be happy to be proved wrong. Actually, the hope I have for alternate materials is that they may replace some of the traditional materials (that are becoming scarce) for less expensive instruments... saving the good stuff for us! :-)

The one thing that I can say in support of Joseph's approach is that his goal is to make a "better" fiddle in the end. I honestly don't know what that is... but I think the goal he states holds more promise for producing a useful product than the alternative.

December 1, 2005 at 02:59 AM · Pieter,

Have you seen it?

December 1, 2005 at 06:22 AM · Gennady, no. Only on the website.

I have one of Gille's bows here with me right now, he was able to send it to me on its way to NYC.

I would like to see a tete beche in person.

December 1, 2005 at 03:46 PM · What specifically and exactly is Curtin working on with his "genius grant"?

December 1, 2005 at 04:45 PM · you can look it up on his website:

http://www.josephcurtinstudios.com/

December 1, 2005 at 04:56 PM · Thanks, Gennady, but there isn't anything specific there.

Also, what is it about Ann Arbor with you violin makers? All I know about it is weed is just a small fine and my cousin is a prof in the business school there. It seems like a very liberal and progressive and smart place. I should visit next summer.

December 1, 2005 at 04:56 PM · Jim,

Curtin will recreate the famous Kochanski violin made by Guiseppe Guarneri del Gesu. Originally crafted by the famous Italian master in 1741, the violin has been the concert instrument of violinist Aaron Rosand for nearly 40 years. The Kochanski got its name from the violinist Paul Kochansky who originally acquired it in 1924 and performed on it throughout his career. “The violin is regarded as many as one of the best sounding del Gesu violins in existence and Joseph's acoustical knowledge perfectly fits the recreation of this instrument,” said Bill Townsend.

December 1, 2005 at 05:12 PM · Actually I heard that violin from 3ft away at a master class 20 years ago. I've heard much more stunning sounds coming from violins. I assume it was the same Guarneri. The sound was very smooth but without much metallic sparkle, which is what gets me going personally.

December 1, 2005 at 05:15 PM · " metallic sparkle"

Jim, perhaps you need a Philimonoph Titanium Bow :-)

December 1, 2005 at 05:21 PM · Bill, you sound deprived :) I just sound depraved.

December 1, 2005 at 06:34 PM · Jim wrote: "What specifically and exactly is Curtin working on with his "genius grant"?"

The MacArthur grants are "no strings attached" (pardon the pun). Joe Curtin can apply the funds any way he wishes to. The grant was awarded based on his innovative work, however... and he will most likley use these funds in that area (I say this 'cause he's only a few miles away and I've talked to him about it... not just speculating). He mentioned that the grant came at the "right" time, as he was in the process of trying to figure out a way to fund the innovation work.

I'm not sure Townsend's comments about the Rosand fiddle have anything to do with the grant, Gennady. Sounds like a project he would have taken on anyway... and that would have it's own commercial value. Was this a quote taken from Joe's site?

December 1, 2005 at 06:43 PM · I posted links to the David Rivinus instruments. Does anyone have any first-or second-hand experience with these? Anyone played one, or played alongside someone, who has played on a Rivinus instrument?

December 1, 2005 at 11:35 PM · Jeffrey,

I quoted Bill T. what he has posted earlier about it on violinist.com

December 2, 2005 at 12:03 AM · Jim,

I studied with Aaron Rosand, and I remember that he also used his Ansaldo Poggi quite often in lessons (alongside with his Del Gesu).

Although when he played the DG, it sounded very rich, dark & smooth. I remember it being set up very loose, unlike the NYC set up.

December 1, 2005 at 11:58 PM · Gennady wrote: "I quoted Bill T. what he has posted earlier about it on violinist.com"

OK. Maybe Bill knows something I don't (like plans to apply innovative ideas to the copy... but then it wouldn't be a copy, right?), but unless that's the case, making a copy of the Rosand fiddle is just a continuation of what Joe has been known for doing with his classical making... and his classical making on it's own was not the criteria for awarding him the grant (which is something I am sure I do know).

December 2, 2005 at 05:45 PM · I'd like to see a violin/bow, that I could fold into my laptop bag. This whole violin case business is getting tiresome. Any thoughts? I lack the expertise.

IG

December 2, 2005 at 06:13 PM · I thought I was doing something like that when I became a programmer.

December 2, 2005 at 09:44 PM · Ilya,

The violin case business, as you put it, seems to always be a compromise between safety and lightness. Musafia, which is often considered the best, if not just the most ostentatious, has light weight models, but they're small, like most others, and not as safe as let's say, the Enigma model.

What I want to know is why they aren't using Titanium, a very strong metal which is also extremely light? The best cases use wood, which is still pretty heavy. Would it be possible to have the unsurpassed safety of a Musafia Enigma without the 8lbs that it weighs?

December 2, 2005 at 09:50 PM · Pieter,

I have a sneaking suspicion it would cost more than some violins...otherwise it's a brilliant idea:)

IG

December 2, 2005 at 09:52 PM ·

Long ago an informal study on guitar damage concluded that heavy cases, with their greater intertia and momentum, caused more damage than light ones. A case needs to be only stiff enough to prevend damage by collapse, and I hardly ever recall seeing a case get smashed--usually damage is caused by some case defect unrelated to the stiffness of the shell.

December 2, 2005 at 09:51 PM · Yes, very costly. Why not composite materials though? I own an Ostantatious Case(tm) though, so I guess my interest in the matter is marginal. Still, there are any number of composite carbon materials that are light and as strong as steel and I don't think they all ocst a lot of money.

December 2, 2005 at 09:55 PM · Well maybe I'll be accused of being a dandy but I commisioned a musafia Enigma, and requested the Salvatore Accardo interior... it was promised that it would be the Rolls Royce of cases, so don't take it as if I don't like these "ostentatious cases".

Well Ilya, if you're carting around a violin worth almost $1million (like you probably are), would you care if the case protecting it cost $5000?

December 2, 2005 at 09:54 PM · "What I want to know is why they aren't using Titanium, a very strong metal which is also extremely light? The best cases use wood, which is still pretty heavy. Would it be possible to have the unsurpassed safety of a Musafia Enigma without the 8lbs that it weighs?"

Titanium would be wasted for this application. Aluminum would be the most suuitable metal, and in fact it is widely used for cases for production crews. One way to get a really strong case is to get a case from one of those sorts of suppliers, and then do the pad-fitting and foam fitting.

I have a fiberglass case.

Personally I think it is, as Michael says, primarily crush resistance that you want. But more than that, I feel that thermal insulation is very valuable. If you reduce the rate of change of temperature and humidity, you prevent wood from cracking.

December 2, 2005 at 10:01 PM · Michael, I have to agree about guitar cases.

I own a Les Paul Supreme, and the cases that Gibson provides are rediculous. One could store half an armory in them, and they are incredibly heavy, and the placement of the handle distributes this weight horribly. However, a soft case will not serve it a lot better if the whole thing falls down a flight of stairs. However, if you're just carrying it around and it bumps into a wall, the momentum of the heavier case may very well be detrimental to the instrument.

December 2, 2005 at 10:13 PM · He didn't want a new case. He wanted a new violin.

December 2, 2005 at 10:16 PM · Pieter,

how often do you throw you case down a flight of stairs? and when you do it does it go together with you or separately?:) because if the former is true, you should think of life insurance first:) As regards 1-million-dollar-violins, it's back to insurance again, and if you are already paying 5k a year to insure the damn thing, another 5k for a case is...well, extravagant?:) Plus I have an even sneakier suspicion that a titanium case would go for a little more than 5000...;)

IG

December 2, 2005 at 10:19 PM · Ilya,

You are a very sneaky person. Well, it's happened a few times Ilya where the case has gone down the stairs or fallen quite hard. It just happens... I tend to walk fast and bump into things. Maybe I'm a clutz. Also when you travel a lot, **** happens as we say here in North America... I'd rather be safe than sorry. Luckily, I'm big and strong so a heavy case does not bother me. I don't have an instrument on loan, rather I have a somewhat expensive one that I bought with my own money (however no where near anything of note, but expensive enough for me to care), so I do not have the luxury of cheaping out on things, since I know that I will not develop ballet dancer type finesse in my movements any time soon.

I must say that it is a very costly pursuit this fiddle playing thing of ours. We should have all just taken up ping pong.

December 2, 2005 at 10:21 PM · Pieter,

Ping pong doesn't pay as much:) not unless you are Forrest Gump...Sorry, I wasn't aware you had such a tumultuous relationship with your violin - "couple of times" it's gone down the stairs? That's some **** happening indeed...:) might as well hire a couple of other big and strong lads to carry it about for you...:)

and who said being cheap was a vice?;)

December 2, 2005 at 10:32 PM · Ilya,

Hedonism and stoicism both have their places.

Yes, it's been quite the violent love affair at times.

December 3, 2005 at 06:05 AM · Ilya set my imagination racing by suggesting a laptop sized, foldable violin & bow.

Let's see, remove the fingerboard, and slip off the neck, both held by delicate dovetail joints. The neck lays over the body with a foam layer between protecting the strings, the scroll hanging in front. The bow is hinged. This would take care of the length but the weight is still there. And what happens to the sound? (crazy!)

Engineer Bill, any ideas?

We should all play the double-bass!

December 4, 2005 at 09:15 PM · I'm impressed most with progress on the digital side of things. The new XML standard for music-recognition software, the most recent wave samples (huge), the midi-capable electric violins, and the quick progress being made in midi-to-wave software.

There are already violinists that, with only part of the above mentioned technologies are doing amazing things. Mark Wood has a cd (and does live shows) with no guitars, but plays 'licks' that sound like those of some of the best electric guitarists out there. He uses the violin and digital processing for the guitar sounds.

Others have done shows where the violin has been used as other instruments. Of course quality of sound here is important, but some of the wave samples and processing power available now are truly startling compared with only a couple of years ago.

Errors in intonation have be corrected digitally for recordings for some time now. Real time processing involving error-correction for both bowing and fingering errors is in the mix.

For good 'or' bad I definitely see the time coming where the sampled sound of a great Strad or DG played in a great hall under great conditions will be totally incorporated into any violinists' hands, who needn't be a great player to 'sound' like s/he is using great technique to boot. This is no longer 'Mickey-mouse' technology.

This being said, the more things have become digital the more I have learned to appreciate analog.

December 4, 2005 at 09:39 PM · Our company records in a format called SACD, if you have the capabilities to play this, you'll certainly appreciate it!

2L Records

December 4, 2005 at 10:01 PM · Beautiful cover design, Jonathan! But I try to avoid SACD - they are not the best of friends with iTunes:)

IG

December 4, 2005 at 10:48 PM · They are horrible friends indeed...we make all our CD's "Hybrid" for that very reason ;-)

December 5, 2005 at 06:56 AM · AIII!

Get software to allow you to make dvd-audio discs. There are several varieties. Imho, I've found that good home production onto dvd will give SACD a run for the money.

That being said, that is a way kewl site Jon!

December 5, 2005 at 01:11 PM · Thanks for the support Rick! SACD is truly a great technology...however until everyone is ready for it, we make all our discs "Hybrid" allowing for use in all players. We are working on a new exciting program of world premiere music that I am sure will be of interest to you Rick, I will email you with details a little later, as well I will hope to get some of your input!

December 5, 2005 at 07:01 PM · I could be wrong, but I think SACD, like Beta video and DAT audio, will not catch on with the consumers at large...but that's okay, it allows the hard-core audiophiles to feel they have something superior to the masses.

December 5, 2005 at 07:09 PM · It also allows for classical music fans to hear every intricate detail of what's being performed/recorded in 5.1 Surround clarity. It may not catch on...thus our Hybrid format ;-) People like options.

December 5, 2005 at 10:13 PM · There is a rather large body of 20th century works which are IMHO ridiculous and of no musical value whatever. These works will often have names like "Connotations XIV" or "Permutations". The composers, lacking imagination in naming their pieces as surely as they did in writing them, all jumped on the "tions" bandwagon, seemingly believing that such a title would more likely win them a grant.....but I digress. My point is that they valued innovation for its own sake. I believe they incorrectly reasoned that Beethoven was an innovator, and universally regarded as a great composer; therefore innovation is the thing to do. What this fails to take into account is that Beethoven innovated only as much as the great expressive content of his work compeled him to do. It is an especially 20th century view to elevate invention by itself (rather than invention in the service of beauty) to such a level of importance.

December 5, 2005 at 07:34 PM · There are still many ways yet to go with a regular orchestra.

Interplay with trombone- and stringglissandos is just one example I can´t remember hearing in an Orchestra. (Give examples if you know)

There are still many ways to mix tonality and atonality.

Many of the modern composers seems to have forgot the beauty of a tonal melody.

A beautiful tonal melody propably sound even better played after an atonal part (Listen to Offertorium for instance)

December 5, 2005 at 08:48 PM · "Many of the modern composers seems to have forgot the beauty of a tonal melody."

"Atonal" Music is *not* music. Those whoi call it music are hijacking the muscial sensibilities of people. Atonal experimentation should be called "sonic abstract art."

Atonal music turned off more people to supporting orchestras than you can count. I used to hear a lot of garbage among those who considered themselves to be "avant garde" about how the people who left the symphony hall during atonal stuff were "philistines" and such. Thiis is so wrong. It was the atonalists who were the philistines--attempting to ram "sonic abstract art" down the throats of people who supported symphonic *music* and had no interest in sonic abstraction.

I am actually more impressed with the players than the composers. To be trained in classical repertoire and still manage to play sonic art to the satisfaction of the composer--amazing!

December 6, 2005 at 01:41 AM · I am glad to hear that you guys feel strongly about the music that is no longer in vogue. I, too, agree with you.

But there is hope. There is alot of music being written today that is very interesting and is great to listen too. For example, the Seattle Chamber Players premiere lots of new great stuff. KRONOS does as well. We (my quartet), perform and commission a great many pieces. And there are so many around the country who are interested in new tonal music that has new structures, fresh ideas etc.

There is a new mvt. out there, which is creating a buzz. And its fabulous.

December 6, 2005 at 03:30 AM · If I've jumped in at the wrong moment and missed what was already written, I'm sorry, but I have to ask you, Gennady, what is the name of this new movement? My friend was asking me about the current direction of classical music, whether he could count movie soundtracks or what. I introduced him to the concept of the baroque, classical, romantic, and 20th century time periods. But what is it called now? And who is writing it? I'm completely out of the loop. Do I need to start a new thread, or has this been specifically discussed recently, so that I can search the archives?

December 6, 2005 at 04:03 AM · I think it all now gets lumped under Post-modernism, because it combines so many elements of modernism that almost anything can be called post-modernism.

December 6, 2005 at 04:14 AM · Hi Emily,

I don't think there is a labeled name for the new good contemporary music yet. It is simply good new music.

It is unfortunate that many associate the label of contemporary music with music of the 70's, written by people who were into "academia" and had DOGMA in their KARMA. Individuals who got positions in Universities and did not care about what people thought about it.

This was more experimental music. It has passed and gone (for good I hope).

As far as repertoire, check out Osvaldo Golijov, Aaron Jay Kernis, John Adams, Gabriela Ortiz, Thomas Oboe Lee, Michael Gallasso, Ken Benshoof, John Zorn, Louis Andriessen, Wayne Horvitz, Marcello Zarvos, Michael Feldman, Vladimir Nikolaev, Sergei Dmitriev, Astor Piazzola and so many more.

December 6, 2005 at 01:48 PM · ""Atonal" Music is *not* music. Those whoi call it music are hijacking the muscial sensibilities of people. Atonal experimentation should be called "sonic abstract art."

I don´t agree.

Atonal music can be very musical too just like abstract painting can be very artistic.

I rarely like music that is striving to be as atonal as possible like some 12-tone music for instance, though.

December 6, 2005 at 02:55 PM · What is art?

"Art is what the artist makes." :-)

December 6, 2005 at 04:44 PM · check out a book by Lev Tolstoy; "What is Art?"

The art/music world has gone through many phases.

Each point in time represents its own voice.

We have come to a point where individuals without any foundation in their craft believe that art is whatever you want it to be. Say a dot on canvas or urine for that matter.

Tolstoy has a lot to say on the subject of what art should be. And he does not belittle those who choose a certain direction.

Piccasso had great skill in his craft, but chose his own path. Schoenberg had tremendous skill, but chose his own path. These were highly skilled individuals who developed their own voice.

Experimental music had its own time, and that time is over. Now we are in the Post Modern stage.

December 6, 2005 at 04:49 PM · Postmodern Architecture sucks. The jury is still out on "postmodern classical." (A non-sequitur if I ever heard one!)

December 6, 2005 at 05:22 PM · I don't think you can lump architecture along with music, and expect to say that their evolution is based on the same things and evoke similar sentiments. What architects are doing today, does not necessarily reflect what composers are doing.

Before you jump to any conclusions about what kind of Music is being written today, you should have a listen to things that KRONOS is doing, and other ensembles, including major orchestras.

There are a lot of cool things happening in music today.

...........................

BTW, in regards to : "jury is still out on postmodern music" .....

the most compelling argument is when you have a full audience on its feet after your concert. And that happens every time we and others play works by composers that I have mentioned :)

But you are welcome to go listen to whatever you want.

I am telling you how things are from the performers side, and the audience which thanks us for such dynamic programming.

December 6, 2005 at 05:39 PM · "BTW, in regards to : "jury is still out on postmodern music" .....

the most compelling argument is when you have a full audience on its feet after your concert. "

Sounds good to me!

"I don't think you can lump architecture along with music, and expect to say that their evolution is based on the same things and evoke similar sentiments. What architects are doing today, does not necessarily reflect what composers are doing."

I agree. It's just that "postmodern" is really a vague term and a lot of things (in architecture) that get labelled or described as "postmodern" turn out to be some sort of kitchy simplification of "classical themes filtered through 20th century angst" ...and the construction is shoddy, the ornamentation laughable. They look great on paper and even better as computer models but then the real thing turns out to be lots of straight lines, flat surfaces, and badly fitted aluminum miter joints...

I get the same feeling from plenty of music--but no greater amount of current than past in that respect. There has always been trash.

TO some extent I think music is *ahead* of architecture by 30 or 40 years. Certainly the sonic experimentation (atonal) of the 60's etc might be seen as "deconstructionist" in the purest sense--which is really what postmodernism's core is--if it has one. Certainly this is true of Architectural Postmodernism. So music is already past that point and moving back or forward to something more ornate, constructed, crafted rather than bleak, deconstructed, decompiled.

December 7, 2005 at 12:01 AM · BTW, in regards to: "It's just that "postmodern" is really a vague term and a lot of things (in architecture) that get labelled or described as "postmodern" turn out to be some sort of kitchy simplification of "classical themes filtered through 20th century angst" ...and the construction is shoddy, the ornamentation laughable."

in my earlier post, my key phrase was "good new music" and that I don't think there is a label for it at this point. It was Pieter suggested to Emily that most of todays music is lumped into that category (Postmodern Era).

December 7, 2005 at 02:52 AM · I can't see how a heavier case could cause more damage. If you drop a light case and a heavy case they will fall at the same speed. Unless the case is so light it drifts in the air like a feather. Did they try to explain the results they saw?

December 7, 2005 at 03:41 AM · Jim... if you're carrying a case and it swings into a wall, odds are the heavier case will cause a bigger impact.

December 7, 2005 at 04:05 AM · That sounds like the kind of impact Nigel Kennedy's Jimi Hendrix show had on me some few years back.

December 7, 2005 at 04:07 AM · Pieter..."bigger impact?"

December 7, 2005 at 05:13 PM · um...has anybody here heard of Ligeti? He writes atonal music...are you ready to say that is NOT music?

Joyce said it best:´´Art is a manifestation of ideas´´. If you have an original idea, that is art. /believe me, there is not too many people who can boast that.

Peace. I am back to my bungalow:)

December 7, 2005 at 05:21 PM · Welcome back Ilya

December 7, 2005 at 05:48 PM · There is plenty of excellent music that is atonal and tonal in "new music". It is the structure and meaning of those ideas that makes it pleasant or unpleasant for the listener. Ligeti is a great composer (with great skill in his craft).

But you must agree that there is and was plenty of Atonal crap as well.

December 7, 2005 at 05:50 PM · There is also tons of tonal crap ;-)

December 7, 2005 at 05:58 PM · Jonathan,

did anyone say that all tonal music was great???????????

we were talking about good "new music".

Like I said just before: "There is plenty of excellent music that is atonal and tonal in "new music". It is the structure and meaning of those ideas that makes it pleasant or unpleasant for the listener." It is also the substance of the work that distinguishes great new music from the rest, and becomes part of the standard repertoire.

December 7, 2005 at 06:37 PM · No and I didn't say it was all crap (that was also a comment, not specifically directed at your previous post)...we have a composer by the name of Wolfgang Plagge that might interest you Gennady.

THIS ALBUM COMES TO MIND

Please note that Mr. Plagge offers much of his music for free download in PDF format.

December 7, 2005 at 07:29 PM · Thanks Jonathan,

I will check it out and be in touch.

feel free to check out my quartet website www.odeonquartet.org :)

...........................

what do you have in string quartets in that genre?

December 7, 2005 at 07:51 PM · I'll check with Wolfgang Plagge this evening and get back to you, I'm sure he's at least touched on the string quartet although we have yet to record the pieces.

December 7, 2005 at 08:03 PM · Hey, thanks Gennady and Pieter for the input regarding modern music. I'll have to start listening to some of the composers you mentioned to see what you're talking about.

December 8, 2005 at 03:14 AM · BTW Emily,

Thomas Oboe Lee has his own website.

The piece we play that everyone loves is "Morango.....almost a Tango". It has been recorded and I think you can a hear clip on the composers website. Written originally as a blues rif and later incorporated for String Quartet (and was premiered by Kronos).

Aaron Jay Kernis's String Quartet #2 was written for the Lark quartet. It won the Pulitzer Prize.

Ken Benshoof's "Travel Music #4" was also written for KRONOS. It is a fantastic piece.

Anyway, email me if you have further questions.

December 8, 2005 at 03:33 AM · Does anyone here see a place for the carbon fiber instruments, even if only at the pre-college level? I haven't played one yet, but it seems they would be useful in some capacity...I'm not saying they would ever replace great hand-carved wooden instruments.

December 8, 2005 at 03:43 AM · They could be great for outdoor concerts, especially in hot and humid weather.

I have yet to try one.

December 8, 2005 at 04:02 PM · Hi Gennady (and the rest of violinist.com), we have a piece for solo violin that I'd like to get your opinion(s) on.

Rhapsody for Solo Violin

December 8, 2005 at 04:14 PM · Wow, that looks like it ain't easy! I'll have to print it out and give it a try (and probably fail miserably, but it'll be fun!).

As for carbon-fibre instruments, it certainly would solve the problem of kids destroying school violins (though they'd probably find a new way). Some people seem to really like the sound of them, too. As for my personal preference, it'd be nice to have a violin I could take out in the rain (with waterproof bow hair, like maybe an incredibow); but there's nothing like the soul of a wooden instrument.

December 8, 2005 at 04:19 PM · I remember reading of a violin made entirely of Match sticks...could be dangerous

December 8, 2005 at 06:54 PM · ...but it would be great for playing Manuel de Falla's "RItual Fire Dance"

December 9, 2005 at 12:07 AM · Anybody heard the electric guitarist Uli Jon Roth play his own version of Vivaldi´s "The 4 Seasons"

I believe he wanted to be a violinist originally but thought the violin to be to limited.

He plays a guitar with a register that covers every note from the lowest on the cello to the highest on the violin (no harmonics needed)

His tone and phrasing is very close to the greatest violinplayers in the world

December 9, 2005 at 12:31 AM · i doubt there will be any real innovations on the shape of the violin or its sound production. mathematically the violin is perfected already.

the next innovation surely has to be in finding new materials to create world class violins and bows and finding materials to build cases. along with this has to come a new generation of composers that relate to the young people of today and i don't think this has happened just yet (although contemporary composers are savvy to popular culture, there are no teenage/twentysomething composers setting the classical world on its ear the way mozart and beethoven did).

December 9, 2005 at 01:11 AM · "Joe Curtin's theories about reducing the weight of the instrument (violin) for increased responsiveness were confirmed and given new direction this summer........." Erin Shrader STRINGS magazine (No 135 January 2006 "It Pays to be Smart")

..........................

about young composers, you'd be suprised how many gifted and very young composers are out there writing great stuff. We were in residence at Cornish, and we premired a lot of terrific music by these young composers.

And we are working with many today who are writing excellent works for us.

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