ASU faculty awarded patent for shoulder rest that lets violinists feel the sound

Instructor and violinist Seth Thorn playing his hybrid violin in the iStage, School of Arts, Media and Engineering, Arizona State University. Photo courtesy of Seth Thorn.

“Lots of violinists use a shoulder rest to ease strain on their neck when playing,” he said. “When I realised I could add some small transducers to it to make you actually feel the digital sound you’re hearing, it completely transformed my practice — a real ‘eureka’ moment for me that has brought lots of joyful playing”.

ASU Skysong Innovations is helping to market the device to a variety of sound and music industry parties.

WATCH: View a full demonstration of the hybrid-feedback shoulder rest.

Read more about this innovation ….

Old v New: Can a new instrument be as good if not better than one made hundreds of years ago?

Luthier Joseph Curtin Leads the Violin World’s Politest Revolution

Researchers have found talented soloists unable to reliably distinguish new instruments from centuries-old masterpieces.

Luthier Joseph Curtin leads the violin world’s politest revolution. He and several fellow scientists have published a series of scientific papers that have grabbed media headlines and delighted makers who think new violins don’t get the credit they deserve.

For years, Joseph has been deeply involved in provocative experiments pitting new violins against old Italian instruments. Using smoked goggles and cloth screens, double-blind studies run by Curtin, French scientist Claudia Fritz, and other researchers have found talented soloists unable to reliably distinguish new instruments from centuries-old masterpieces.

Read more on this shocking discovery…

15 Best Violin Brands for Beginner & Intermediate Students in 2020

15 Best Violin Brands for Beginner & Intermediate Students for 2020

This article includes fifteen best violin brands for beginner, intermediate or advanced players, as well as violin reviews of some of the best student models on the market.

The staff at Consordini.com have created a guide to help you, whether you are a beginner violinist or an intermediate one, taking into consideration the affordability and quality of violins.

Read more here….

2021 AWARDS SHOWCASE CANCELLED

The Golden Fiddle Awards Board of Directors have announced the cancellation of the January 2021 show in Tamworth.

This week Barry Harley from the Tamworth Regional Council said “the council is withdrawing all its festival shows and support due to COVID19 social distancing requirements and this has led to the cancellation of our event.

We apologise for any inconvenience but wish all our followers a safe journey through this trying time and with hope will see you all in 2022 in a much better world.

Explore the life, career and iconic recordings of violinist Isaac Stern

Issac Stern – one of the greatest violinists

Explore the life, career and iconic recordings of violinist Isaac Stern

Famous for cracking so-so jokes, Stern often told the one about “Two men are walking by Carnegie Hall and one says to the other, ‘have you heard Isaac Stern recently?’ The other responds, ‘no, what did he say?’” The implication being that Stern was as famous for his powers of speech and persuasion as his fiddle playing.

Read more here on our ABC Classics https://www.abc.net.au/classic/programs/legends/legends/12460074link….

PODCAST: World-renowned fiddle player and artistic director of the Masters of Tradition Festival, Martin Hayes

PODCAST: World-renowned fiddle player and artistic director of the Masters of Tradition Festival, Martin Hayes

PODCAST: World-renowned fiddle player and artistic director of the Masters of Tradition Festival, Martin Hayes
PODCAST: World-renowned fiddle player and artistic director of the Masters of Tradition Festival, Martin Hayes\
Martin Hayes

Martin Hayes (born 4 July 1962) is an Irish fiddler from County Clare. He is a member of the Irish-American supergroup The Gloaming.

This is a wonderful podcast featuring this incredible fiddler.

Check it out here…. from the Southern Star in West Cork UK

10 interesting facts about the violin

10 interesting facts about the violin

10 interesting facts about the fiddle or violin
10 interesting facts about the fiddle or violin

Here are some facts about the fiddle you might find interesting:

  1. The modern violin has been around for roughly 500 years. It was said to have been designed in the 1500’s by Andrea Amati.
  2. Playing the violin burns approximately 170 calories per hour. Forget about your workout and start practicing harder!
  3. Violins are typically comprised of spruce or maple wood.
  4. Violins come in many different sizes. Typically, students will start learning violin at a young age with a 1/32 or 1/16 size violin. As the student ages they will graduate up to a full sized violin.
  5. Violins are very complex. Over 70 different pieces of wood are put together to form the modern violin.
  6. The word violin comes from the Medieval Latin word vitula, meaning stringed instrument;
  7. The world record in cycling backwards playing a violin is 60.45 kilometres in 5 hours 8 seconds.
  8. The most expensive violin in the world was made by Giuseppe Guarneri in 1741. This extravagant violin was appraised with a value of $18 million.
  9. Violin bows typically contain 150 to 200 hairs. They can be made up of  a variety of materials including nylon and horse hair.
  10. Violin strings were first made of sheep gut (commonly known as catgut), which was stretched, dried, and twisted. Other materials violin strings have been made out of include: solid steel, stranded steel, or various synthetic materials, wound with various metals, and sometimes plated with silver.

New technology turns violinists into digital music creators

New technology turns violinists into digital music creators

New technology turns violinists into digital music creators

The ‘Digitaize’ system allows users to control virtual sounds from their fingerboard; to shape digital samples; and to visualise the movements of their instrument on a computer screen.

Read more here….

Update on the bow

The Soundpost in the Violin:
an update

Violin or fiddle bows...
Violin or fiddle bows…

It was thought that a “support” post was first fitted in a central position and a connection made with the “pin hole” found in the back of some instruments but this does not seem to be valid.

It is not known when the soundpost was moved to its present position behind the treble foot of the bridge but musicians were very innovative at the time as indicated by the varying positions of the bridge.

This is a highly scientific article from UNSW and is tough going but a great read about a tiny piece of dowel and how important it is to stringed instruments….

Read more here…..

Andrea Amati

Andrea Amati - Violin maker
(c. 1505 – 1577)
Andrea Amati – Violin maker
(c. 1505 – 1577)

Andrea Amati

Andrea Amati – Violin maker
(c. 1505 – 1577)

Known as the founding father of the violin, Andrea Amati appears to have been responsible for creating the definitive modern form of the instrument. His basic design was refined by later makers, particularly Stradivari, but in essence it remains unchanged today.

Details about Amati are scanty and largely derived from his instruments, of which few survive. He was sufficiently famous during his lifetime to be commissioned to make a set of decorated instruments for Charles IX of France. These included two sizes of violin, tenor violas and large cellos. His earliest instrument is thought to be from 1546, though that instrument has been lost. The earliest existing instrument from Andrea is dated 1564.

Amati’s two sons, Antonio and Girolamo, inherited the family workshop after his death in 1577, refining their father’s models and further establishing the great Cremonese tradition of violin making.