Showing posts with label Violin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Violin. Show all posts

Monday, June 25, 2018


Fiddle player
Photo  by rfduck 
When many people think of country music, they think of sad songs about lost loves, broken down trucks and runaway dogs. In their minds, they are hearing all of these woes sung in the traditional twangy country accents of the south. However, these perceptions of country music are far from where this style of music has evolved. Today, country music is one of the most popular genres of music, normally outsold only by rock and pop genres.

Created in the late 19th century, country music has undergone many changes over the years. There are now many sub-genres to this type of music, with some of the sub-genres being commonly played on top 40 radio stations.

To understand country music, it is helpful to know about the instruments commonly associated with it. In country music, one of the most common instruments used is the fiddle (or violin). Some of these instruments can be expensive, but most are relatively inexpensive and are very easily transports since they are light in weight and not overly large. When country music first ‘hit the scene’, the fiddle was practically the only instrument used as accompaniment. 

However, as the country music style became more popular, the addition of other accompanying instruments became normal. The banjo became popular in some country music pieces in the mid-1800s, while the guitar did not break into the country music scene until the early 1900s. Electric guitars did not become a regular instrument in country music until much later in the 50s. Other various instruments used in country music are the piano (introduced in the 1930s) and the drums (used since the 1960s). Rarely used, but distinctive sounding instruments are used in certain country songs: the accordion, the harmonica, and the washboards.

Country music has roots in several different styles of music. Its beginnings started with the settlers that came from Europe. During that time, many couldn’t read or write, so songs were created to pass history down from one generation to the next. Although country ballads have changed a great deal, going from the original songs about objective, though gruesome, events to more personal, subjective ballads without all the gore.

Today, the sound of country music can sometimes be very similar to other genres of pop and rock. Some country musicians, like Shania Twain, have many songs playing on stations that aren’t considered “country”. There are also musicians, like Sheryl Crow, who are considered pop/rock but have songs popular on country stations.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Various VIOLIN Facts of Interest

English: portrait of Yehudi Menuhin & Stephane...
Portrait of Yehudi Menuhin & Stephane Grappelli (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
What do the following have in common?
symphony orchestra, string quartet, Stradivari, high school orchestra, Yehudi Menuhin, string orchestra

That's right - it is the Violin.

So what is a violin?

Here are various violin facts of interest.

A violin is a musical instrument with four strings played with a bow or plucked and is the smallest, highest sounding member of the string family. A violin consists of a sound body or belly with two f shaped sound holes, a fingerboard attached to one end, four strings and a separate bow. All in all a violin consists of no fewer than eighty-four pieces.

The sound body is made of wood and it increases the volume of sound. The two f shaped sound holes in the sound body allow sound vibrations to escape from the body of the instrument. The four strings made of catgut or fine spun metal is held in place by pegs at one end of the fingerboard and the tailpiece which is attached to the belly. There is a wooden bridge near the tailpiece which supports the strings. The bow is a flexible stick with horsehair stretched across, used to produce sound vibrations when moved on the strings.

A violinist holds the violin firmly under the chin on a chin rest fixed to the left of the tailpiece and raised slightly from the sound body. A pad is placed between the back of the violin and the body to strengthen the grip of the chin and collarbone on the violin if desired. A sound is produced when the violinist draws the bow with the right hand across the string(s). The left hand is used to finger the desired note and this is done by pressing the string (s) down along the fingerboard. The length of the string alters depending on where the finger is pressed and this will give the varied notes.

Before a violinist plays music, the violin needs to be tuned. Tuning is done using the four open strings and an external source such as another instrument eg piano or oboe or electric tuner. Each string is plucked and if they do not sound the same as the equivalent note on the other instrument or tuner then the pegs are turned either tighter or looser. The open or full-length strings of the violin are G D A E which are fifths apart ie the interval of G to D is a fifth and so on.

Once tuning is done then sounds are created. The sound of the violin is nearer to the human voice than any other instrument. The violin produces sounds ranging three and a half octaves and music is written on a treble clef stave. Violin players can play a wide range of music from solo playing to group playing in orchestras eg symphony, string and high school, string quartets, smaller jazz bands and more. It is interesting to note that a violin can be modified to become an electric violin where a lead attachment to the sound body is added. You hook a lead from the violin attachment to an amplifier thus creating a louder sound suitable for violinists to play the jazz-pop music of the twentieth and twenty-first century.

Let's go back in time to the sixteenth century. This is when violins first emerged. Some great violins were being made in Italy by people such as the Amati family from Cremona, namely Andrea, his sons Antonio and Girolamo, Girolamo's son Nicolo and Nicolo's son Girolamo. Andrea perfected the violin, his two sons made some changes but Nicolo was considered the greatest of the Amatis. He had pupils, Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri who produced great violins and passed the craft on to their families.
Italians also composed some great music for the violin and these included Arcangelo Corelli (1653 - 1713 ), Antonio Vivaldi (1678 - 1741 ) and Giuseppe Tartini (1692 -1770 ). Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 - 1750 ) from Germany composed three partitas for solo violin which was a landmark for solo violin. And this was just the beginning. There were many great violin composers over the years.
There were also many great violinists over the ages. These included the four Baroque composers mentioned above. Others included Joseph Haydn ( 1732 - 1809 ), Wolfgang Mozart ( 1719 - 1787 ), Niccolo Paganini ( 1732 - 1840, Joseph Joachin ( 1831 - 1907 ), Ludwig Spohr ( 1784 - 1859 ). George Enesco ( 1881 - 1955 ), Yehudi Menuhin ( 1916 - 1999 ) and Nigel Kennedy ( 1956 - ). Nigel Kennedy was a pupil at The Yehudi Menuhin School founded by Yehudi Menuhin in 1963. This is just a small example of violinists as the list is large.

Hope you have enjoyed reading the various violin facts of interest. As you can see the violin has had a good few hundred years of history with great creators, composers, and players. This small instrument with a wooden body, strings, and bow to help produce the sound can play some wonderful music once tuned, whether it be solo or in a group. It is a beautiful instrument to listen to.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About the Violin From A-Z - STRINGS

violin strings, used and new, coiled on a work...
violin strings, used and new, coiled on a workbench (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hello, today I am continuing with my series everything you need to know about violin from A-Z. Today we are on S for strings. A hundred years ago violin strings were made from sheep gut. First, you would have to take a newly killed sheep and disembowel it. You would have to stretch the intestines to their full 9 meters. You then had to knead out the offal by hand and soak the guts in water until they were soft and malleable. After that, you would strip and crush the guts and finally twist then into violin strings.

It was a disgusting painstaking job and thank heavens that era is behind us. Modern strings today are made with far easier and modern methods, although some players still use gut strings there are also now steel core strings and synthetic core strings. The type of strings you use will depend on the style of music that you play.

Gut strings today are not made entirely out of gut like in the old days; they are now wrapped with silver or copper wire which helps to stabilize the tone. Gut strings have a warm rich tone they take longer to stretch out than synthetics but once stretched out are generally quite stable. Gut strings are susceptible to bad weather and you will have to check the tuning of your violin if there is bad weather. Gut strings are generally used by violinists playing classical or baroque music.

Steel core strings are popular among non-classical players such as that playing country and bluegrass styles of music. Steel core strings have a very direct clear sound with few overtones. They also last longer and are mostly used for smaller or beginner instruments.

Synthetic core strings are made from synthetic materials such as high-tech nylons and composite materials they have the warm sound qualities of gut but are more stable in pitch.

Thicker strings give more volume and center tones, while thinner strings give brighter tones but less sustain.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

A Beginner's Guide to DOUBLE BASS

Double bass.
Double bass. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A double bass is one of the largest musical instruments you can buy and is commonly used in orchestral music and genres such as jazz.

But people who are purchasing one for the first time may wish to consider a number of factors before making an investment. For instance, what size of double bass do you intend to buy and do you have to stick to a budget?

Double basses in different price ranges are available, so musicians have the option of deciding what sounds best for the amount of money they intend to spend.

The age of the player could also influence their choice, as a three-quarter size instrument would probably be more suitable for younger people.

And the type of music you want to perform is another factor. For example, jazz musicians, in particular, are often known to favour three-quarter size double basses.

There are four main parts to the instrument.
Firstly, there is the bridge, which supports the strings and transfers vibrations to the body of the double bass.

This contains the F hole - a space on the main body of the instrument that allows sound to escape.
Double basses also contain tuning pegs similar to those on most types of guitar, which make the strings longer or shorter to get them into tune.

And finally, they include a tail spike, which allows musicians to balance the bow on the floor when playing the instrument.

Musicians can buy a brand new double bass at highly affordable prices, but some may opt to purchase a secondhand instrument.

However, if you do intend to buy a used double bass, do not worry too much about aesthetics, as the sound should be its most important quality. Indeed, the large size of the instrument means that you would be very lucky to find a used instrument that does not have at least some superficial damage to its body.

But a double bass with well-repaired cracks should not present a problem to any musician, although if it has severe cracks, it could make a strong buzzing sound when it is used.

People who are looking to buy a secondhand double bass should also look closely at whether it has any loose parts that may need replacing, such as a tuning peg.

And since this instrument is likely to be a long-term investment, make sure it is a good quality item that is not likely to fall apart any time soon.

Other practical considerations also need to be addressed. This is a very large instrument so do you have sufficient storage space for it? A double bass stand can be purchased to ensure it is stored safely and neatly.

And for those who plan to play their instrument outside of the home, it would be prudent to see whether it comes with a hard case, as this should stop it from getting damaged in transit.

Musicians should remember that they will need to keep their instrument well-maintained. For example, a double bass player will need to use rosin to make sure the bow is properly looked after.

But if prospective players take all this into account when making a purchase, they should be able to make the most of their double bass.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

VIOLIN Vibrato

Violin Player - Flickr - aldenchadwick CC
Gaze at and Genuinely Hear Nature's Vibrato as you Learn to Master the Violin

Late twentieth century psychologists described a "split" between the look and the gaze, describing how looking at a person or object equips you with factual, empirical data about what you see, but gazing involves studying the object with "the eyes of the heart," learning to read the soul of all you behold. All fine artists must perfect their gaze. Their art demands no less. Similarly, psychologists describe radical differences between listening and hearing, valorizing hearing. When you can detect a stone's heartbeat, you have mastered the fine art of hearing. Follow your imagination to the nucleus of your most cherished possession and hear the sub-molecular music the atoms play as they draw their orbits around their common center-little different from drawing your bow across your strings, and certainly rich with vibrato.

In order to master any musical instrument, and especially in order to master the violin, you must learn to hear. And your ability to hear the world all around you will have the most profound effect on your violin vibrato-the sounds of nature and feeling represented on your four strings.

In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Romantic composers used their music to recreate and intensify Nature's sublimity-Her overwhelming power and her breathtaking beauty. The greater the sublimity, the most intense the vibrato, because nothing in nature sustains one single and pitch-perfect note. Nature tends to warble, babble, trill, and sigh, all of which require vibrato. How would you ever set the music to the butterfly's wings without vibrato? How would you ever score the sunbeams glancing from the rippling brook without this technique? Lightning's flash demands staccato, and then thunder's gathering roar absolutely requires rolling vibrato from the furthest reaches of the bass clef. No vibrato, no romance.

Fast forward to the early twentieth century and the birth of the "modern" era. In all of the fine arts, "modern" works intend to represent man's domination of his environment and the rise of automation. In music, Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue sets the paradigm, because it lives and thrives at the intersection of the urban landscape and human emotion-both of which demand vibrato. A "rhapsody," by definition, recreates a mood or series of emotions. As Rhapsody in Blue moves from serene-little vibrato-to reflective and vaguely melancholy-slow -to manic as traffic around the Eiffel Tower-speedy, the notes and harmonies recreate feelings and sensations, but the changes in vibrato subliminally determine the audience's different moods. Even in its disciplined, precisely noted triumphal passages, Gershwin's masterpiece includes violin and oboe descants that quiver like a nervous lover's "Will you...?" The counterpoint captures the contrast between industrial mechanism and human need. No vibrato, no mood. And the vibrato's speed determines the mood.

Just about everything in the modern world vibrates, and few things perfectly sustain a single note. The water pump in your Land Rover, for example, spins against its belt playing approximately a "high-C" accentuated with an incredibly fast vibrato. With a little practice, you can match your own to your water pump's speed, recreating post-modern nature, matching the mood of your play to the frenzy that drives your life. But make sure you include the tremulous descant set in a minor key and calling for slow, mellifluous vibrato, so that you leave ample room for post-modern human nature, too.

    Hailey Alton is a violin performer, music lover, and enthusiast. -  Article Directory: EzineArticles

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About VIOLIN From A-Z - ROSIN

Rosin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hello, today I am continuing with my series everything you need to know about violin from A-Z. Today we are on R for rosin. Rosin is the soft sticky reddish substance that you coat your violin bow with. The purpose of rosin is to allow your violin bow hair to grip the strings causing them to vibrate and produce sound. Without rosin we wouldn't be able to play the violin, the bow would just glide smoothly over the strings producing no sound.

Rosin is made from the resin of pine trees collected throughout the world. It is taken from the tree in the same way that maple is taken from maple trees. First, a hole is punched into the tree a drip channel and collection bucket is fitted. Several grooves are cut above this bucket and resin runs out of the tree and into the container.

Other tree saps will be added to this resin the mixture is then heated purified and poured into molds. After the rosin sets it is cut into blocks smoothed polished and packed into containers. Furthermore, there are two kinds of rosin. The first kind is the darker stickier rosin which is more suited to cooler climates the second is the lighter harder less sticky rosin. Both will work equally well on any violin and you should try out as many different brands as you can in order to find the one that best suits your needs. Be very careful when applying rosin to your violin if you use too much it will drip onto the violin and cause permanent staining.

    By Eric B Hill
    Eric B. Hill is a professional violin player and teacher with over 20 years experience.

    Article Source: EzineArticles

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About VIOLIN From A-Z - STRING QUARTET

English: The Beethoven String Quartet from USA...
The Beethoven String Quartet from the USA; Gustav Dannreuther (violin), Adolf Hartdegen (cello), Otto K. Schill (viola), Ernest Thiele (violin). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hello, today I am continuing with my series everything you need to know about violin from A-Z. Today we are on Q for string quartet. A string quartet is a group of musicians playing string instruments most often two violins a viola and a cello. This grouping is one of the most common groupings in classical music. It can also refer to a piece of music written for the above instruments.

It is seen as one of the most important forms in classical with most major composers writing music for this genre. Traditionally it will have four movements with a large structure similar to that of a symphony. The outer movements are fast while the inner movements consist of a slow movement and a dance movement like a minuet or scherzo. The twentieth century has seen this structure abandoned by most composers. Other chamber groups can be seen as a variation on the string quartet.

Historians have come to the conclusion that the string quartet arose by accident. Composer Joseph Haydn was working in Germany for a rich baron who wanted to hear music immediately and as it happened the only available players were two violinists, a violist, and a cellist.

The baron suggested that Haydn try his hand at composing something that these four musicians could perform and so the string quartet was born. This form of music proved to be so popular that Haydn continued writing pieces in this form and the style soon spread.

Quartet composition flourished in the classical era. Both Mozart and Beethoven wrote a series of famous quartets and to this day remains a popular form and are seen as a true test of the composer's art.

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Image from page 81 of "The history of the violin, and other instruments played on with the bow from the remotest times to the present. Also, an account of the principal makers, English and foreign, with numerous illustrations. By William Sandys and Simon
Photo  by Internet Archive Book Images
Violin is a wooden musical instrument with four strings and an unfretted fingerboard, held under the player's chin and played with a bow. It is an instrument which is being used for centuries in music genres like pop, classical, country and jazz.

All the beginning musicians and collectors can have a try on antique violins. Most of these violins are said to be hundreds of years old and are sold for thousands of dollars. These are the artifacts of the past and even wonderfully decorated musical instruments. There is a huge variety of antique violins out there. All you have to do is search for a good antique violin shop.

Older violins made in early times are highly valuable. One of the most valuable of all antique violins is one made by Andrea Amati in1564. It was made from King Charles IX and it is worth millions of dollars. Additional violins made in future years of the unchanged century can be sold for millions of dollars now. Antique violins of older times are also available in markets but are highly expensive.

These antique violins are of great importance due to its historical significance. Many of the musicians prize these antique violins for the reason that they show the craftsmanship of their makers. They are usually designed by combining many artful components together with complex and feature elaborate and unique carvings and engravings that are not found on a number of models nowadays. It is this particular difference and handmade work that makes the older violins so collectible.

In Europe, a huge number of violin makers have started making replicas of older models of violins. The basic of recreating these models was not to trick or confuse collectors, but these were made for those students and those people who really appreciated its design and were unable to buy it due to its high price, which they were unable to afford.

Antique violins are of great significance. They show us how they were designed in the past. While technology allows us to make better ones with more features there is a great deal of history captures in these antique violins. That is way musicians and collectors alike are very interested in owning them.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About the Violin From A-Z - ANTONIO STRADIVARI

English: Photo Stradivari Português: foto stra...
Stradivari (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hello this is the beginning of my series of articles that will cover everything you need to know about violin from A-Z. I will start this series with Antonio Stradivari.

Antonio Stradivari is known without any competition to be the greatest violin maker in the history of mankind. To this day the quality and sound of his violins remain unsurpassed and they are now worth millions of dollars.

His genius remains a mystery that has never been solved. Over the years many have tried to copy his violins and none have succeeded in creating anything close to matching their sound. The violins themselves have been analyzed extensively in laboratories and everything has been examined from the wood to the varnishes and glues that he used.

The front view image of the Antonio Stradivari...
The front view image of the Antonio Stradivari violin of 1703. The picture was taken at the Musikinstrumenten Museum, Berlin.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Antonio Stradivari was born in Cremona a small town in Italy in 1644, the exact birth date is unknown. It was there where he would live his entire life and establish his fame the greatest instrument maker ever seen. He was mentored by Nicolo Amati who was also from a family of famous violin makers. While still under Amati he began showing signs of the genius that would characterize his career.

In July 1667 he would marry the first of his two wives Francesca Feraboschim a young widower. After her death in 1698, he would remarry to a woman named Antonia Maria Zambelli. Altogether he had eleven children with the two women.

During his career, he made over a thousand instruments of which only 650 remain today. As well as making violins he also made violas, cellos, and guitars. The years between 1698 and 1720 are known as his golden age it is during this time that he made his finest violins these are the pieces that today sell for millions of dollars.

Antonio Stradivari died at the age of 93 in Cremona leaving behind a legacy of music and artistry that still remains unsurpassed.

    By Eric B Hill
    Eric B. Hill is a professional violin player and teacher with over 20 years experience.
    Article Source: EzineArticles

Saturday, February 10, 2018

VIOLIN Scales For Beginners

Violin First Position Fingerings
Violin First Position Fingerings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
If you just started playing the violin a few weeks ago, violin scales can be a real pain! While it may seem as simple and essential as forming a coherent sentence to someone with years of experience, it is very complex to a new violinist. The best thing a new violin player can do in this situation is starting slow and move up. No one wants to be caught in a situation where you are overwhelmed and frustrated on the violin! Here are the best violin scales to practice for beginners and how to master them without frustration.

The first is the G major scale. This is one of the most basic and essential of all violin scales because it only has one sharp in the key signature and starts on an open string. Starting on an open string makes the notes much easier to play, and so long as you remain in one octave, you should have absolutely no problem mastering this violin technique. Start on G and play up 8 notes until you are playing the next octave up on G with the third finger. Don't forget to play the F as a sharp so that you have a leading tone to the last G!

The next scale is D. Here is what's interesting about the next scale: you can use the exact same fingering pattern on this scale as with the original, the only difference being you are playing it on a D instead of a G. So play this scale all the way up one octave with one-two sharps, one being F and the other being C. This will create a very open sounding major scale that will flow nicely along the string and have a positive energy to it.

Last scale up is A. This one is the exact same idea, which is why I recommend learning these three scales in tandem with each other. They are so easy to learn when they each sound the same and have the same fingering! Play the exact same major scale fingering pattern only with 3 sharps instead of 2. This will produce the same sounding scale and the exact same whole step and half step pattern, but be tied down to a different string. This whole introduction to scales is designed to be very similar in order to help your mind lockdown on the overall pattern when it comes to violin scales.

All major scales have the same essential pattern, just on a different note. Playing scales that have the same fingering over and over until your mind understands them will help you to grasp this concept. Don't allow yourself to be too confused by sharps or flats! Stick to an essential understanding of violin playing when it comes to scales and focus on the fingerings themselves and not too much on the key signature.

If you still struggle with this, I recommend getting a good violin teacher to help you. Violin scales can be very challenging, but your desire to work at it and the teacher you have are directly related to your overall success rate. Keep this in mind and keep at it!

Wednesday, January 31, 2018


English: Photo Stradivari Português: foto stra...
Stradivari (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Remarkable craftsmanship is evident in the Italian violins of old. The devotion of the early Italian luthiers to this instrument is evident. One only has to listen or gaze upon a violin made during this era to see that it has earned the reputation of a "holy grail" of violins. In this article, a brief look at three master crafters from the Italian school of Cremona will be examined.

Nicolo Amati, born 1596, was the son and disciple of Girolamo Amati. He is considered the finest luthier of his family. Among the many beloved attributes of Amati's violins is their brilliant varnish in shades from yellow-brown to a golden red. Equally captivating is their tone which is penetrating and sweet but, because of the higher arching, lack the sheer power of a Stradivari. The length of his violins was mostly 14 inches or slightly under. Many of his family were lost to the plague, but Nicolo survived to become the master of the greatest violin maker who ever lived, Antonio Stradivari. Nicolo Amati died in 1684.

Antonio Stradivari was making violins up to the year of his death in 1737. He often inscribed his age on the labels, with one displaying "d'Anni 93" as a reference to his age of 93 at the time of the violin's creation. Born in 1644, Stradivari was described as a tall, lean man wearing a white wool cap with a leather apron. This description was given by the violin virtuoso, Polledro. Stradivari violins show evidence of being a pupil of Nicolo Amati. It is alleged that Amanti began to teach him at 11 years old.

Carlo Bergonzi, born 1676, worked in the workshop of Antonio Stradivari (in whose house he lived after 1746). It is said that he was the favorite pupil of Stradivari. Bergonzi's violins have a magnificent, brilliant tone capable of reaching the corners of the largest concert hall and are well-liked as concert instruments. Bergonzi inherited all the working materials of Stradivari in 1742. Bergonzi died in 1747.

The Cremona school of violin making is highly esteemed in the violin world today and it is due in no small part to the love of the violin demonstrated by these three Italian luthiers in their workmanship which has stood the test of time.

    By Daniel Wright
    If you're browsing for violins, be sure to consider one of the fine Italian violins available at Ye Olde Violin Shoppe such as the Amati violin. Home to the master luthiers of yesterday and today, as well as a violin forum!

    Article Source: EzineArticles

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About Violin From A-Z - YEHUDI MENUHIN

Yehudi Menuhin à l'âge de 12 ans - Photo: Wikimedia
Wow! we have almost reached the end of the series violin from A-Z. Today we are on Y for Yehudi Menuhin. Yehudi Menuhin is regarded as the greatest violin virtuoso ever to have lived.

He was born in New York to Russian Jewish parents but later became a citizen of Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Yehudi began receiving violin lessons at the age of three and displayed an extraordinary talent for someone so young. His first solo performance was at the age of seven with the San Francisco Symphony at Carnegie Hall. As a child and teenager, his fame was phenomenal Albert Einstein is said to have exclaimed at the end of one of his concerts "Now I know there is a God."

During world war two Yehudi performed for performing for the allied soldiers he also performed for the inmates of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp upon its liberation. During this time he experienced physical and artistic difficulties caused by overwork as well as unfocused practice. He overcame these difficulties using meditation and yoga.

He has married twice first to Nola Nicholas an Australian he had two children with her. They divorced in 1947 after which he married the British Ballerina and actress Diana Gould together they had two sons and another child which died shortly after birth. Menuhin continued to perform well into old age and died in Berlin Germany from complications of bronchitis.

The name Yehudi means Jew in Hebrew. His name comes from an incident when his parents were looking for a new apartment; the landlady told them that she would never rent to Jews. His mother was so angry that she vowed that her new baby would have a name that proclaimed his race to all the world.

    Eric B. Hill is a professional violin player and teacher with over 20 years experience.

    Article Source: EzineArticles

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Everything You Need to Know About the VIOLIN From A-Z - ITZHAK PERLMAN

Itzhak Perlman, a polio survivor, plays the vi...
Itzhak Perlman, a polio survivor, plays the violin while seated. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Hello. Today I am continuing my series everything you need to know about violin from A-Z. Today we are with me for Itzhak Perlman. Perlman is a Jewish violinist famous for his virtuosity and long and successful career.

He has been a member of many large orchestras such as the Saint Louis symphony orchestra and the New York philharmonic orchestra, he has also performed on many well know film scores such as the one for Schindlers List and Memoirs of a Geisha.

He also teaches at the Brooklyn College of music and has started conducting in recent years. Perlman has also appeared on TV many times in shows such as The Tonight Show and Sesame Street; he has also played a number of functions at the white house.

Itzhak Perlman was born in Tel Aviv Israel. He decided to pick up the violin after hearing classical performances on the radio. He studied first at the Academy of music in Tel Aviv and then at the Juilliard School of music in New York. He made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 1963.

Perlman contracted polio at the age of four and made a good recovery learning to walk with the age of crutches, today he uses crutches or a mobility scooter and always plays while seated. In 1987 he joined the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra for their concerts in Warsaw and Budapest he has also collaborated with many other artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and John Williams.

Perlman plays on the antique Soil Stradivarius which is considered to be one of the finest violins ever made during Stradivari's golden period. He performed together with Yo-Yo Ma, Anthony McGill, and Gabriela Montero at the 2009 inauguration ceremony for Barack Obama.

Today (2016) Itzhak Perlman lives in New York City with his wife Toby also a violinist and their five children. (Wikipedia)

    By Eric B Hill
    Eric B. Hill is a professional violin player and teacher with over 20 years experience.

    Article Source: EzineArticles

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Do More Than Fiddle Around

A violin
A violin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A violin can be an intimidating musical instrument – it’s beautiful to look at and listen to but a violin requires an extraordinary amount of education and discipline to be played properly. If you’re thinking of taking violin lessons but feel anxious about it, familiarize yourself with the instrument. Here’s an introduction to the art of playing the violin.

As you probably know, a violinist rests his or her chin and the left shoulder on the conveniently named “shoulder rest” of the violin and sounds the instrument by plucking the strings and/or drawing a bow across them. One reason a violin is so much more difficult to play than a guitar or other stringed instrument, is there are no frets. A violinist must finger a string ever so precisely.

A violin player uses his or her left hand to pluck the strings; beginners might want to put pieces of tape on the instrument to show where notes are located so they can place their fingers in the correct spots. Moreover, for purposes of learning proper hand placement, a person’s index finger is labeled “1,” and his or her pinky finger is as expected, “4” – in most instructional booklets, the notes to be played are accompanied by numbers for suggested fingering. There are then various positions of your left hand that you will learn; you will most likely start at first position.

But what do you use your right hand for? And what about the bow? Basically, your left hand creates the pitches, while your right hand or bow is responsible for the tone, rhythm, dynamics, and articulation of the music.

Once you understand how to read violin music, you can then learn all sorts of ways to pluck the strings, as well as multiple bowing techniques. Soon enough you’ll be ready to experiment with the different styles of music, like classical, jazz, and folk (or fiddling).

Learning to play the violin is a rewarding hobby. Lots of people can play the piano, and even more, can play the guitar. But how many people can say they are a violinist?

Friday, December 15, 2017

FIDDLE - Music-Instruments of the World

Fiddle - Music-Instruments of the World

Friday, November 10, 2017

How to Play the VIOLIN

Violin and bow.
Violin and bow.
(Photo credit: 
Learning how to play the violin can be a difficult but rewarding experience. Playing the violin takes a large amount of knowledge and skill. Violinists must know how to hold the violin, how to finger the notes, and how to sound the notes.

Holding the violin properly is very important. If a violinist holds the instrument incorrectly, it will be uncomfortable and more difficult to play. The left arm is curved underneath the body around over the neck so that the hand and fingers are over the strings. The chin rest is placed between the left shoulder and chin. The right arm is then brought up in front of the face in order to bow or pluck the strings.

Once the violinist knows how to hold the violin, they can learn about fingering the notes. Violins do not have frets such as those found on guitars; players must practice and train their ears until they know exactly where the notes are on the fingerboard. There are four positions on the violin; the first position is furthest away from the player's face and sounds low-pitched notes. The fourth position produces the highest notes and is further up the neck. The strings are tuned, from lowest to highest, G, D, A, E. Violinists can play open strings, which means they play a string without pressing on it, or they can change the tone of the string by applying pressure.

There are several ways of sounding notes once they are fingered.  Violinists can drag the bow across the string or strings they wish to play, creating a long, steady sound. They can also play pizzicato, which involves plucking the strings with the fingers of the right hand, creating a sudden, staccato sound.

Just knowing how to play the violin is not enough. Violinists must also be able to know what to play as well. Violinists should also be able to read music or play by ear, assuring that they will sound good when playing in a group with other musicians.

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Plucky Notes Of The DOUBLE BASS

Bass, Mexico
Photo  by Rod Waddington 
The double bass is the largest string instrument that is played with a bow or plucked. It also has the lowest pitch, which is why it is often used as a bass. While it is most commonly known as the double bass, there are a few other names that it is known by, such as the string bass, the bass violin, and the bull fiddle. Most will associate the double base to classical music, much like the rest of the string instruments are, but it is often used in other music genres including bluegrass, rock, and roll, blues and jazz.
Like most other string instruments, double basses are made in a particular way in order to get the right sound. Maple, spruce, and ebony are the three different kinds of wood that are used in its construction. The strings of the earlier double bass models were made out of the animal gut, but today they are made out of steel, which holds a better pitch and a better volume when played. The strings are quite durable and are normally played with a bow, though they are sometimes plucked.

Another difference between the double bass in the past and the one that is constructed today have also differed. The earlier double bass was only constructed with three strings. Today, the double bass has four strings. It is interesting to note that while the double bass had only three strings in earlier times, other string instruments in its family had five or six strings. Today, the double bass is tuned in fourths and the strings are tuned to E, A, D, and G. While this is the norm, there are the odd basses that are tuned to fifths; it often depends on the musician's needs of the instrument. As a result of the size, the musician also has the opportunity to choose whether they would like to play the instrument standing up or sitting down. Most these days prefer to sit down to play the instrument. They will sit on a stool that is measured to a certain height so that the musician can reach the notes easily.

The double bass might not be as picked as often as some other instruments by beginners, but it is one that can be a rewarding instrument to play. While it is sometimes used as a bass and is referred to as a bass, it does have the ability to play more than background notes. It is quite flexible in what it can play because of the range of notes it can hit, it is only that the pitch is so low that many will prefer to have it in the background. It might not be a good choice for someone who is new to reading and playing music, but it could be if it is something that the person really wants to play. Musicians who have played a few other string instruments may have an easier time picking it up because they are more familiar with playing string instruments.