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Quik FAQ - Top 34 Questions
Asked on String Forums

Questions | Answers



  1. Can I teach myself to play the violin?
  2. Where can I get FREE violin notes to popular songs (such as Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" or a song by Taylor Swift)?
  3. What is the cheapest violin I can buy?
  4. What instrument should I play?
  5. Which instrument is easiest to learn?
  6. What is this violin worth?
  7. Where can I find a teacher?
  8. What size violin should I buy?
  9. How do I play this scale?
  10. I just bought a violin, but it won't play.
  11. What is the difference between a violin and a fiddle?
  12. What is the difference between the violin and the viola?
  13. I'm a violin student; show me pages online to help me?
  14. Free violin/viola music?
  15. I hate the violin and want to quit. How can I convince my parents?
  16. Is it too late for me to learn to play the violin?
  17. Do you know of a teacher or violin shop in _____?
  18. I play violin in my high school orchestra, and would like to be a professional player. What should I do, and how long will it take?
  19. I'm a complete beginner; how long will it take me to play at an acceptable level, and how much will it cost?
  20. I would like assistance with:
    1. Cleaning/Polishing and Removing Dust Bunnies
    2. How to change a violin or viola string
    3. Setting up the bridge on budget instruments shipped with the bridge down
    4. How to protect the violin from extremes of temperature and humidity
    5. Categories of strings
    6. Bridges, soundpost setter, pegs
    7. Violin/Viola Ranges and how to tune the instrument
    8. My pegs are not working right; how do I fix them?
    9. My chinrest came off; how can I fix it?
    10. My tailpiece came off; how can I fix it?
    11. Mutes
    12. Rosin
    13. Fingerboard tapes and pinky pads
    14. What on earth is a "Violin Hickey"?
  21. Bach Cello Suites, transcribed for violin and viola?
  22. Where can I find sheet music for violin and viola?
  23. How do you rosin the bow?
  24. How can I motivate myself to practice?
  25. How can I develop a private teaching studio?
  26. How are the sections of the orchestra seated?
  27. Where can I find violin version of the Canon?
  28. Position Work (violin)
  29. Easy Chamber Music
  30. It's not what you know; it's WHO you know in this business?
  31. What do the do, re, mi names come from?
  32. Is there any advice someone can provide about determining when it is best to shift to a higher position instead of remaining in first position?
  33. I frequently see videos of great recording artists doing things which my teacher tells me not to do. Why is that?
  34. Can modern orchestras play classical music, or is that only older music? New!



Answers
1. Can I teach myself to play the violin?

A lot of people try, but it's very difficult to do and you end up having to unlearn a lot of things. Please see:

How to teach yourself the violin
http://beststudentviolins.com/PedagogyTech.html#2

Which includes:
FREE STRING VIDEOS
STRING PEDAGOGY TEXTBOOKS
STRING METHOD BOOKS


2. Where can I get FREE violin notes to popular songs (such as Coldplay's "Viva La Vida" or a song by Taylor Swift)?

This question is asked several dozen times a day. It's usually stated something like this: "Were to find FREE VIOLIN sheet music for modern songs? i want to find free sheet music for the violin like viva la vida by coldplay come on eileen and fallin apart by all american rejects. i do not want to pay money and all the places i check dont have any of the songs i want please please help"


I don't mean this to sound harsh, as I think that most people are basically decent and honest, and are just not really aware of these issues. So please note that "not wanting to pay money" is stealing--you would be illegally obtaining the work product of the artist. If you download music which is under copyright, you will be breaking the law.

If the copyright owner wants to prosecute, they can get a court order to obtain ISPs (Internet Service Providers) of the people who have downloaded the illegal files, and this can easily be traced back to you with another court order to your ISP. Copyright infringement is punishable by state and federal law, often associated with heavy fines. This would NOT LOOK GOOD ON A RESUME. [See links to legal cases, below right.]

If you are really dying to play a popular tune on your instrument, you need to either buy it or sit down at a keyboard with some manuscript paper and figure out the tune, yourself. In my many years on the net, I have noticed that people can get really frustrated with me when I make this suggestion. People often say they "can't" do this, but they haven't tried. Figuring out the tune on your instrument will increase your musicianship substantially, and I highly recommend it. [See: PracticeSpot, Free Manuscript Paper.]

Note that if you buy the work (see links, below), there is frequently no violin part, per se, but if you have a piano/vocal version, the violin can play the vocal line. If you only have the piano score, the violin line is usually in the upper, treble staff of the piano music.

Legal copies:
Beyonce: At Last, Halo, If I Were a Boy
Coldplay: Viva La Vida, Speed of Sound, Best (Easy Piano)
Christina Aguilera: Back to Basics
Jonas Brothers: Jonas Brothers

Michael Jackson:
  • Number Ones (voice/piano/guitar), Thriller (voice/piano/guitar),
  • Say Say Say - Jackson/McCartney (voice/piano/guitar),
  • We Are the World (voice/piano/guitar),
  • ABC, I'll Be There, Billie Jean (vocal/piano),
  • Bad (band), Tribute to MJ (band), You Are Not Alone (band)
  • Heal the World (flute trio/keyboard),

    Alicia Keys: No One
    Mettalica: Nothing Else Matters
    Red Hot Chili Peppers: Best of
    Rihanna: Take a Bow, Shut Up and Drive, Don't Stop the Music
    Taylor Swift: Love Story, Fearless, Our Song,
  • Teardrops on My Guitar, White Horse
    Shania Twain: Greatest Hits
  • A few recent law suits:
  • Students hit with copyright lawsuits
  • Music Copyright Lawsuits Continue: Houston Man Pays for Illegally Downloading Music on the Internet
  • Music copyright lawsuit targets Microsoft, Yahoo, Real

    Here is the applicable federal statute:
    Title 17, United States Code, § 506. Criminal offenses:

    (a) Criminal Infringement…Any person who infringes a copyright willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage or private financial gain shall be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year…

    For a more extensive list of older, popular works, please see:

    Popular Music
    http://beststudentviolins.com/sheetmusic.html#popular


  • 3. What is the cheapest violin I can buy?

    Student Violin - Outfits http://beststudentviolins.com/violins.html#Peccard

    Do NOT go to Ebay or Target and buy some piece of junk which will NEVER sound good (a "violin shaped object"). The very least you can spend is $300.00. I've done extensive research, trying all kinds of violins, and this is the best instrument you can get at this minimum price.

    4. What instrument should I play?
    This question turns up a dozen times a day and unfortunately, it's very difficult to offer advice, given the limited amount of information offered. People are drawn to performance on an instrument based on pieces they've heard, or friendships at school, and a myriad of other reasons. You might consider the following:
    • Will you be able to acquire a decent instrument to work with? Stringed instruments are typically more costly than brass or woodwinds; this is especially true of fine instruments. And the larger the stringed instrument, the more costly.
    • Do you like the way the instrument sounds? (this is usually the first reason for asking the question)
    • In what venues would you like to play the instrument? There are no stringed instruments in marching band, but most chamber music gigs for churches and weddings, etc., use stringed instruments rather than brass.
    • Will you be able to get enough instruction to get good at it? Many great guitar players are self-taught, but string players need private instruction, and that which is offered in public school is really not sufficient in itself.
    • Are you willing to immerse yourself in the instrument, and take the time for daily practice? Studies indicate that it takes about five years to get into the violin, 10 years to master any subject (instrumental performance, programming, chess, etc.)
    • Will your family support you in your efforts?
    • Can you do this without your schoolwork or job suffering?
    As far as which instrument is easier, I would refer you to the next question: "Which instrument is easiest to learn?"

    5. Which instrument is easiest to learn?
    Aside from the harp, the violin is considered to be the most difficult instrument, but really, any instrument which you take seriously, is "hard."

    Having said that, the piano is much easier to learn, initially, than the violin. The piano is more expensive to purchase than the violin, however. You can get a decent student violin outfit for $300, but it's extremely unlikely you can get a decent piano for $300, and probably more like $500 at minimum. Many people start piano studies with a keyboard, mainly because of the cost of an acoustic piano.

    Ultimately, the guitar is the easiest instrument to play, initially, lends itself most easily to self-teaching, and is very reasonably priced.

    See also:
    How long will it take me to get really good at the violin?
    http://beststudentviolins.com/PedagogyTech.html#31

    Good Student Violin
    http://beststudentviolins.com/violins.html#Peccard

    Yamaha Keyboard with piano style foot pedal
    http://beststudentviolins.com/sheetmusic.html#keyboard

    Good Student Guitar
    http://beststudentviolins.com/guitars.html#studentguitars

    6. What is this violin worth?

    Unfortunately, unless you encounter the unlikely circumstance that someone reads your post who is intimately acquainted with that particular instrument, no one can determine the value of an instrument based on the name on the label and the year. Even if you have photographs and the label is genuine, the violin has to be held and played, and examined, by hand. The only way that can be done is by taking it to an experienced luthier for an appraisal. Look under "violin" in the Yellow Pages.

    Please see:
    Requests to appraise an instrument
    http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#2

    7. Where can I find a teacher?

    Please see:
    How to locate teachers and violin shops
    http://beststudentviolins.com/PedagogyTech.html#1

    8. What size violin should I buy?

    Please see:
    Size Charts
    http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#5

    9. How do I play this scale?

    I agree that http://sarkett.com/vsc/violin_scale_charts.shtml and similar charts, are not very helpful. This is better:

    Violin/Viola Fingerboard Charts
    http://beststudentviolins.com/fingerboard.html#violin_fingerboard_chart

    But don't confuse the issue of scale fingerings and positions, with key signatures. There really is no direct relationship. What you really need is a good scale book, such as the Carl Flesch Scale Studies: Violin | Viola

    See:
    Handout: Violin/Viola, Piano: 3 octave fingerings
    http://beststudentviolins.com/3octave_fingerings.html (key signatures, and a system of memorizing fingerings for three octaves scales)

    Handout: Analysis of Carl Flesch Scale System
    http://beststudentviolins.com/scales.html

    Free one- to three-octave Printable Violin and Viola Scales
    http://shop.theviolincase.com/pages/Printable-Scales.html

    RULE FOR SHARPS: The key is 1/2 step above the last sharp (the sharp furthest to the right in the key signature). Sharps are: Fat Cows Gulp Daisies And Eat Beans. So if (say) you have three sharps - Fat Cows Gulp -- then the key signature is 1/2 step above G#, or A Major.

    RULE FOR FLATS: The key is the next to last flat. The flats are backwards from the sharps (isn't that amazing?): Beans Eat And Daisies Gulp Cows Fat. So if you have (say) four flats -- B E A and D -- then the key is A flat. You have to say A flat; the key of A is three sharps. Also, in the flat keys you have to memorize that one flat is F Major, since there is no "next to last."



    10. I just bought a violin, but it won't play.

    It's probably because you haven't rosined the bow. See:

    Rosin
    http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#rosin

    11. What is the difference between a violin and a fiddle?

    See:
    Are the violin and the fiddle the same instrument?
    http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#3

    12. What is the difference between the violin and the viola?

    See: http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#4

    Note that the viola is "not just a big violin." Violists will have you assassinated if you even think that. Playing the viola requires a very different touch, different fingerings, different position work, different vibrato, and an entirely different mindset with respect to its role in the orchestral and chamber music repertoire. Violists are very sensitive about this.

    See: Viola Resources New!


    13. I'm a new violin student; show me pages online to help me?


    Internet Resources for Violin/Viola Students
    http://beststudentviolins.com/resources.html

    Violin/Viola FAQ
    http://beststudentviolins.com/FAQ.html

    14. Free violin/viola music?


    15. I hate the violin and want to quit. How can I convince my parents?

    This is a very sensitive subject, and I think only you and your parents can work it out. As a teacher, I can't tell you how many times adult students have approached me about lessons, saying they wish their parents had made them stick with it. Give it a chance.

    16. Is it too late for me to learn to play the violin?

    No. See:

    Am I too old to learn the violin, which has always been my dream?
    http://beststudentviolins.com/PedagogyTech.html#3

    How long will it take me to get really good at the violin?
    http://beststudentviolins.com/PedagogyTech.html#31

    How to teach yourself the violin
    http://beststudentviolins.com/PedagogyTech.html#2

    17. Do you know of a teacher or violin shop in _____?

    Finding a good private teacher is essential to learning an instrument effectively. For a list of ideas about how to find teachers, and a collection of online teachers' directories, please see:

    How to locate teachers and violin shops
    http://beststudentviolins.com/PedagogyTech.html#1

    Also see:
  • Lesson Fees: Comprehensive evaluations of private lesson fees (violin, viola, piano), worldwide
  • Characteristics of a Good Private Teacher
  • What Students want from their Private Teachers
  • Private Lesson No-No's

    18. I play violin in my high school orchestra, and would like to be a professional player. What should I do, and how long will it take?

    While it takes about five years to get into the violin, studies suggest that it takes 10 years to master a subject: instrumental performance, programming, chess, etc. The most effective way to become a professional string player is to work with the best teacher you can find, continually strive to find better equipment, and plan on going to a good music school. You should attend as many concerts and master classes as you can, and summer music programs where the string teachers and coaches you'd like to work with, teach. See:

    How long will it take me to get really good at the violin?
    http://beststudentviolins.com/PedagogyTech.html#31

    Issues in Choice of Undergraduate Programs
    It's also important that you (a) get good grades in school; and (b) don't make yourself ill practicing -- which will not work, long term. Never spend more than 20 minutes practicing. 20 minutes of focused practice is worth more than hours and hours of, "oh gosh, I gotta practice." If you can do two, three, or four 20 minute practice sessions a day, you will be doing well; I did eight or nine when I was preparing my Masters recital.

    Take care of your health. Listen to a lot of music. Read books about music, and learn to read scores. Being a musician requires that you love what you're doing -- because, mainly, it takes a long time, and there are no shortcuts.

    ADDENDUM:
    A distinction should probably be made between wanting to play, or striving to play, in the top 10 or 20 major orchestras, and just wanting to play in orchestras; we mustn't forget that there are thousands of orchestras besides the "major" ones.

    See:
    ICSOM Statistics

    Two Essays on the Development of Student Orchestras


    19. I'm a complete beginner; how long will it take me to play at an acceptable level, and how much will it cost?

    The question of "how long will it take me to get good at the violin" is addressed in a couple of recently published NY Times Bestsellers, Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers: The Story of Success, and Geoff Colvin, Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else. [Both books also available on Kindle.] Both authors were interviewed (separately) on Charley Rose a few months ago.

    Both books cite a study done in the early 1990's by the psychologist K. Anders Ericsson and two colleagues at Berlin's elite Academy of Music. The answer seems to be that it takes about five years to really get into the violin. According to the research, it takes 10,000 hours (about 10 years) to master it; success, perhaps not surprisingly, is primarily based on practice time.

    Other research supports this 10 year requirement, as well. From Peter Norvig's "Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years," a webpage about learning programming: Researchers Bloom (1985), Bryan & Harter (1899)*, Hayes (1989), Simmon & Chase (1973)** have shown it takes about ten years to develop expertise in any of a wide variety of areas, including chess playing, music composition, telegraph operation, painting, piano playing, swimming, tennis, and research in neuropsychology and topology. There appear to be no real shortcuts: even Mozart, who was a musical prodigy at age 4, took 13 more years before he began to produce world-class music.

    In another genre, the Beatles seemed to burst onto the scene with a string of #1 hits and an appearance on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964. But they had been playing small clubs in Liverpool and Hamburg since 1957, and while they had mass appeal early on, their first great critical success, Sgt. Peppers, was released in 1967. From:
    How long will it take me to get really good at the violin?
    http://beststudentviolins.com/PedagogyTech.html#31

    Also see:
    Lesson Fees: Comprehensive evaluations of private lesson fees (violin, viola, piano), worldwide
    http://beststudentviolins.com/lessonfees.html

    20. I would like assistance with:

    1. Cleaning/Polishing and Removing Dust Bunnies
      http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#15

    2. How to protect the violin from extremes of temperature and humidity
      http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#6

    3. How to replace a string
      http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#7

    4. Categories of strings
      http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#9

    5. String sets
      http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#string_sets

    6. Bridge set up
      http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#10

    7. Tuning instructions
      http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#11

    8. My pegs are not working right; how do I fix them?
      http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#12

    9. My chinrest came off; how can I fix it?
      http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#13

    10. My tailpiece came off; how can I fix it?
      http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#14

    11. Mutes
      http://beststudentviolins.com/terms.html#mute

    12. Rosin
      http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#8

    13. Fingerboard tapes and pinky pads
      http://beststudentviolins.com/PedagogyTech.html#33

    14. What on earth is a "Violin Hickey"?
      http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#16

    15. How do you change a violin or viola string?
      http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#19



    21. Bach Cello Suites, transcribed for violin and viola? This material has moved:

    J.S. Bach: Music | Recordings | Books | Links




    22. Where can I find sheet music for violin and viola?




    23. How do you rosin the bow?
    Take a straight pin and scratch the top of the rosin in a cross-hatch pattern. Just for the first time, not after. Hold the rosin steady in one hand and draw the bow hair over the rosin; a good deal on either end, and then back and forth. Shake off the excess and then take a clean, dry rag and dust off the bow stick and frog. Keep a clean, dry rag in your case and dust off the violin after playing every time. See:
    http://beststudentviolins.com/StringCareSpecs.html#rosin.


    24. How can I motivate myself to practice?
    Get an egg timer. Put it in the other room, adjacent to where you practice (the ticking bothers me) and only practice for 20 minutes at a time. Stop faithfully when the 20 minutes are up, and go do something else. But really focus and listen during the 20 minutes. If you can get one, two or more, 20 minute sessions in a day, you will accomplish a lot.

    20 minutes of focused practice is worth hours and hours of "oh geeze, I gotta practice." I was doing eight or more of these a day when I was preparing for my Master's recital. Works like a charm.


    25. How can I develop a private teaching studio?

    Please see the "Learning and Techniques" section of the Violin/Viola FAQ, which includes the following:

    1. How can I develop a private teaching studio?
    2. What areas might be covered in a private teacher's studio policy?
    3. What are some of the techniques teachers use to approach beginning students?
    4. I'm a music teacher with an online Studio Policy (as you recommended) but I receive a lot of odd emails that I suspect are phoney. What should I do?
    5. What are some of the advantages of studying music?
    6. How much music history and music theory do you cover, or attempt to cover, in the private lessons?
    7. What is the purpose of practicing scales?
    8. What is a cost effective and reliable way of recording students?
    9. What are some of the questions perspective students ask?
    10. What are some of the legal issues associated with a private teaching studio?



    26. How are the sections of the orchestra seated?
    Here are a few seating charts:
    See also:
    Two Essays on the Development of Student Orchestras
    Toby Appel's Guide to the Orchestra (Adults only)


    27. Where can I find violin version of the Canon?

    28. Position work (violin)
    Q: Can you help me understand the rules of how reading sheet music changes in different violin positions? Like how the fingerings in first position and fifth position are the same? Is there a website that clearly defines these differences? I am just at the moment trying to memorize these differences so that shifting works faster for me. Thanks for you help!

    A: Rather than intellectualize this, you should just get some standard etude books in position work, and work through those. Experience will prove more valuable than scholarship, in this case.

    I list some books, below. My recommendation is to work through Wohlfahrt Book 1, and then tackle Book 2, which is all third position. I also recommend the Whistler, Book 1 starting. These are necessary before you move on to Kayser and Mazas.

    Position Work (violin)
    Cohen M: Nifty Shifts
    Neil Mackay:
  • A Tuneful Introduction to the Third Position
  • 24 Piano Accompaniments
  • A Tuneful Introduction to the Second Position
    Sheila Nelson:
  • Moving Up Violin/Keyboard
  • Moving Up Again Violin/Keyboard
    Shinichi Suzuki: Position Etudes
    Whistler:
  • Introducing the Positions Vol. 1-3rd, 5th
  • Introducing the Positions Vol. 2-2nd, 4th
    Wohlfahrt: Book 2, devoted to third position

    CHRISTIAN:
    Eight American Hymns and Spirituals (vl/piano) [Latham]
    Hymns of Grace (2 vls/piano) [Latham]
    Nativity Hymns (2 vls/piano): Vol. 1, Vol. 2 [Latham]
    Hymns of Peace (2 vls/piano) [Latham]
    Hymns of Power (2 vls/piano) [Latham]
    Hymns of Praise (2 vls/piano) [Latham]
    Ten Easy Hymns (vl/piano) [Latham]

    CHRISTMAS
    [Christmas Collection]:
    And Therefore Be Merry: Carols (St. Quar) [Latham]
    Keeping Christmas (St. Trio) [Latham]
    Christmas Traditions (St. Quar) [Latham]
    Christmas Pops (St. Quar) [Latham]
    Christmas Carol Fantasies (vla/piano) [Latham]

    DUETS
    [More Duets]:
    Bartók 44 Duets (2 vls): Vol. 1, Vol. 2.
    Beethoven: Three Duets (vl/vc)
    Boccherini: Duos (3) for two violins, Op. 5
    Fifteen Duets for Violin and Cello [Latham]
    Fifteen Duets for Violin and Viola [Latham]
    Seasonal Favorites for Violin Duet [Latham]
    Easiest Christmas Duets: Book 1, Book 2
    Two For Christmas, 16 Duets For C Instruments
    Easy Violin Duets-1st position, J.S. Bach
    Easy Violin Duets-1st position, Mozart
    Easy Baroque Duets For Violin
    Christmas Duets

    Easy Violin/Piano DUETS:
    Katherine & Hugh Colledge:
  • Stepping Stones, Shooting Stars, Fast Forward
    de Bériot: Air Varié in D Minor, Op. 1
    Dancla: Six Airs Variés, Op. 89
    Dvorak: Sonatina, Op. 100
    Elgar: Six Very Easy Pieces For Violin Op. 22
    Hauptmann: Easy Sonatinas
    Lenkey (Arr.): Easy Classical Sonatas
    Mozart: Wiener Sonatinen
    Telemann: 6 Sonatinas
    Old Masters for Young Players, Easy Classical Pieces:
  • Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3


    EASY PIANO DUETS:
    44 Original Piano Duets: Haydn to Stravinsky
    Essential Keyboard Duets: Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3, Vol. 4, Vol. 5
    Easy Classical Piano Duets
    The Joy of Piano Duets

    FIDDLE:

    Fiddling for Classical Stiffs - Viola [Latham]
    Fiddling for Classical Stiffs - Violin [Latham]
    Celtic Classics for String Trio [Latham]




  • POPULAR:

    Anthems of America for Two Violins and Piano [Latham]
    Holiday Jazz for String Quartet [Latham]
    Jammin Jazz for String Quartet [Latham]
    Cole Porter Album for String Quartet: Vol. 1, Vol. 2 [Latham]

    STRING QUARTET:

    Bach, Brandenburg Concertos (parts):
    #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6.
    Bach, Brandenburg Concerto: #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6 [Latham]
    Bach: Double Concerto for Two Violins for String Quartet
    Elgar: Nimrod
    Handel: Royal Fireworks Music for String Quartet [Latham]
    Handel Messiah: Vl 1, Vl 2, Vla, VC.
    Handel: Water Music for String Quartet [Latham]
    Mozart: Eine kleine Nachtmusik
    Mozart: 3 Divertimenti for String Quartet
    Rabinowitz: Suite for String Quartet
    Saint-Saens: Fantaisie for Violin and Harp, Op. 124
    Tchaikovsky: Nutcracker Suite for String Quartet [Latham]
    Vivaldi, Four Seasons: Summer, Spring, Winter, Autumn.
    Vivaldi: Four Seasons [Latham]
    Album of Easy String Quartets: Vol I, Vol II
    Collected Quartets: Vol 1 (includes Pachelbel Canon), Vol 2. [Latham]
    Ballet Classics for String Quartet [Latham]
    Opera Favorites for String Quartet [Latham]
    Tangos and More for String Quartet [Latham]
    Hungarian and Slavonic Dances for String Quartet [Latham]
    Baroque Theatre Music for String Quartet [Latham]

    STRING TRIOS:

    See also: Violin Trios, Trios with Viola
    Wedding Album for String Trio: Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3 [Latham]
    Airs and Graces: An Unusual Collection (Baroque) [Latham]
    Mostly Handel for String Trio [Latham]
    Celtic Classics for String Trio [Latham]
    The Joplin Album for String Trio [Latham]
    In Dulce Jubilo (Eight Traditional Carols for String Trio) [Latham]
    Arkansas Traveler Collection for String Trio [Latham]
    Six Waltzes for String Trio [Latham]
    Six Yuletide Romps for String Trio [Latham]
    Classic Opera for String Trio [Latham]

    SUZUKI:
    Suzuki Violin books, 2nd violin part, Vols. 1-3
    Suzuki books arranged for string quartet: Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3.
    My Trio Book (Suzuki Violin Volumes 1-2 arranged for three violins):
  • Vl. 2, Vl. 3, Score

    WEDDING:
    The Violinist's Wedding Album for Violin and Keyboard [Latham]
    Wedding Album 1 for Piano Trio [Latham]
    Wedding Album for String Quartet: Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3 [Latham]


  • 30. It's not what you know; it's WHO you know in this business?

    People say that, but I don't agree. I do, however, sympathize with your situation; advanced degrees are for people who want to teach in university. If you don't want to teach, but play, you should aim for other things. I think three elements are required:

    1. Very strong, powerful physical development at a high level, not unlike that of a professional athlete. This element is often discounted;

    2. Extremely strong playing skills, developed through a rigorous practice schedule, where practice is your real "job," to the exclusion of just about everything else. This is near impossible to achieve while attending school; and

    3. A very fine instrument and bow. Most people are cheap in this area, when the opposite should be the case.

    These things are not easy to accomplish, but they are an entirely different lifestyle from going to school; you will get jobs, but you have to commit to the work.

    Good players who are in this life will recognize you if you work like this, and this is the "who you know" element, but you have to do this first, to get their respect and get the jobs.

    I wish you the very best; I know from personal experience that it's not an easy row to hoe.

    31. What do the do, re, mi names come from?

    From Wikipedia: In the eleventh century, the music theorist Guido of Arezzo developed a six-note ascending scale that went as follows: ut, re, mi, fa, sol, and la. A seventh note, "si" was added shortly after. The names were taken from the first verse of the Latin hymn Ut queant laxis, where the syllables fall on their corresponding scale degree.



    32. Is there any advice someone can provide about determining when it is best to shift to a higher position instead of remaining in first position?

    If you read the instrumental treatises, the notion of "good taste" is often mentioned. The problem with that, is that "good taste" varies from one era to another, and one generation to another. So this is why you need a teacher, in order to (hopefully) teach you the technique in the way the current generation interprets it (and not some out-of-fashion methods that no longer sound right to the contemporary listener). This is made more difficult by the fact that in many instances, more than one fingering is possible. The peculiarities of one's instrument often have to be taken into consideration, as well.

    In the Bohm's Sarabande (see: Barber, Bk. 2) there is a shift to third position in measures 6 and a shift down in measure 8. The piece can be played without that shift, but it sounds a little better with the shift. So much depends on the style period, the phrasing (and how that is interpreted), one's individual level of technique and the instrument one is playing, that there are really no hard rules to this, sorry to say. The Galamian editions (for example), have Galamian's fingerings (See: http://beststudentviolins.com/Galamian.html#editions) but these are frequently changed by teachers and by players.



    33. I frequently see videos of great recording artists doing things which my teacher tells me not to do. Why is that?

    That's very common. Here is an example of the reality of some great player, doing everything you tell students *not* to do, and yet playing with great success:


    Nathan Milstein - Beethoven "Kreutzer" Sonata

    Things Milstein does that you do not want your students to do:
    1. Bow curves over fingerboard at the tip
    2. Fourth finger on violin hand stiff and straight
    3. Pinky finger on bow hand too high (above frog)
    4. Too much playing at the tip

    So the problem is, students see this stuff and think Teacher doesn't know what they're talking about, even if for most players these errors can be fatal. What I tell my students is that I've had a lot of sort of down-to-earth Romanian violin teachers who have said, look, I can give you a lot of verbal instructions but really, I don't care if you play it with your FEET, as long as the sound is good.

    Kreutzer Sonata is also a novelette by Leo Tolstoy. I noticed this on the library shelves as a child, and checked it out and took it home, thinking it was a book about the violin work. Actually it's a short novel about the sexual mores in Russia contemporary with Tolstoy. In the novel, a man comes home and sees his wife playing this work on the piano with a friend who plays violin, and assumed that because the work is so passionate, they were having an affair -- and he shot both of them!

    Kreutzer Sonata


    34. Can modern orchestras play classical music, or is that only older music?

    "Classical" has two meanings in this context: it can mean (1) "art music" versus popular, folk, or other kinds of musics; and (2) the Classical era works, c. 1750-1820. See:

    Musicology - Historical Chart

    Some people take issue with the term "art music," as if it were pejorative or an insult to people who do not play formal, "classical" music, but it is not meant as such, and is a "term of art" in musicology which may be found on nearly every page of any standard musicology textbook (such as the Grout or the Groves encyclopedia.) Here's the Wikipedia definition:
    Art music (or serious music[1] or erudite music) is an umbrella term used to refer to musical traditions implying advanced structural and theoretical considerations[2] and a written musical tradition.[3] The notion of art music is a frequent and well defined musicological distinction, e.g., referred to by musicologist Philip Tagg as one of an "axiomatic triangle consisting of 'folk', 'art' and 'popular' musics."[4] He explains that each of these three is distinguishable from the others according to certain criteria.[4] In this regard, it is frequently used as a contrasting term to popular music and traditional or folk music. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Art_music]
    So no; so-called "classical" music may be found in contemporary formats and is not exclusive to older composers.



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