Thursday, July 25, 2013

What would your tone be like if you had to hold your bow with your elbow instead of your fingers? You might be surprised.

With out fingers like you and I have this violinist is faced with using every thing he can do with his elbow to make tone on his violin.   With the help of some technology a craftsman at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehab Center created so that he could hold the bow with some control.   In spite of this he is able to fill concert halls with a big sound.    It is a reminder to us all that tone on the violin lives in our elbows.   Maybe the rest of us have too many fingers between us and a deep tone.

You can learn more about Adrian and his projects to help others on his web site:    But first listen to this interview on CNN.   I think you will agree that his deep tone comes from a deep heart.

One handed violinist plays, helps others

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Who can tell me what a Hurdy Gurdy is?

Developed by medieval technology a Hurdy Gurdy was the first bowed instrument played with buttons and a wheel instead of a finger board and a bow.   It was a mechanical  cousin of the violin in its day.  A high tech musical instrument that can still be found even today.

First Example is a man playing the H.G. with a typical medieval tune.

In the next segment please pay no attention to the noisy men with the horns.   About 30 sec. in to the video you will see a modern high tech version of the H. G. played by a woman at a Festival in England.  She kindly explains how the instrument works and opens it up for you so you can see the wheel and how the buttons work.   Like many Indian instruments the Hurdy Gurdy gets it unique sound from built in resonating strings making it sound like a bag pipe with drones.

In French,  this man seems to explain his modern design improvements on the H.G.  This one appears to run on electricity so you don't have to crank it if you don't want to.  It has a nob for changing the speed instead.     The French must take their Hurdy Gurdies very seriously.  This instrument seems to have many adjustments which make it possible to play in many keys.

You can see the Hurdy Gurdy played in this one about 7 minutes into the recording.   You also get to see other bowed instruments which were contemporary with the H.G.   These instruments were popular with various cultures all around the Mediterranean Sea at a time when knowledge about the arts and sciences was spreading from the Middle East and South Asia.   Merchants and traders brought with them many of the first bowed instruments from the Silk Roads.

Hurdy Gurdies made it all the way to Ireland 1st and then many places in Europe.   Since the model he has is much simpler in design musicians had to create all their melodies in modes.   It would be like creating all of your scales and melodies using only the white notes on the piano.   Other instruments and voices could play the additional notes in the melody while the H. G. played the basic chords for the accompaniment.  More modern instruments with more buttons and levers allowed the Hurdy Gurdy to play more keys and melodies.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Luigi Boccherini: Minuetto (classical)

Study from Boccherini himself.   This Minuet can be found at the end of Book II in the Suzuki Method.   Have you looked up all of your Violin pieces on YouTube?   Find out what the original composers and performances are like.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Join The Listeners' Club | Timothy Judd

Timothy Judd is a violinist and violin teacher in Richmond Virginia who has a gift for writing about music. He writes a blog about Listening and the Suzuki Method and other musical interests.

Join The Listeners' Club Timothy Judd

Boccherini writes quintet music for Castanets and Guitar

Bocherini wrote much more than minuets.   What baroque music was all the rage in both the Old & New World that people of every class and nationality wanted to participate?  Its the inspiration for this quintet.  But if you ask me its for 6.    The castanetist is very much a soloist in her own right.

Who were the first people to dance the Fandango in the Old World?

Who were the first people to play this music in the New World?

It makes exciting music for the 4th movement of Bocherini's   Quintet G. 448 in D Major played by The Carmina Quartet

Sistema NB performing "Ave verum corpus"

Young people like to do serious music too.   It is always touching to hear them express themselves with musical sincerity.

Monday, July 8, 2013

MOBILITY DEVICE - by Carmen Papalia

Music, the most integrative sensory experience. 

These Santa Ana, Marching Band students learning a lessons in Orientation Mobility.    Music gives us perspective in the experience of others.    How can you use music to assist someone with a disability?   Who is helping who in this video.