Truly so. It’s all about give and take, the equality and importance of each part, and the camaraderie — the bending and adjusting — of each musician. It’s about working together, in spite of individual frailties, to bring about the most perfect whole.
This web version of the 1980 book “The Violin Close Up” is a really neat introduction to the violin. The author and photographer, Peter Schaaf, presents the story of how the violin produces sound, in a most charming manner. The photos are just beautiful (good pick for the subject, too — a very lovely instrument), with up close views of the bridge, the belly, the tailpiece, etc., etc. Every part of the violin and bow is detailed, but the “technical” descriptions are tastefully child-like and poetic. Definitely a good read for children and adults alike!
I also recommend that, while visiting Mr. Schaaf’s site, you take a look at some of his other striking, high-quality works, such as his photos of the beloved Dorothy DeLay, the “grayscale women”, and (my personal favorite) the wild antics of Peter Schickele, including his “swinging” entrance into Carnegie Hall! Click here to begin exploring Peter Schaaf’s site.
Finally, the photos of a few of history’s violin Greats and their bow holds are here!
In general, there have been two schools of thought concerning the bow hold: the Russian bow hold, and the Franco-Belgian bow hold (although, there is what can be considered either a third school or a variation on the Franco-Belgian; this hold is generally called the Galamian bow hold). Arguably, it appears that more violinists have favored the latter hold(s), and the Galamian is the bow hold most predominantly taught to beginners, at least as of late. However, as you observe the gallery of historic pictures, notice how each bow hold becomes a variant on the theme, adequately suited for the individual’s hand, and sometimes the distinction between the main holds is fuzzy.
Pianist Arthur Schnabel and physicist Albert Einstein, who was a fairly good violinist, were playing a Mozart sonata. Einstein became hopelessly lost at one point. When they stopped, Schnabel asked, “Albert, can’t you count?”
(as posted by Tom Holzman on Violinist.com, March 12, 2005.)
“Mozart has the classic purity of light and the blue ocean; Beethoven the romantic grandeur which belongs to the storms of air and sea, and while the soul of Mozart seems to dwell on the ethereal peaks of Olympus, that of Beethoven climbs shuddering the storm-beaten sides of Sinai. Blessed be they both! Each represents a moment of the ideal life, each does us good. Our love is due to both.”
I first came across these geared pegs at the CMEA Convention last weekend, and, after handling Knilling’s display violin, I was immediately impressed with the pegs’ fluidity and perfect outward appearance.
These aren’t your regular geared pegs that you find on guitars or string basses! The gears are all on the inside of the peg, and consequently do nothing to harm the instrument, practically or aesthetically. On all four strings, the pegs rotated smooth-like-a-dream (no need for any fine-tuners, not even the E!), and they stayed put: no slipping or sticking, and no need to push into the pegbox while tuning. This is definitely something I’m putting on my wishlist! =)
At Violinist.com, a thread on this very subject had the great pleasure of a visit from Gary Byers, a representative for Knilling’s Perfection Pegs at the manufacturing and marketing level, who answered many questions about these pegs. Click here to read that discussion. Also, you can click here to see Knilling’s own site and to view a trailer about these fantastic pegs.