Does it really matter?

Discussions relating to the classical guitar which don't fit elsewhere.
User avatar
Erik Zurcher
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 15605
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:38 pm
Location: The Hague, Netherlands

Does it really matter?

Post by Erik Zurcher » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:09 pm

I was watching violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter on YouTube playing a partita from Bach and then read the comments: bravo, wonderful, beautiful, excellent, etc. Unlike at Delcamp there were no comments like "what strings are you using?" or "what violin are you playing?" or worse...: "what microphones were used?"
What's this obsession among (some of) our members with our 'hardware?' Does it really matter? Discussion please...
Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

khayes
Posts: 1261
Joined: Fri Sep 22, 2006 7:29 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee

Re: Does it really matter?

Post by khayes » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:20 pm

Erik, I don't consider a youtube performance the same as a forum discussion. i would imagine on a violin forum you would see the same obsessions over the smallest details.
Ken

User avatar
Peter Lovett
Posts: 877
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:35 am
Location: Hobart Australia

Re: Does it really matter?

Post by Peter Lovett » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:44 am

Erik Zurcher wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:09 pm
I was watching violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter on YouTube playing a partita from Bach and then read the comments: bravo, wonderful, beautiful, excellent, etc. Unlike at Delcamp there were no comments like "what strings are you using?" or "what violin are you playing?" or worse...: "what microphones were used?"
What's this obsession among (some of) our members with our 'hardware?' Does it really matter? Discussion please...
Ah, Erik, don't you realise that if you use the same strings and file your nails like (insert well-known guitarist of choice) then you will sound exactly like them. Its a well known fact. :chitarrista:
1994 Jim Williams lattice braced, Cedar/Tasmanian Blackwood

StevSmar
Posts: 545
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 2:42 pm
Location: Winnipeg Canada

Re: Does it really matter?

Post by StevSmar » Sun Feb 11, 2018 1:13 am

I’m guilty of going down the technical rabbit hole... it’s true, the music should be be the most important thing, but the technique is a part of the journey.
Regards,

Steven from Winnipeg

astro64
Posts: 766
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2016 7:43 pm
Location: American Southwest

Re: Does it really matter?

Post by astro64 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:02 am

Ultimately, no. One only needs one good guitar and settle on a string set and focus on music from there on out. For amateurs (as I am), the technical stuff gets in the way, it cuts into practice time that is already limited and probably many of us could be much more ahead musically. But the temptation is a lot of fun and if you don't have to make a living with the guitar there is little harm in it. Discipline is hard. Changing strings is easier than studying theory. I will start next week, once I make that final string choice.....

Lawler
Posts: 964
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2013 12:36 am

Re: Does it really matter?

Post by Lawler » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:40 am

We can learn a lot from the larger musical world outside of the classical guitar.

User avatar
Peter Lovett
Posts: 877
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2012 11:35 am
Location: Hobart Australia

Re: Does it really matter?

Post by Peter Lovett » Sun Feb 11, 2018 6:54 am

Lawler wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:40 am
We can learn a lot from the larger musical world outside of the classical guitar.
Amen to that.
1994 Jim Williams lattice braced, Cedar/Tasmanian Blackwood

ddray
Posts: 568
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:10 pm

Re: Does it really matter?

Post by ddray » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:00 am

khayes wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:20 pm
Erik, I don't consider a youtube performance the same as a forum discussion. i would imagine on a violin forum you would see the same obsessions over the smallest details.
I agree, and if this had been Jane Doe posting a video of herself playing the same work I assure you there would be plenty of "my teacher said never hold the bow like that..." "Her playing's ok but her posture's terrible..." "My teacher said to use a different fingering at measure 37..." and so on and so forth. It seems to be characteristic of classical music in general, and not just guitar. There are also more varieties of instruments and strings in the guitar realm, so more opportunities for nitpicking.

jake39
Posts: 311
Joined: Sun Oct 21, 2012 11:01 pm
Location: Long Island,New York

Re: Does it really matter?

Post by jake39 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:04 am

khayes wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:20 pm
Erik, I don't consider a youtube performance the same as a forum discussion. i would imagine on a violin forum you would see the same obsessions over the smallest details.
+1

User avatar
Michael.N.
Posts: 6808
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2007 7:28 am
Location: UK

Re: Does it really matter?

Post by Michael.N. » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:38 am

Take it from me: they (the violin lot) definitely obsess over violins. It becomes much worse if a well known performer is not playing an old Cremonese violin. In fact such is the obsession with old Italian instruments that they've turned it into a form of worship. Whole tomes must have been wrote on Hahn (poor soul) and her slanderous choice of a 19 th century French fiddle.
Historicalguitars.

ddray
Posts: 568
Joined: Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:10 pm

Re: Does it really matter?

Post by ddray » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:38 am

Michael.N. wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:38 am
Take it from me: they (the violin lot) definitely obsess over violins. It becomes much worse if a well known performer is not playing an old Cremonese violin. In fact such is the obsession with old Italian instruments that they've turned it into a form of worship. Whole tomes must have been wrote on Hahn (poor soul) and her slanderous choice of a 19 th century French fiddle.
Oh, and flutists, with which community I've just become acquainted. You *have* to have solid silver or gold to be respectable. Open holes and B-foot are required. And it has to cost at least 4 figures. Never mind the fact that Marcel Moyse played a silver-plated nickel flute with plateau keys and a C-foot. So no, it's not just characteristic of the guitar world. In fact the guitar world is probably mild comparatively.

Digory Piper
Posts: 128
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:03 am
Location: Wales

Re: Does it really matter?

Post by Digory Piper » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:44 am

Erik Zurcher wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:09 pm
Unlike at Delcamp there were no comments like "what strings are you using?" or "what violin are you playing?" or worse...: "what microphones were used?"
What's this obsession among (some of) our members with our 'hardware?' Does it really matter? Discussion please...
Maybe not for random punters on You Tube, Eric, but these days anyone with a remotely serious interest in baroque performance is interested in such things as whether the performer is using steel or gut strings, modern or baroque bow, pitch. etc. etc..... This from Viktoria Mullova's notes on her second complete Bach Sonatas and Partitas recording - "......I carried on at first on a modern instrument, then as my understanding of the 18th century aesthetic increased I came, quite naturally, to feel the need to change to gut strings and Baroque bows......" (the recording is at A=415). A world away from my Milstein recordings (superb as they are, best of the old school), and approaching probably the finest HIP performance, that by Rachel Podger..... Full details of the microphones etc. used on the Podger recording in the booklet notes to her CDs :lol:

What strings and bow does Ms Mutter use? :)

User avatar
Jacek A. Rochacki
Posts: 1288
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2012 12:44 pm
Location: Bydgoszcz, Poland, Europe.

Re: Does it really matter?

Post by Jacek A. Rochacki » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:37 am

Erik Zurcher wrote:
Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:09 pm
...What's this obsession among (some of) our members with our 'hardware?' Does it really matter?...
Obsession - no. Knowledge on our hardware - tools - yes, as it may be of sense and help in making "shape" and/or "elaborating surface" of our art. I see strong similarity to other disciplines of art - sculpture, gold and silversmithing, engraving, cyselering etc. To create desired form we use hammer this or that. To achieve desired acoustic/sonic results we use an instrument of this or that construction, made of this or that tone wood, with this or that set of strings. I see relation between the tool and results of using it.
Antonio Picado, model 60, 2015, Cedar/IRW. Scale 640 mm.

CliffK
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:42 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Does it really matter?

Post by CliffK » Sun Feb 11, 2018 3:19 pm

Violinists discuss instruments, bows, bridges, and all. When I was in Cap Breton last October for the Celtic Music Festival, I had an interesting experience. Talking with Chrissy Crowley, a well-known violinist, she said that classical violinists often criticized the traditional Cap Breton bowing technique over how the bow is held. She demonstrated the difference and made the point that the local technique suited their style of Celtic music. I found this interesting and instructive. Chrissy’s cd, Last Night’s Fun, in the liner notes states the maker of her violin, Clay Carmichael, and indicates Pirastro strings used.

This Blog for violinists indicates similarities with cg per discussion of instruments and equipment.

http://www.violinist.com/discussion/

Regarding recording process and performance, amateurs may not be so focused on the tech side and don’t need to be. As an amateur interested in tech, however, I find such discussion often enlightening and useful. Professionals do and should pay close attention to the equipment and the recording process.

So...yes.
Michael Thames 2010 It Spruce/BR
Rockbridge SJ cedar/mahagony 2007, cutaway, inlay

Euan Hannah
Amateur luthier
Posts: 636
Joined: Fri Feb 20, 2009 10:44 pm
Location: Glasgow, Scotland

Re: Does it really matter?

Post by Euan Hannah » Sun Feb 11, 2018 4:32 pm

Then the forum would die a long slow death if we didn't have the minutia of such things to endlessly reconsider. :roll:

Return to “Public Space”