Klezmer Fidl Blog: Klezmer Violin Ornamentation border=0 align=

Klezmer Fidl Blog: Klezmer Violin Ornamentation

May 4, 2021, 1:14 PM · The subject of klezmer fidl ornamentation brings up varying ideas, concepts, individual teaching methods, and opinions. For klezmer violinists today and those studying East European Jewish instrumental folk music, we are fortunate to have internationally renowned practitioners who have developed their own unique sound, style, and musicality. These fabulous masters of the style have spawned new professional klezmer fidl clones who often emulate the specific stylistic nuances of their teachers. I have even heard some of my colleagues tell me that he (anonymous klezmer violin student Yoysef Fidl-Shpiler) sounds just like Greenman! In some ways, this is flattering, but my goal as a teacher is not to create klezmer clones (klezmer klones?) but rather to encourage students to develop their own unique sound and style based in the tradition. However, we do have to start somewhere, and I have developed my own system for teaching klezmer violin phrasing, ornamentation, articulation, and more.
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Violin Practice: A Little Instant-Gratification Goes a Long Way

May 1, 2021, 8:38 PM · The great psycho-linguist George Lakoff once said something to the effect that any time he came across anything that was regarded as common sense he knew there was something to be deconstructed. Or, as the great buffoon Buri once remarked, "The only function of an adage is to add-age." One of the directives we meet all the time in the violin world is "Practice this for a few weeks and you will notice an amazing difference." Nothing wrong with the idea per se; however, listening to a recent podcast interview of Simon Fischer I realized that it might be worth a little consideration.

During the hour long interview (mentioned in the discussion section) Simon’s book Warming Up became the focus of attention. The charming, albeit a little gushy, interviewer remarked that even after a few weeks just the first exercise had an amazing effect on the left hand. At this point Simon gently chided her to the effect that the exercise had an immediate effect on the left hand, causing the interviewer to do a little quick stepping to get back on track.

Simon went on to add that he wanted to feel the result of any exercise within 20 seconds or so, or he did not consider that exercise to be of value.

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V.com weekend vote: Can you speak, or sing, while playing?

May 1, 2021, 7:31 PM · Can you sing, or speak, while playing your instrument?

String players have the freedom to use our voices, since we don't have to use them to blow into, say, a trumpet or flute. But whether we can is another issue entirely. Sometimes we concentrate so hard, we forget to breathe with our mouths and noses, much less sing or speak!

Can you sing and play at the same time? Or speak and play at the same time? Both? Neither? Answer "yes" if this is a skill you are pretty good at, and if so, tell us how you learned to do it!

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2020 Shanghai Violin Competition Names 36 Contestants and Relaunches after COVID Delay

April 30, 2021, 6:05 PM · The Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition has announced 36 contestants that will participate in its delayed 2020 edition, which is now scheduled to begin online this August with Quarter and Semi-Final rounds, followed by an in-person Final Round in 2022 that will take place in Shanghai.

Though the 2020 competition was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it will retain "2020" in its title, in honor of the 100th anniversary of its namesake, the legendary violinist Isaac Stern, born in 1920. Keep reading...

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