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The German Violin-Making Tradition - An Intro

Posted by James Engman on Aug 21, 2017 4:21:54 PM

While Cremona, Italy, is generally accepted as the birthplace of the violin, instruments by the great Cremonese makers quickly found themselves in the hands of skilled German craftsmen, who happened to live in a geographic and economic sweet-spot for violin making. German instruments have always made up a good portion of instruments available in the market, and the tradition goes back much further than the post-industrial era that German manufacturing is commonly associated with. Knowing some of the history of German violin making and the important towns and makers is vital for anyone beginning the process of finding and purchasing a fine instrument. The names of German makers, workshops, and towns are standard vocabulary for dealers, luthiers, appraisers, and players alike.

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Topics: German Violins, Used Violins, Music History, Fine Instruments

String Players Should Know About The French Violin Making Tradition!

Posted by James Engman on Aug 16, 2017 1:14:33 PM

The history of the violin is a bit like the evolution of a migratory species. It didn't come about all in one place or all at one time; various factors influenced it's changes over centuries, and in many ways we are still writing the violin's history today, all over the world. Still, there are pivotal moments in the history of the way violins are made. One very important time and place in the influence of almost every instrument made today was 19th-Century France. Knowing a bit about violin-making in France might help you to know a bit more about your own instrument, and will certainly help anyone interested in buying a fine violin, viola, or cello to understand the wide variety in age, style, sound, and price of what's on the market.

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Topics: Violin Making, Music History, Education, French Violins

The Ultimate Guide to Composer Sanity and Aesthetic Taste

Posted by Guest Blogger on Apr 29, 2013 4:17:00 PM

Ever wondered just how crazy and/or avant garde your favorite composer was? SHAR Apprentices James Engman and Josephine Llorente have put together this handy graph! It displays, on X and Y axes, the relative sanity and aesthetic taste of your favorite compsers. Agree, disagree, or think the graph needs a slight change? Leave a comment for the SHAR Apprentices below!

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Topics: Beethoven, Classical Music, Sheet Music, Bach, Music History, Brahms

A Meditation on Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Jun 12, 2012 7:00:00 AM

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Topics: Beethoven, Classical Music, Music History

"Going Home" -- Dvorak and America

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Apr 27, 2012 9:52:00 AM

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Classical Music, Music History, Chamber music, Dvorak

Dvorak's String Quartet No. 12: Is There Anything American About It?

Posted by Joseph Chapman on Apr 25, 2012 1:22:00 PM

In this week's letter to the violinist Alberta Barnes, I try to figure out what's so American about Dvořák's String Quartet No. 12. 

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Topics: Violin, Cello, Classical Music, Music History, Chamber music, Dvorak

The Glory of Saint-Saëns' "Organ" Symphony

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Apr 12, 2012 11:20:00 AM

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Topics: Classical Music, Music History, Saint-Saens, Symphony

A Meditation on Allegri's Miserere

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Apr 6, 2012 4:00:00 AM

 Miserere mei Deus secundum magnam misericordiam tuam...

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Topics: Music History, Mozart, Gregorian Chant

A Meditation on Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings

Posted by Alberta Barnes on Mar 14, 2012 10:53:00 AM

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Topics: Classical Music, Strings, Music History, Mozart, Tchaikovsky

Why Do We Cry When We Listen to Music?

Posted by Joe Chapman on Mar 2, 2012 11:12:00 AM

I'm not sure if you all follow Alex Ross's music blog The Rest Is Noise but today I came across a post that has my brain in a tailspin. In a good way.

Ross's post is titled "The Appoggiatura Imbroglio", and whatever the words "appoggiatura" and "imbroglio" mean alone or together, the post is about Grammy-winner Adele and her song"Someone Like You". Apparently, the song makes EVERYONE cry. To help explain why, The Wall Street Journal featured an article on the science behind songs that make us cry. Here's what the article, "Anatomy of a Tear-Jerker", by Michaeleen Doucleff, says:

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Topics: Violin, Music History, Mozart

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