Fiddlerman’s “Silent Night” Christmas Group Project 2013

Any violinist or violist no matter what level, is invited to learn the parts and participate in the Fiddlerman’s international Silent Night group youtube project. All the parts for the project are available for download below. Your videos will be due sometime around the second week of December. 🙂
Participating members will record themselves individually using this click track and send the files to Fiddlerman who will create a memorable combined youtube video that you can share with all your friends and loved ones just in time for Christmas.

Download the appropriate part or parts and learn them as well as you can. Participate in learning together with other members if you like via our forum. Post demo’s of yourself for critique, feedback, or just for the heck of it. If you have problems listening to the MP3 files on this page, simply right click (control click for Mac) on the file and choose “Save Link As” to save and play on your computer. Present tempo has been set to 60 bpm but may change (depending on incoming opinions) before the click-track is complete.

Record yourself using the click track in ear (not audible on the recording) and SPREND the file to pierre@fiddlerman.com (Do not email any files, they will be too big). If you have a Dropbox, Google drive or similar account feel free to send the link instead.
Please spread the word. The more the merrier.

If you don’t wish to be seen just record and send audio.  Fiddlerman will mix the parts first then add the video. Sending your video gives Fiddlerman.com the rights to use the video as seen fit for a youtube project.

Demo tutorials of the violin parts by Fiddlerman soon to come.

Silent Night PDF sheet-music parts:

Violin parts:

Viola parts:

Click Track

Silent Night Click Track MP3

MP3 files from Finale file:

See previous projects:

[youtubegallery]
Christmas Project 2012|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXjhpB3xsD0
Ghostbusters Project|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffCeye8EBZg
Bile Em Cabbage Down Project|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3HkHWIW70w
He’s a Pirate Project|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGp-poHweds
Christmas Project 2011|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8FXLVeTSOg
[/youtubegallery]

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The International Halloween Video Project is Finished!

Twenty one members of Fiddlerman.com / Violaman.com particapated in the Halloween project 2012. A few members recorded all five parts. Eight members sent in videos. This is the result. Special thanks to all the participants:
Violin 1: Adverse, Esse, Fiddlerdude, Fiddlerman, Janet, Minh, Sara
Viola 1: HeadCheese
Violin 2: Fiddlerman, Heather, Jake, Minh
Violin 3: Fiddlerman, Minh, MusicLover, ViolinGirl
Violin 3 and Cello: Xavi and Dani
Violin 4: Fiddlerman, Julie, Minh, TunesB
Violin 5: Alma, Diane, Minh, Naska
Violin 5 and Cello: Xavi and Dani

Stay posted for information on the next project which will be ready in time for Christmas.

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How to Resurrect your Fallen Bridge

Upon receiving a brand new violin from the internet or local retail store, chances are you need to set or move the bridge in the right location and position and tune your violin up from almost or complete loose.

Learning to easily set up a violin with loose or new strings will make all kind of jobs much easier. Don’t be afraid to work on your instrument. The more you do it the easier it becomes. When changing a whole set of strings, simply loosen, remove, change and re-tune one string at a time.

  • Arrange a stable working surface with a soft cover such as a large towel.
  • Make sure the center of the bridges feet line up with the inside f-hole notches.
  • While looking over the violin, insure that the strings are centered over the fingerboard by lifting and sliding the bridge to the right or left accordingly.
  • Constantly check that the bridge is not leaning too far forward or backwards.
  • Keeping the bridge at a slight back angle will insure that the strings do not pull the bridge over and even risk snapping.
  • Tune each string one by one while controlling the angle of the bridge.
  • Tightening one string will change the pitch of another requiring you to tune over and over between the different strings.
  • Remember to frequently check the bridges angle.

 

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Be a part of Fiddlerman’s International Halloween “Ghostbusters” Video Project

All interested violists and violinists are welcome to learn the parts arranged and available here on Violaman.com for the “Ghostbusters” International Youtube Project for Halloween 2012.

At the beginning of October members will record themselves individually using a click track and send the files to Fiddlerman (at Fiddlerman.com) who will create a memorable combined “Ghostbusters” International youtube video just in time to post to all your friends on Halloween.

Download the appropriate part or all the parts and learn them as well as you can.

Record yourself using the Click-track (soon available) in ear (not audible on the recording) and SPREND the file to pierre@fiddlerman.com (Do not email any files, they will be too big)
Deadline for turning in the audio or video files is for now, October 8th. Please spread the word to everyone you know that plays the violin. The more the merrier.

If you don’t wish to be seen just record audio.  I will mix the parts first then add the video. Sending a video gives Violaman.com and Fiddlerman.com the rights to use the video as seen fit for a youtube project.

Demo and help videos of the violin parts by Fiddlerman soon to come.

Everyone is welcome to participate in this fun and exciting project. I encourage you to recruit players to make this event even more fun.

Download any or all parts and choose the most appropriate one to record based on your capabilities.

Ghostbusters – VIOLA

Ghostbusters – VIOLIN

Midi parts:

See previous projects:

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Fiddlerman/Violaman’s Bile Em Cabbage Down International Youtube Project

Join Fiddlerman/Violaman’s Bile Em Cabbage Down International Youtube Project

All interested violinists and violists are welcome to learn the parts arranged and available here on Fiddlerman.com. for the Bile Em Cabbage Down International Youtube Project.

At the end of July members will record themselves individually a click track that will be posted here to create a memorable Bile Em Cabbage Down International Youtube Project.

Download the appropriate part or all the parts and learn them as well as you can.

Record yourself using the Click-track in ear not audible on the recording and SPREND the file to pierre@fiddlerman.com (Do not email any files to me, they will be too big)

Deadline for turning in the audio or video files is for now, July 30th. Please spread the word to everyone you know that plays the violin or viola. The more the merrier.

If you don’t wish to be seen just record audio. I will mix the parts first then add the video. There is a possibility that not every video will be seen but all the appropriate audio from the video files will be. Sending me a video gives Fiddlerman.com the rights to use the video as seen fit for a youtube project.

Demo videos soon to come for help on how to play the parts.

Everyone is welcome to participate in this fun and exciting project. I encourage you to recruit players to make this event even more fun.

Download any or all parts and choose the most appropriate one to record based on your capabilities.

Bile Em Cabbage Down for VIOLIN

Bile Em Cabbage Down for VIOLA

Bile Em Cabbage Down – viola 1

Bile Em Cabbage Down – viola 2

Bile Em Cabbage Down – viola 3

Bile Em Cabbage Down – viola 4

MIDI PARTS

Bile Em Cabbage Down – Four Parts – MIDI file

Bile Em Cabbage Down – violin/viola 1 – MIDI file

Bile Em Cabbage Down – violin/viola 2 – MIDI file

Bile Em Cabbage Down – violin/viola 3 – MIDI file

Bile Em Cabbage Down – violin/viola 4 – MIDI file

CLICK TRACK – for recording in unison – download, save, practice with, and record while playing in-ear. Bile Em Cabbage Down – Click Track – to save, right click (control click for Mac) and choose “Save Link As.”

via Fiddlerman’s Bile Em Cabbage Down International Youtube Project | Fiddlerman.

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The video with the most MEMBERS votes on May 29th will win the CVA-500 Cecilio Viola

Here are the 3 videos in the finals. Please vote for one of them on the polls to the right sidebar. Only members are able to vote. If you are not already a member please register first from the forum page. If you clear your cache or reset your IP the second vote will not count. The result showing might not reflect the true actual votes. The only votes that count are the 1st votes that come in from each registered voting member.

The rules for the giveaway were as follows:

  1. Make a video advertisement to promote Violaman.com
  2. Make sure your video mentions Violaman.com and reasons for visiting.
  3. Upload that video to Youtube and attempt to get as many views for your video as possible.
  4. Include links to Violaman.com in your description text on Youtube.
  5. Share this post with as many friends as possible.
  6. LIKE this page. The link can be found on the top of the right hand sidebar.
  7. Post your youtube video on Violaman.com’s forum.

Members of Violaman.com and Fiddlerman.com will vote on their favorite video out of the top three most viewed eligible videos.

However, we did not receive three videos until much later than the original deadline. Because of complaints for one of the contestants being an administrator though in reality he is just a contributor, I have decided to remove him as administrator instead of eliminating him from the contest.  I would like to see the winner as a frequent visitor and contributor and therefor cannot see a valid reason to eliminate his entry.

The winner of the CVA-500 will be announced on May 29th if there is not too many questionable votes such as repeated votes from same IP, or many registered users from the same server etc. Please keep this competition fair.

Good luck to all three contestants who did a great job and deserve to win.

[youtubegallery]
Jessica|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myol0a1Vv1w
Kristen|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsPNOCpgmOY
HeadCheese|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuLPsbKSvgg

[/youtubegallery]

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New Fiddlerman Bow for Viola

FIDDLERMAN CARBON FIBER BOW FOR VIOLA at FiddlerShop

High quality hand made carbon fiber viola bow with a round stick. Full size. Nicely decorated copper mounted ebony frog. Quality Siberian horse hair. Great balance. Very nice arch with good bounce and action. If you are not satisfied with this bow return it to me within 15 days for a full refund. You only pay for the postage. Carbon fiber bows are dependable and strong

Fiddlerman's Carbon Fiber Bow - Viola

 

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Learn Danny Boy on the Viola by violaman.com

Learn to play Danny Boy by Violaman. See fingers close up, copy and learn to play this piece just in time for St Patrik’s Day. Find the sheet-music for this along with fingerings here:
http://violaman.com/sheet-music/

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Win a CVA-500 Viola – How to become eligible

You can be the lucky winner of the 16″ CVA500

The CVA-500 comes with everything you need to get started. It’s a beautiful instrument and produces a great sound right out of the box and normally costs around $180. If you are starting out on the viola you probably can’t find a better sounding instrument for the same price. You can be the lucky winner of the fine instrument. Read below how you can qualify to win.

Also available at Fiddlershop.com

Check out my review on the CVN-500

To be eligible to win this instrument you need to do three things:

  1. Make a video advertisement to promote Violaman.com
  2. Make sure your video mentions Violaman.com and reasons for visiting.
  3. Upload that video to Youtube and attempt to get as many views for your video as possible.
  4. Include links to Violaman.com in your description text on Youtube.
  5. Share this post with as many friends as possible.
  6. LIKE this page. The link can be found on the top of the right hand sidebar.
  7. Post your youtube video on Violaman.com’s forum.

Members of Violaman.com and Fiddlerman.com will vote on their favorite video out of the top three most viewed eligible videos.

The winner of the CVA-500 will be announced on May 15th. Stay tuned for details of the exact date.

Good luck

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CVA-500 Review by Violaman

Cecilio’s instruments are great values for the money. I have personally tested the CVA-400, CVA-600 and now this one, the CVA-500. I would buy any of their instruments and be happy but would almost recommend paying the little extra to get the CVA-500 over the CVA400. The Ebony pegs are super smooth, don’t stick or slip. The sound is warm dark and big. The action on this viola is fast.

If interested you can buy this viola at Fiddlershop.com – DIRECT LINK

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Fiddlerman’s International Youtube project, “He’s A Pirate”

All interested members will learn and record themselves individually using a click-track to create a memorable international youtube video of “He’s a Pirate”. Download the appropriate part or all the parts and learn them as well as you can. If you wish, upload your progress and embed videos on the forum to receive constructive criticism for improving your performance.

Some time in the beginning of March we will collect the parts to combine hopefully hundreds of audio and video files. If you don’t wish to be seen just record audio.

Demo videos soon to come for help on how to perform the parts.

He’s a Pirate was chosen by Fiddlerman’s members on the “Fiddle Talk” forum.  Everyone is welcome to participate in this fun and exciting project. I encourage you to recruit players to make this event even more fun and popular.

Download any or all parts and choose the most appropriate one to record based on your capabilities.

He’s a Pirate – Viola 1
He’s a Pirate – Viola 2
He’s a Pirate – Viola 3
He’s a Pirate – Viola 4
He’s a Pirate – Viola 5

He’s a Pirate – Score
He’s a Pirate – Violin 1
He’s a Pirate – Violin 2
He’s a Pirate – Violin 3
He’s a Pirate – Violin 4
He’s a Pirate – Violin 5

“He’s a Pirate” MP3 of all five parts

See what the Fiddlerman family members were able to accomplish together on the last project Christmas 2011:

Details about the last project HERE

Parts for the Fiddlerman’s International “He’s a Pirate” Youtube Project

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Date Decided for the CVA-400 Viola Givaway

The date for the CVA-400 give-away is now set for 1PM EST Sunday, January 8, 2012
For the moment there are very few qualified contestants. See below the requirments for eligibility. The first requirement was to share this post on facebook and with as many possible. If you shared the post please send me a PM via the violaman forum with a link in case I missed it. For right now there are 4 members that I know of who qualify to be entered in the drawing. The drawing will be shown live on Fiddlerman TV.

The CVA-400 comes with everything you need to get started. It’s a beautiful instrument and produces a great sound right out of the box and normally costs under $160. If you are starting out on the viola you probably can’t find a better sounding instrument for the same price. You can be the lucky winner of the fine instrument.

To be eligible to win this instrument you need to do three things:

  1. First share this post on facebook and share with as many friends as possible.
  2. Next LIKE this page. The link can be found on the top of the right hand sidebar
  3. Lastly, make at least 10 good relevant posts on the violaman forum.

More posts give you better eligibility and you may be entered more than once for a greater chance to win. Note that your posts should be pertinent to the viola, string playing or music in some way. Also the posts must contain more than just a few words to be counted.

The drawing for the CVA-400 will be the first week of January. Stay tuned for details of the exact date.

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Red Wing Fiddle Project scheduled for Feb 2012

The Fiddlerman’s Christmas Project was such a success among members that the demand has brought us to the next project to play “Red Wing”. Our own “Barry” from the “Fiddle Talk” forum, and the violaman forum, is organizing the project together with Fiddlerman.
Learn the part, post your progress for constructive critism and participate in the universal recording of as many violists and fiddlers as we can get a hold of for a fun Youtube video.

Learn the sheet music for Red Wing Viola – for the fiddle project (ca. Feb 2012)

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Basic Vibrato for Viola

Vibrato produces warmth and character in order to express desired moods in music, notes and phrases. This video will teach you the mechanics of a good vibrato regardless of whether it is an arm, wrist, or finger vibrato. See how the fingers are pulled back smoothly when using the correct movements and angles. Practice doing this slowly until you feel that it feels natural. When you have captured the feeling of this vibrato it is time to speed it up a little.

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Nine new one octave scale videos posted

Working on your basic scales is an excellent way to establish finger patterns, good intonation and finger flexibility at a faster rate. Work diligently on your scales as much as you have the patience to do so and try to warm up with slow scales before each session as well.

[youtubegallery]
G Major Scale One Octave for Viola|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc5cgPtYDQU
D Major Scale One Octave for Viola|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HBMjZZ1uiac
A Major Scale One Octave for Viola|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cK0dylRa-J4
E Major Scale One Octave for Viola|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lpKMeEIEss
C Major Scale One Octave for Viola|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1SxUBekCDA
F Major Scale One Octave for Viola|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lb2iwWwe0lA
Bb Major Scale One Octave for Viola|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtD-raZzX9A
Eb Major Scale One Octave for Viola|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5bIJSmfkubU
Ab Major Scale One Octave for Viola|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=md4lfQ8_PMw

[/youtubegallery]

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A Violists Testament – by Pamela Goldsmith

USC Faculty Member and Emeritus winner of the “Most Valuable Player” award by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, Pamela Goldsmith considers what it means to be a violist.

Pamela Goldsmith

Pamela Goldsmith

I have a student named Robert who asks questions, lots of them, many of which stimulate my thinking in new directions. His questions are not the usual “Do you start this phrase up bow or down bow?, “How fast does this piece go?”, etc., but rather more significant. “What is the deep structure of this musical phrase?” “In a musical phrase structure, what are its interpretive boundaries?” and “How do you learn to sight-read?” which led to my article, “Let’s Review: Sight-Reading for String Players”, published in American String Teacher, Winter, 1993. Robert’s latest big question was “What does it really mean to be a violist?” Here is my reply:
Why play the viola? Why not the violin, where the student can become a star with an enormous solo repertoire? Why not play a wind or brass instrument? What about the percussion instruments?—at least the performer will always be heard

We who chose the viola know that it was for the sound, the distinctive, beautiful, mellow quality that only a viola can produce. Most of us started on the violin, and soon learned that its often piercing, sometimes strident quality left us edgy and unsatisfied. Some of us tried other instruments as well, the piano, for example, and found its mechanistic response not human enough. In fact, the viola is our voice. The only voice we will ever need to express ourselves.

The sound of the viola has been variously described as dark, woody, autumnal. Yes, it is all of these, and sometimes sorrowful, melancholy. But it can also be joyful, playful and lighthearted. A violist can express a multitude of emotions through the instrument: calm and repose as well as anxiety and excitement. Our range is wide, we can enjoy the higher tessaturas; but there is nothing as satisfying in this world as a resounding open C!

The vibrations of the C string go right up through the jaw into the head, and the entire skull resonates with this note. It is at the moment when this note is being played that the violist experiences the most instantaneous knowledge of selfhood, of personal validation.

A few years ago I played an outdoor chamber music concert, and just before the beginning of the concert, a bee flew into my viola. It was buzzing around inside. What to do? I grabbed the bow and played the loudest open C I could muster. In a few seconds, the buzzing stopped, and I shook the insect out of the body of the vila. The vibrations had stunned it into submission. Need I say more.

A Violist knows the physical effort necessary to produce music. The instrument is bigger and heavier than the violin, and requires considerably more effort to play. (The last time I tried to play the violin, it seemed like a toy in my hands.) Violists know about fatigue, about sore fingers and tired muscles. A sports medicine consultant will tell you that repetitive motions are the most difficult for the human body to sustain, and the most injurious. Look at the viola part in any ensemble composition, what do you see? Repetitive Motions. Finger placement and stretching are more demanding than on the violin because of the greater distance between the notes. Applied bow pressure and weight are also more effortful, because the strings are thicker, and have more mass to set into vibration. These technical details we learn through experience, and are constantly seeking new and better ways to improve the physical performance of the music.

What about the role of the violist in the musical kingdom? It is true that we seldom have a chance to be the star, but for most of us the supporting role feels right. We understand the responsibility of making the violinist and cellist look good in the chamber music ensemble by giving them the most support possible. When playing the accompanying musical figures, we know how to accommodate: when to play forte and when to hold back, when to push the tempo and when to hold steady. We listen! We know the inner parts and how, without them, there would be almost no music at all. In fact, violists usually know more about the complete symphony or musical work than anyone else. Being in the auditory and geographic middle of the ensemble, we listen to everyone, all the time. We are aware of all that is going on, not just our part. We are good musicians!

Perhaps it is egotistical, but I have always felt that violists were among the most intelligent humans. Certainly we are among the most interesting. Violists are involved with all sorts of projects. Among my colleagues are pilots, realtors, politicians, artists, doctors, lawyers, microbiologists, and so forth. Of course, many of us are teachers. It seems part of the personality profile of the violist to be a teacher, to want to share the musical experience and to encourage others, particularly young people, to enjoy music and the viola in particular.

Learning to play the viola is a lesson in self-reliance. Whatever comes out of the viola is ours: if it is bad, we must assume responsibility for it; if it is good, we can be warmed by the pleasure of accomplishment. No one can do it for us and no one can take away the personal pride of a performance well done.

Perhaps the violist’s greatest attribute is commitment. We are committed to music and to the viola in particular. I will be listening to the radio or television and hear that distinctive tone. “Listen to that!” I exclaim. “Listen to the violas.” Isn’t it wonderful? How perfectly that special sound works in the musical situation. Over the years we constantly seek new repertoire, and ask composers to write something special for us. We discuss repertoire amongst ourselves all the time, and trade music. A new recording by a violist is an event. We share the experience of ‘what it means to be a violist’ with each other, and are supportive of one another. However, it is not always easy to be a violist—sometimes we take unnecessary harassment from others, and much of the time we are ignored and our importance goes unrecognized. But we love the viola fervently and can not imagine playing any other musical instrument. This is what it means to be a violist.

Originally published in Viola Society Journal, VOl. 9, 2 & 3, Winter 1993, reprinted Los Angeles Times, June 20, 1993, Australian-New Zealand Viola Society Journal, Chicago Suzuki Newsletter, etc.

This essay, among others by Ms. Goldsmith, can be found on her website at www.pamelagoldsmith.com

Pamela Goldsmith was raised in Los Angeles and attended UCLA, Mannes College of Music, and Stanford University, where she received the degree Doctor of Musical Arts. Her principal teachers were Paul Doktor, William Kroll, and William Primrose. She taught at Stanford, California State Universities Los Angeles, Fullerton, and Northridge, and is presently on the faculty at the University of Southern California.

She has been a member of the American Symphony Orchestra (Stokowski), Casals Festival Orchestra, and the Lincoln Center Chamber Orchestra; she was principal viola of the Cabrillo Music Festival. Her chamber music experience includes the Group for Contemporary Music at Columbia University, Camerata String Quartet, Stanford Chamber Players, and Sitka and Sun Valley Music Festivals. She has participated in numerous first performances of contemporary music, and has presented solo recitals across the country, on radio and television.

Recently she participated as performer and lecturer in the International Viola Society Congress (Wellington, New Zealand), the International Viola d’Amore Congress (Stuttgart and England), the International Master Courses (Kapaonik, Yugoslavia), the International Music Academy (Czech Republic) and at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

Pam is an emeritus winner of the ‘Most Valuable Player’ award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Her viola playing has been heard on countless records, films, and television shows; she also plays the viola d’amore. She was both Vice President and Secretary of the American Viola Society. Her articles on the application of scholarly research to performance style have appeared in many journals.

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How To Properly Hold A Viola Bow

How To Hold The Bow – Place your thumb in the C of the bow frog and place the other fingers on the other side of the stick with the pointer finger towards the tip of the bow. Keep the all the fingers comfortably together and relaxed. With the pinky curved and the tip on top of the stick, turn your hand counter-clockwise so that the fingers lay at an angle. The bow’s stick makes contact on the first fingers knuckle with each following fingers closer to their tips. Finally the pinky needs to learn to sit on top of the stick and stay there. A proper hold will enable you to make flexible smooth bow changes.

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How to Properly Hold a Viola by Violaman.com

Begin with your legs comfortably spread at about shoulder width apart. Start by placing the viola on your left shoulder/collar bone, lifting your chin slightly and placing the end pin of the viola towards the center of your neck. Lower your jaw/chin so that it rests comfortably on the chin-rest. Find a good comfort zone. If it is not comfortable you may eventually need to find a better chinrest. Do not over squeeze the viola to hold it, rather gently rest your head on the chinrest.
The viola should point slightly to the left. Not straight in front of you and not way off to the side. Keep the instrument high enough that you will be able to reach the tip of the bow and that it will remain balanced.

How to hold your viola

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First Time Setting Up An Instrument Shipped From A Store

This is what you do when you first receive an instrument shipped from a store. See how to check that everything is OK and tune carefully so that the bridge doesn’t fall and is in the right position. How to get rosin on a brand new bow.

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New page added to Violaman.com

In an attempt to equal Fiddlerman.com Violaman has added a page called “VIDEOS”.
This page will eventually fill with many how to videos and tutorials for viola. Two videos were added today for the basics of how to hold the viola and how to hold the bow. Stay posted for new videos very soon.

Latest videos:

 

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Win a Cecilio CVA-400 Viola

Congratulations to Mustang for winning the CVA400 viola. Details about Mustang soon to come. Thanks for all who participated.

The CVA-400 comes with everything you need to get started. It’s a beautiful instrument and produces a great sound right out of the box and normally costs under $160. If you are starting out on the viola you probably can’t find a better sounding instrument for the same price. You can be the lucky winner of the fine instrument.

To be eligible to win this instrument you need to do three things:

  1. First share this post on facebook and share with as many friends as possible.
  2. Next LIKE this page. The link can be found on the top of the right hand sidebar
  3. Lastly, make at least 10 good relevant posts on the violaman forum.

More posts give you better eligibility and you may be entered more than once for a greater chance to win. Note that your posts should be pertinent to the viola, string playing or music in some way. Also the posts must contain more than just a few words to be counted.

The drawing for the CVA-400 will be the first week of January. Stay tuned for details of the exact date.

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Cecilio’s CVA-600 Viola Review by Violaman.com

First impression when opening the box and the case was that this is a beautiful instrument. Nicer than expected and hard to believe that one could get such a nice instrument for so little money. After checking the instrument and tuning it I rosined one of the bows included in the case and began to play.

I was very impressed with the first sounds coming out of such a green (brand new) instrument. I couldn’t put the viola down until I had played for at least one hour. In the short time that I played the viola began to open (became louder and easier to play) in sound. The next day I turned on the video camera and made my review posted above.

Pros for this particular viola (CVA-600) is:

  • It has a great sound despite its age and complete lack of being played on.
  • The look is one of a handmade instrument that costs many times more.
  • Real inlaid purfling.
  • Large enough case to store a lot of accessories.
  • Well working pegs and fine tuners.

The cons are:

  • Steel core strings hinder richer sound and make it difficult to play in-tune.
  • Two bows with little hair and brittle as well (broke off at least 10 in an hour).
  • Badly cut and sanded bridge
  • Badly fitted soundpost (will have a luthier refit to hear the difference).
  • End pin not fitted deep enough into the end block
  • Cheap case (loosely glued fabric in some places reveal thin fabric and Styrofoam)
  • Very dusty white rosin (would prefer a stickier higher quality rosin)
  • No shoulder rest included

The cons for me are not as important as the pros in this case. The accessories are easy to change but I wish that Cecilio would only include one high quality bow instead of the two included. Secondly, extremely few consumers will be able to set or fit a soundpost correctly. I would suggest that the time given to the makers who fit the soundposts be lengthened and that they are inspected more diligently. Lastly, I feel that the steel core strings should be traded for high quality perlon core strings for an instant improvement.

To summarize my review I would gladly recommend this viola to both beginner violists and more advanced players looking to upgrade.

 

 

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University of Tennessee Viola Celebration to be held This Weekend, Oct. 22-23

UT Viola Celebration 
5th Anniversary Extravaganza
October 22-23, 2011

The University of Tennessee is proud to announce the Fifth Anniversary Viola Celebration is scheduled for October 22-23, 2011.  Violists of all ages and abilities are encouraged to join the festivities which will include a concerto performance by James Dunham and the UT Symphony Orchestra, the All-Viola Orchestra led by David Holland, Master Classes with renowned violists and more!  As an incentive to apply early, the first 10 students to register on-line will be invited to perform a duo with one of the Faculty at the final concert!    Activities have been organized to allow for all ages and abilities to celebrate the viola in this FREE weekend of fun and learning.

Special Guests

We are honored to present violists James Dunham and David Holland as our esteemed guest artists for the 5th anniversary of the UT Viola Celebration.  A renowned performer and pedagogue, James Dunham will perform the Walton Viola Concerto with orchestra as well as lead a full day of activities including a discussion on historical puzzles of the Walton Concerto, a master class and will also perform duos with two lucky student participants!

All-Viola Orchestra

The beloved All-Viola Orchestra is back and better than ever!  Violist David Holland will take the baton to lead this crowd-pleasing event.  A middle voice instrument, violists don’t often get the chance to shine in ensembles the way our more famous cousins do.  For one weekend, the Viola Celebration shines a spotlight on the viola.  Violists of all ages – students and professionals alike – join together to perform in a rare exaltation of the alto clef!  Our last Viola Orchestra had 93 violists on stage; will we hit 100 this year?

Buddy Program

New this year, the Buddy Program will pair younger violists with interested college students as mentors for the weekend.  During the Viola Celebration, Buddies will sit together in orchestra and will have coaching time on the more difficult spots in the repertoire to allow every student to feel confident in the final performance.

Performance Opportunities

In addition to the All-Viola Orchestra, the Viola Celebration boasts five separate master classes and an opportunity for 10 lucky students to perform duos with the faculty! Duos will be assigned to the first 10 applicants, so register early. Due to technical difficulties, Web Registration will now open at Noon EST on September 2nd.

 

For more information on what sounds like an exciting and entertaining weekend, check out the official website here.

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What’s going on at Violaman.com?

OK, so we just got violaman.com rolling with much ambition for the future.
Presently I am adding simple appropriate sheet music a little at a time with hopes of building a giant unique library much similar to Fiddlerman.com.
Today I added another Christmas piece at the same time as it was added to Fiddlerman.com. A few days ago I created a facebook violaman page and yesterday I added a facebook like button that I hope will generate some new visitors.

Plans for this week are to create basic learning lessons and etudes for the person who wants to teach themselves to play. Am working on the viola tuner as well and should have that ready soon. Eventually the Violin Fingering Game will also be “transposed” to the Viola Fingering Game”.

If anyone would like to contribute youtube lessons please contact me: admin@violaman.com

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Fiddlerman’s Christmas project 2011 – What Child Is This and Carol of the Bells combined | Fiddlerman

The 2011 Fiddlerman Christmas Project is complete. See what we accomplished. I will be accepting suggestions for the next project on the forum. A great big thank you to all who participated.

See the instructions from before making the video below along with the click track, instructional video links and sheet-music:
All interested members can record themselves individually using a click-track to create a memorable and new yearly Christmas tradition for the Fiddlerman family. Download the appropriate part or all the parts and learn them as well as you can. If you wish, upload your progress and embed on the forum to receive constructive criticism for improving your performance. Record the finished project and send it to Fiddlerman using Sprend. Click on “Browse” and locate the file on your computer. Paste “pierre@fiddlerman.com” in the space marked “The recipient’s email address” then click on “Sprend the file”.

Watch the demo videos for help on how to perform the parts. Fiddlerman will mix all the parts and post the result on youtube and here sometime in November.

The pieces being played are a combination of “Carol Of The Bells” and “What Child Is This” and were voted on by Fiddlerman’s members on this forum thread.

Everyone is welcome to participate in this fun and exciting project.

Download any or all parts and choose the most appropriate one to record based on your capabilities.

  • CLICK TRACK for Fiddlerman’s Christmas Project for use with recording your recording. Play through your computer or use with MP3 player through earphones, jacks or headphones. Not to be heard on the recording.
    To save, right click on the file (Mac – control click) and choose “Save Link As…”
    Choose a location on your computer and save.

[youtubegallery]
Violin 4 demo|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QskNDx2tuQs
Violin 3 demo|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0CNZfnrWUg
Violin 2 demo|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tuPvUBZmP7Q
Violin 1 demo|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLBkDS-cOF8
[/youtubegallery]

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Viola – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The viola is similar in material and construction to the violin. A full-size viola’s body is between 1 inch (25 mm) and 4 inches (100 mm) longer than the body of a full-size violin (i.e., between 15 and 18 inches (38 and 46 cm)), with an average length of 16 inches (41 cm). Small violas for children typically start at 12 inches (30 cm), which is equivalent to a half-size violin. For a child who needs a smaller size, a fractional-sized violin is often strung with the strings of a viola.[2] Unlike the violin, the viola does not have a standard full size. The body of a viola would need to measure about 20 inches (51 cm) long to match the acoustics of a violin, making it impractical to play in the same manner as the violin.[3] For centuries, viola makers have experimented with the size and shape of the viola, often adjusting the proportions or shape to make a lighter instrument with shorter string lengths, but which still has a large enough sound box to create an unmistakable ‘viola sound’.

Experiments have tended to increase the size of the viola, in the interest of improving the instrument’s sound. Hermann Ritter’s ‘viola alta’, which measured about 18.9 inches (48 cm), was intended for use in Wagner’s operas.[4] The Tertis model viola, which has wider bouts and deeper ribs to promote a better tone, is another slightly ‘non-standard’ shape that allows the player to use a larger instrument. Many experiments with the acoustics of a viola, particularly increasing the size of the body, have resulted in a much deeper tone, making it resemble the tone of a ‘cello. Since many composers wrote for a traditional-sized viola, particularly in orchestral music, changes in the tone of a viola can have unintended consequences upon the balance in ensembles.

More recent (and more radically shaped) innovations have addressed the ergonomic problems associated with playing the viola by making it shorter and lighter, while finding ways to keep the traditional sound. These include the Otto Erdesz ‘cutaway’ viola, which has one shoulder cut out to make shifting easier;[5] the ‘Oak Leaf’ viola, which has two extra bouts; viol-shaped violas such as Joseph Curtin’s ‘Evia’ model, which also utilizes a moveable neck and a maple-veneered carbon fibre back, to reduce weight:[6] violas played in the same manner as cellos (see vertical viola); and the eye-catching “DalĂ­-esque” shapes of both Bernard Sabatier’s violas in fractional sizes – which appear to have melted – and David Rivinus’ ‘Pellegrina’ model violas.[7]

Other experiments that deal with the “ergonomics vs. sound” problem have appeared. The American composer Harry Partch fitted a viola with a cello neck to allow the use of his 43-tone scale. Luthiers have also created five-stringed violas, which allow a greater playing range. Modern music is played on these instruments, but viol music can be played as well.

via Viola – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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Welcome to Violaman.com

Fiddlerman has just purchased this domain with great plans for the future.
For viola help, please visit Fiddlerman.com/viola

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“The Artist” – A New Shoulder Rest for Viola from the Makers of “The Slipper.”

You want this. You know you do...

Rear view of “The Artist” shoulder rest by the makers of “The Slipper.”

Fred Telerico, friend of Violaman.com and co-founder (along with his son) of “The Slipper,” has introduced a new model in his line of excellent, hand-made wooden shoulder rests for the viola. To celebrate, he and his son are having a give-away! Visit the FaceBook page for more details about The Slipper and how you can enter to win one of your own! LINK

The Slipper Home Page

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The 2012 International Christmas Project is COMPLETE!

Twenty-five fiddlerman.com and Violaman.com members sent their videos in for a total  of 52 tracks. Here is the result of the 2012 Fiddlerman Christmas Project.
Stay posted on Fiddlerman.com’s first page and especially on the forum for information on future projects
Enjoy!!!

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Alaska inmates find identity in orchestra

Women's Prison Orchestra

EAGLE RIVER, Alaska (AP) — After serving a 14-year sentence for murder, no one would have expected Sarah Jane Coffman to go anywhere near the Hiland Mountain Correctional Center once she was released.

But every Saturday she makes the 10-mile drive with a viola in tow for orchestra practice at the prison just north of Anchorage. Coffman, a founding member of the women’s string orchestra at the prison in 2003, will debut as a citizen member when the two annual holiday concerts are held Saturday. Acclaimed cellist Zuill Bailey will also perform with the women.

“It probably seems weird to other people,” said Coffman, who was released Feb. 1. “A lot of people I love and care about are here, my friends. It’s almost a little comforting to see them, but I’m very happy to leave when it’s time to go.”

This year’s concert is also a milestone for another founding member, cellist Dana Hilbish, convicted for the 1991 murder of her common law husband in Ketchikan. She received a 60-year sentence, with 25 suspended.

It will be her last performance. Hilbish has been granted parole early next year. The parole board “could have chosen to release me at that moment, and I was actually hoping they wouldn’t release me before the concert because this is a closing piece with friends that have become family for me,” said a beaming Hilbish.

Pati Crofut, director of the Anchorage-based Arts on the Edge, founded the orchestra nine years ago at the suggestion of a friend, who was the educational coordinator at the prison. Crofut said she took up cello as an adult, and actually played in her son’s school orchestras in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades.

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A Women’s Prison Orchestra Thrives BehindBars

“I ran out of orchestras,” she told her friend, who suggested she start an orchestra at the prison. Crofut says there were some rocky days in getting the orchestra started, including a revolving door of prisoners in the program.

Since then, rules have been established, including only allowing women with long prison sentences to become members since it takes time to learn how to play a stringed instrument. Orchestra members also have to working with other rehabilitative programs in the prison, promise to practice and take part in the annual concert, which is a fundraiser to help sustain the orchestra.

The orchestra has grown from eight to 30 members, divided into three separate groups: beginners, intermediate and advanced. The latter, Crofut says, is playing at a high-school orchestra level. Conductor Gabrielle Whitfield, also an Anchorage public schools teacher, said the Saturday practices at the prison are the highlight of her week.

“They always say the greater a person’s sadness in life, the greater their capacity for joy,” she said. “I totally find that to be true here.” For the prisoners, the hour-long Saturday orchestra practice gives them a break in their highly structured prison routine. Hilbish said she’s so protective of that hour, she tells people not to visit her on Saturdays.

“The routine is the same, you get up at the same time, everything is the same. With music, it’s going to be different, it’s going to be challenging,” said Coffman, who was convicted in 1997 of stealing marijuana and the murder of the homeowner in Willow, even though she didn’t enter the house. The jury found she was the leader of the people who did, however.

Music gave her “something to focus on besides being unhappy and walking around like a robot,” she said. Beyond a reward, being in the orchestra gives the prisoners an identity. “So much of the time in jail, your life is really compartmentalized and very structured, and you have to wear a certain thing and follow a strict schedule, and orchestra is like, ‘Well, I’m a musician,’ and music is a certain kind of freedom, to be able to make music and make music with your friends, so it is really a sense of being free,” Whitfield said.

Whenever anyone outside of prison shows any positive interest in the inmates, Coffman said it helps the women’s self-esteem. “Sometimes you feel like you don’t matter because you know you’ve done something wrong and this is your punishment, and you don’t really deserve to be recognized, and so when people do, it’s surprising and it feels really good,” said Coffman, who now works for an accountant and is taking classes.

“That’s huge in transforming a person’s life because they want to keep doing that,” she said.

www.artsontheedge.org

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Fiddlerman’s International Christmas 2012 Group Youtube Project

All interested violinists and violists are welcome to learn the parts arranged and available here on Fiddlerman.com for the “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” International Youtube Project for Christmas 2012.
In the second week of December members will record themselves individually using a click track (soon to be available) and send the files to Fiddlerman who will create a memorable combined “Christmas 2012” International youtube video just in time to post to all your friends on Christmas.

Download the appropriate part or all the parts and learn them as well as you can.

Record yourself using the click track in ear (not audible on the recording) and SPREND the file to pierre@fiddlerman.com (Do not email any files, they will be too big)
Deadline for turning in the audio or video files is for now, December 10th. Please spread the word to everyone you know that plays the violin. The more the merrier. Ho – ho – ho!!!

If you don’t wish to be seen just record audio. I will mix the parts first then add the video. Sending a video gives Fiddlerman.com the rights to use the video as seen fit for a youtube project.

Demo and help videos of the violin parts by Fiddlerman soon to come.

Everyone is welcome to participate in this fun and exciting project. I encourage you to recruit players to make this event even more fun.

Download any or all parts and choose the most appropriate one to record based on your capabilities.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen PDF sheet-music parts:

Violin

Viola

MP3 files from Finale file

See previous projects:

[youtubegallery]
Ghostbusters Project|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffCeye8EBZg
Bile Em Cabbage Down Project|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3HkHWIW70w
He’s a Pirate Project|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zGp-poHweds
Christmas 2011 Project|http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B8FXLVeTSOg
[/youtubegallery]

 

 

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