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Violin, Viola or Cello - How Do We Relate Them to Our Fathers?
Did they play or influence your playing?
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (5 votes) 
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ELCBK
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January 17, 2022 - 9:23 pm
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This is an extremely broad topic! 

 
💥 "My Father's Violin" 💥 
 

It's a film that will be available to watch on Netflix, starting this Friday.  

Judging from the trailer, I think it will be a great movie! 

"Through their shared grief and connection to music, an orphaned girl bonds with her emotionally aloof, successful violinist uncle." 

You can view the trailer here: 

https://www.netflix.com/title/81346323

I do not believe my Father ever played the violin, but he did push me to listen to different music and at least made sure to point out that opportunities were available in case I wished to try. 

A Poem written in 1916 by Thomas Hardy (The Literature Network). 

"To My Father's Violin"

Does he want you down there
In the Nether Glooms where
The hours may be a dragging load upon him,
As he hears the axle grind
Round and round
Of the great world, in the blind
Still profound
Of the night-time? He might liven at the sound
Of your string, revealing you had not forgone him.

In the gallery west the nave,
But a few yards from his grave,
Did you, tucked beneath his chin, to his bowing
Guide the homely harmony
Of the quire
Who for long years strenuously -
Son and sire -
Caught the strains that at his fingering low or higher
From your four thin threads and eff-holes came outflowing.

And, too, what merry tunes
He would bow at nights or noons
That chanced to find him bent to lute a measure,
When he made you speak his heart
As in dream,
Without book or music-chart,
On some theme
Elusive as a jack-o'-lanthorn's gleam,
And the psalm of duty shelved for trill of pleasure.

Well, you can not, alas,
The barrier overpass
That screens him in those Mournful Meads hereunder,
Where no fiddling can be heard
In the glades
Of silentness, no bird
Thrills the shades;
Where no viol is touched for songs or serenades,
No bowing wakes a congregation's wonder.

He must do without you now,
Stir you no more anyhow
To yearning concords taught you in your glory;
While, your strings a tangled wreck,
Once smart drawn,
Ten worm-wounds in your neck,
Purflings wan
With dust-hoar, here alone I sadly con
Your present dumbness, shape your olden story.

 

I did try violin, for a very short time when I was in 4th Grade (9 yrs old?), Public Elementary School, but got discouraged and quit. 

If my Father were alive today, I think he'd be proud of me.

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ELCBK
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January 18, 2022 - 1:12 am
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Did your Father play the Violin, Viola or Cello? 

Or, did he influence your love of music or decision to play your instrument? 

 

From Davies Violinist (Uganda), violin cover of "Like My Father" (Jax).

 

Emil Francisco performs violin cover of "Dance With My Father" (Luther Vandoss). 

 

 

See attachment for "Dance With My Father" printable sheet music.

Sheet music and audio also available at musescore: 

https://musescore.com/user/732.....es/5066142

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Katie M
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January 18, 2022 - 3:52 pm
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When I told my dad I was learning the violin he said ‘oh no’ !! But over time he has come around and when I told him about the Fiddlerman White Christmas he said he couldn’t wait to hear it !! So bit of a turn around which is nice !! He’s gone from being not interested at all to showing some support !! Which is nice … I like the videos, thanks for posting !

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AndrewH
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January 18, 2022 - 4:42 pm
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Unfortunately, my father is as anti-music as people can get. To my knowledge, he has not once voluntarily listened to music in the 38 years I've been alive -- not any genre of it. He goes out of his way to avoid hearing music in public places. To him, it's all noise.

I've always felt like music is a foreign language. One I speak fluently now, but it never seems entirely natural. That's probably because I heard virtually none until I got to school age.

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ELCBK
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January 18, 2022 - 9:17 pm
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@Katie M , @AndrewH -

Maybe people become prejudiced against instruments they've never heard mastered.

I think the context of early exposure, and the quality of that exposure - makes a HUGE difference in how people perceive a musical instrument, and music in general. 

Maybe another issue is that music is a form of emotional expression and communication.  I wonder if people, who may be uncomfortable expressing their emotions, may find music uncomfortable? 

...I also wonder if someone can truly appreciate/understand music if they haven't even made an attempt to tap in time, sing, or tried to play a musical instrument?

Tough Decisions Emoticon

It's extremely interesting, Andrew, that you mention seeing music as a foreign language! 

I used to think of it the other way around - seeing foreign languages as forms of music, albeit way over my head!  

If someone speaks any language in monotone, my brain shuts down!  BUT, if someone speaks a foreign language animated with accented syllables and variable pitches in their voice - I want to try to understand! 

It's always been interesting to me that in English, high and low pitch are only expressive means to relay emotion - but in 'tonal' languages, pitches have completely different meanings.  So, how do you express emotion in a 'tonal' language - other than just by volume changes? 

I'm terrible with foreign languages, even with features in common with music, probably because I couldn't justify a reason to learn them - having no one to verbally converse with and I always found written translations or subtitles. 

 

https://cur.glitter-graphics.net/pub/3605/3605011skwlkjhzms.gif My Father was obviously influenced by both of his parents - both loved music, dancing, and played musical instruments well.  So, if nothing else, my Father inherited their love of music - and he certainly showed excitement, as well as disdain, over some. 

...so, maybe the important thing for me was I could tell 'my Father felt something' in relation to music. 

Was 'Mother', or another close member of your family, more of a musical influence for some of you? 

 

- Emily

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JohnG
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January 18, 2022 - 9:53 pm
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My father loved music, mostly classical and big band but played NO instrument. We had a stereo when they were first coming out and he built the entire sound system from Heathkit supplied kits. My mom was a piano player, including playing for the grammar school programs down the street and sang in both our church choir and a community group.

My best friend, Jon was a jazz drummer and our other friend played both classical violin and jazz trumpet. Jon's father was our church choir director and taught percussion at the American Conservatory of Music in downtown Chicago. His mother was the church organist and my piano teacher.

So, I was surrounded by musical people, but sadly left much of that behind when I went into the service.

The old curmudgeon!

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ELCBK
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January 19, 2022 - 2:18 am
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@JohnG -  

Music was great in the AF for me - great bands played the clubs when we went to Tech schools in Texas & even though no one had an instrument with them, many of the guys I worked with were into different styles of music and all the latest stuff coming out the last half of the 70's.  Everyone shared/passed around copies on cassette to enjoy - let's face it, we sure didn't make any money the 1st four years. (lol)  It was great learning about music I probably would have never listened to back home.  

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Katie M
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January 19, 2022 - 3:43 am
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You make some interesting points Emily. I’ve never thought too much about it, just dismissed it but my dad actually seemed irritated by me learning to begin with. I think he thought it would be something I wouldn’t stick with and when he was saying how difficult it is he seemed actually annoyed! Even now thinking about it, when I did my ‘concert’ at Christmas and I stopped playing I turned round and he was flicking through a book !! Can’t say my music conveys any emotion yet so who knows, maybe he’s just not that interested. However I sent him the links of the white Christmas tutorials and he actually watched them and asked if I would be doing the wobbly bits like it was something you could easily do. I said I’m way off learning that but it actually spurred me on to start seriously learning vibrato. So it’s kind of made me want to succeed even more! 

I definitely think unless you have a go you have no idea how difficult it is-stringy pointed this out to me a while back.

I was also going to mention (probably the wrong thread to say this) how much I appreciate the forum. As I often feel a bit lonely in the practice room but knowing I can start a thread on something I’m struggling with really helps. Not sure Dan really wants to discuss ways I can try to reach my fourth finger !! Reading about everyone’s progress and watching videos is part of it.

Thank you for starting the thread Emily it’s made me think and it a way made me more determined😀

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ELCBK
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January 19, 2022 - 7:57 pm
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@Katie M -

This forum is amazing for me, too! 

Hopefully, this information can also be meaningful for those who have children and Grandchildren. 

You can't force someone to be interested in something, but the attitudes of people you look up to in your life do have an impact. 

Like you say, I think it can go a little deeper. 

Every once in a while, my Father loved to sit down at the piano, drag out the small accordion or harmonica.  He always fooled around with the SAME 2 or 3 irritating tunes and a few chords!  Once or twice I caught him playing just a portion of a wonderful March. 

It was always by memory, even though we had other sheet music, so I wondered why he didn't learn anything more - think he had a hard time reading music.  He wasn't dyslexic, but I was told he had some kind of problem with his eyes, that could've been corrected when he was young.  So, he had a terrible problem reading - pretty remarkable he managed to get his Degree in Engineering! 

Anyway, my point to all this - when I was a kid, year after year... after year, my Father's playing of the same 2-3 tunes drove me a little crazy and I remember thinkng, "OMG!  Learn a different tune already!", and "I'd never let that happen to me". (lol) 

On the other side, most of my younger exposure to violin was seeing/listening to classical string quartets and orchestra - sometimes I got a glimpse of "The Grand Old Opry", only when surfing television channels (I was NOT interested in 'Hillbilly' music). 

If my Father hadn't insisted I go with him to a Fiddle Festival when I was an adult - where I witnessed a girl playing a wonderful "King of The Fairies", I'm not sure I would've ever considered playing the Violin for 'fiddle' music!  It felt right to me.

https://peaceartsite.com/images/woosh_heart.gif

 

So, some memories of my Father definitely influenced me. 

And on the bright side, my Daughter started back playing various musical instruments with the Grandkids this past year! 

- Emily

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AndrewH
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January 20, 2022 - 1:01 am
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ELCBK said
@Katie M , @AndrewH -

Maybe people become prejudiced against instruments they've never heard mastered.

I think the context of early exposure, and the quality of that exposure - makes a HUGE difference in how people perceive a musical instrument, and music in general. 

Maybe another issue is that music is a form of emotional expression and communication.  I wonder if people, who may be uncomfortable expressing their emotions, may find music uncomfortable? 

...I also wonder if someone can truly appreciate/understand music if they haven't even made an attempt to tap in time, sing, or tried to play a musical instrument?

Tough Decisions Emoticon

It's extremely interesting, Andrew, that you mention seeing music as a foreign language! 

I used to think of it the other way around - seeing foreign languages as forms of music, albeit way over my head!  

If someone speaks any language in monotone, my brain shuts down!  BUT, if someone speaks a foreign language animated with accented syllables and variable pitches in their voice - I want to try to understand! 

It's always been interesting to me that in English, high and low pitch are only expressive means to relay emotion - but in 'tonal' languages, pitches have completely different meanings.  So, how do you express emotion in a 'tonal' language - other than just by volume changes? 

  

I'm natively bilingual in English and Mandarin Chinese. The latter is, of course, a tonal language. In my experience, pitch is still used for expression, but not in exactly the same way. The information contained in each syllable of a tonal language is not in the pitch itself but the pitch contour: is it flat, rising, dipping (down and up), or falling? The same syllable can start at any pitch and its meaning will still be understood from the pitch contour of the syllable. So a whole sentence can have a larger pitch contour of its own, separate from the words in it. That said: changes in speed and volume also become somewhat more relevant to expression in tonal languages because pitch is at least a little bit constrained.

My father has always been uncomfortable expressing emotions, which might have something to do with his dislike for all music. It's definitely not prejudice against any instrument. My sister listened to punk rock and I listened to classical and jazz; it was all equally noise to our father. He also doesn't listen to any genre of popular music or folk music, either Asian or Western. My mother was not really much of an influence either, because she was more-or-less indifferent to music. She didn't avoid music, but also wasn't especially interested in going out of her way to listen to it. In the last few years she's started to get into Broadway musicals, but that's a much more recent thing; I only found out about it when I visited for Thanksgiving in 2018.

What this means is that I had limited exposure to all kinds of music until I reached school age. And because I grew up in Dubai (both parents worked in the oil industry), I didn't have much if any exposure to string instruments until middle school when we moved back to the US. Moving back to the US was an interesting form of culture shock: Dubai was already very westernized then, but in the days before everyone had internet access, American movies and music tended to arrive there a few years later. So I had a bit of chronological culture shock when I was dropped straight into an American middle school with all the usual middle school cliquishness and hadn't heard of the bands that everyone else was listening to. It was as if I'd missed the entire first half of the 90s. I ended up looking farther back in time and finding classical and jazz on the radio.

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ELCBK
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January 20, 2022 - 3:38 am
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@AndrewH -

Thank you for helping me understand a little more about 'tonal' language. 

About the musical 'culture shock' - might've been a good thing.  It's exciting (may not of felt like it at the time) to discover new things and your experiences give you a unique perspective.  I think you see important connections and details about music that many people don't give a 2nd thought. 😊

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ELCBK
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January 21, 2022 - 9:03 pm
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https://i.pinimg.com/originals/6f/1b/bc/6f1bbcf539b3ad78b2e49abe6a9ba28b.jpg

 

Watched "My Father's Violin" tonight. 

It was a moving, family-friendly film - with a happy ending (my favorite kind)!  

Since we all know how to play a bowed string instrument, it makes it hard for actors to fake it without some scrutiny. (lol)  That said, I've seen worse faking in movies.

Available to watch on Netflx, now. 

- Emily 

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Katka
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January 31, 2022 - 3:51 pm
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AndrewH said
Unfortunately, my father is as anti-music as people can get. To my knowledge, he has not once voluntarily listened to music in the 38 years I've been alive -- not any genre of it. He goes out of his way to avoid hearing music in public places. To him, it's all noise.

I've always felt like music is a foreign language. One I speak fluently now, but it never seems entirely natural. That's probably because I heard virtually none until I got to school age.

  

You just described my father to a T. He's in his 70s and to this day, I have never seen him listen to music. For all I know he's tone deaf or something; I don't know. 

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Fiddlerman
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February 4, 2022 - 11:17 am
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Wow Andrew, so you got all your musical desires from your mom???

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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AndrewH
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February 5, 2022 - 9:08 am
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Fiddlerman said
Wow Andrew, so you got all your musical desires from your mom???

  

Nope. Because she didn't listen to music much at all either until the last several years. My interest in music of any kind is entirely my own, after I got my own radio and discovered the local classical station in middle school.

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Fiddlerman
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March 21, 2022 - 1:56 pm
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Someone has to be the first in every generation. 😁

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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