Mudcat Café message #3168653 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #89392   Message #3168653
Posted By: Tootler
10-Jun-11 - 06:39 PM
Thread Name: Difference in fiddle bows?
Subject: RE: Difference in fiddle bows?
If he did sell his bow for $200 by mass-producing, you can guarantee no "serious" player would buy it - it's obviously too cheap to be good quality, right...?

To true, Grab. You got just that with plastic recorders although it is true that the early ones were not all that good. However the plastic recorders from the reputable makers these days are, in fact, excellent instruments having both good intonation across the range and good tone. You can get a good plastic descant for less than 10 (GB) and a plastic alto for around 20 GB and the attitude of some is "They can't be a proper instrument, they're too cheap". That said, that attitude is changing and I have seen plastic Yamaha altos used on stage by professional musicians.

Another interesting story. I was in a flute/whistle workshop and the tutor was talking about the problems of intonation in the second octave, especially above top g. She got each of us to play a top b and to try and bring it into tune. I was playing recorder at the time and my recorder played top b clean and true, no problem. The instrument - a bright blue transparent plastic Yamaha descant cost at the time about 6 pounds.

The point of this digression: I am sure in time, mass produced fiddle bows of synthetic materials will become increasingly accepted and the stick in the mud snobbery will be overcome. Often what it takes is a prominent musician to use one and extol its virtues.

As to the discussion between Bert and J-i-K it seems to me that the adverse comments made by some along the lines of "I just know" are because they do not understand what is being discussed so they try to dismiss it as not relevant. However if a good quality bow is to be made from synthetic materials and be mass produced, the kind of analysis they are discussing is necessary. Plastic recorders are injection moulded and to make the instruments reliably, in large quantities and with good intonation; the shape of the bore, the location and dimensions of the holes have to be calculated very precisely and the moulds have to be accurate to a few hundredths of a millimeter.