Reference Recordings of the 3 Violins

reference recordings player screenshot

Played by Aaron Boyd, December 4th, 2007 at the American Academy of Arts and Letters, NYC;
Recorded and edited by Da-Hong Seetoo; microphone distance, 28 inches

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Excerpts for each project violin on the Music Player include:

Sebelius Concerto opening excerpt
Bruch Concerto opening excerpt
G major scale, three octaves

To hear a recording; select a violin and select an excerpt to play. The choice of violin or excerpt can be changed at any time. Even when the selections are played on tiny laptop computer speakers, clear differences are apparent — an interesting psychoacoustic phenomena.

To add visual reference to our aural perceptions, the jagged "spectra" graphs (superimposed on the violin images above) show the average harmonic content of each complete excerpt, generated by "long time averaging" each entire recording. The processed results were then displayed as a sound spectrum, with the various component frequencies (musical pitch) displayed progressively higher from left to right, and amplitude or loudness displayed progressively louder from bottom to top.

The slight variability of human performance limits the use of such "live" tests for scientific documentation. Even though individual performances will show some slight variation in tone color or loudness, an experienced ear can still compare and evaluate nuances of violin sound quite effectively – a task with which acoustic research still struggles. This is especially true for playability issues, so crucial to the player's experience (see Strad3D Subjective Evaluations).

For the Strad3D studies, more repeatable tests were needed to generate accurate data. For more about sound testing and spectra, see: Sound Analysis with a spectra viewer and "bridge tap" player for the project violins; Acoustic Scans. (EXCEL), with Bissinger's Strad3D test data; and Measuring Violin Sound about the use of the impact hammer.

The More Music player offers additional selections gleaned from various projects;

  1. Plowden Guarneri,
    Meditation from Thais, by Jules Massenet (excerpt), played by Aaron Boyd (Strad3D Sessions)
  2. Willemotte Stradivari; Beethoven Violin Concerto, Rondo Cadenzas 1 and 2 only, cadenzas played and composed by Mela Tenenbaum; ESSAY Records   See below
  3. Willemotte Stradivari; Beethoven Violin Concerto, Rondo, played by Mela Tenenbaum, Richard Kapp conducting the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra
  4. Titian Stradivari; Lachen Verlernt, by Esa-Pekka Salonen, played by Cho-Liang Lin, live at Summerstage 2002