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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000975.txt from 2003/06

From: "Thiel, Mark" <>
Subj: [kl] Left hand conductors
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 2003 11:27:05 -0400

From: Tony Pay
> A famous British string quartet, the Allegri, had for a time a
> left-handed second violin -- . . .
You Brits are so modest -- there was of course a GENUINELY famous British
left-handed player - Paul McCartney. But , back in the legit world, if you
take your Strad down to the shop and say you want to play left-handed, in
addition to switching strings and chinrest they'd certainly need to rip out
the soundpost and bassbar and switch them. But aren't there more subtle
asymmetries in the way fiddles are built? (Well I guess the electric-guitar
crowd could assert that their problem is subtle too since they have to
switch the pick-ups?)

Walter Grabner wrote:
>You mean you guys actually WATCH the conductor? Whatever for??????????????
I've tried it from time to time when the cute oboist skipped a rehearsal or
when thinking "either I am or the rest of the band is a half-measure off". I
then tried to figure what he means to be a down beat -- a recognizable
pattern of any handedness would be welcome. Then there was the conductor
who I had to avert my eyes from when counting long rests because I would get
thrown off and lose count if I watched him.

Dan Leeson wrote:
> Far more troublesome to me were conductors
>who did parallel beating; i.e., the same beat with both hands and for
>extended periods. It was so wasteful of energy and took away 50% of his
>resources to deal with other hand-gesture matters.

Maybe it was a secret signal that he wanted the first and second fiddles to
play together?

Mark Thiel

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