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Klarinet Archive - Posting 001187.txt from 2003/06

From: "Joseph H. Fasel" <>
Subj: Re: [kl] Left, Right or mixed handed?
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2003 12:57:29 -0400

It's entirely possible I don't have the whole story on this.
The kid's teacher is a friend of mine. I'll ask.


On 2003.06.27 10:23 Lelia Loban wrote:
> Joseph H. Fasel wrote,
> >There was a high-school violinist here in Los Alamos
> >who played left-handed. It seems that an accident had
> >damaged the fingers of his left hand, so that he was
> >capable of bowing with that hand, but not fingering.
> >In his case, at least, the solution was indeed to reverse
> >the strings and the bridge.
> While that might work as a temporary solution for a beginning or
> intermediate violinist with a cheap, new violin, it wouldn't do for a
> professional or advanced amateur. Disclaimer: I'm neither a violinist nor
> a luthier, but my husband is an advanced amateur violinist; we've been
> friends for more than 20 years with Bill Weaver, a 4th generation luthier
> and repairman; and my husband is a violin hunter who sells used violins
> through Weaver's. Reversing the strings and bridge for left-handed playing
> also requires removing the top and making sensitive adjustments *inside*
> the violin. It's definitely not something a parent or teacher should
> attempt to do at home!
> Inside the violin are a wooden bass bar and soundpost, each positioned with
> great care. The soundpost (a thin dowel) set with pressure alone under the
> E string (the highest-pitched string) can and often is moved slightly, to
> improve the tone of the violin. However, the soundpost not only affects
> the tone but supports and protects the belly of the violin at the point of
> greatest stress. The bass bar, glued to the inside belly by the original
> maker, runs lengthwise under the G string, the lowest-pitched string. Bass
> bars sometimes need moving or replacing, too, but moving one is such an
> iffy undertaking that even professional restorationists give the matter a
> great deal of thought. My husband says that simply reversing the strings
> and the bridge and playing for very long with the soundpost and bass bar in
> the wrong positions relative to the strings could destroy a violin. A bass
> bar crack is bad enough, but a soundpost crack is serious damage that, at
> best, substantially reduces the value of the instrument.
> Lelia Loban
> E-mail:
> Web site (original music scores as audio or print-out):
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Klarinet is supported by Woodwind.Org,

Joseph H. Fasel, Ph.D. email:
Stockpile-Complex Modeling and Analysis phone: +1 505 667 7158
University of California fax: +1 505 667 2960
Los Alamos National Laboratory post: D-2 MS F609; Los Alamos, NM 87545

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