Which instruments are fastest???

Re: Which instruments are fastest???

Should I be glad to be a banjo player having seen this? lol.

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YAY BANJO

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If a banjo player, a guitar player, a mandolinist, a fiddler, a box player, and a flute player are all pushed off a 10 story building simultaneously, which hits the ground last?

The banjo player, because he has to stop halfway down to retune.

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Nah!

It’s the fiddler, from the aerodynamic drag from his enormous head. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Mind you, I reckon when they hit the ground, the box player would still be the flattest …

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Oh THANKS benhall! ๐Ÿ™‚

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I think I would put my bob on the Highland Bagpipes.

Which hits the ground last?

These pipes:

https://thesession.org/discussions/2114#comment38271

might just pip the highland pipes to the post, or rather, not. The only problem is, the weight of cast iron air and helium cylinders would probably negate the ‘weightlessness’ effect of the helium iitself. Perhaps, with all this new-fangled ceramickery, they can make some kind of lightweight high-pressure gas cylinders. So, don’t jump until I say so.

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For some real out of this world fiddle playing go to http://www.classicalarchives.com/artists/yashvili.html and download the mp3 of her playing Paganini’s "Allegro vivace a movimento perpetuo (Perpetuum mobile)"

Sorry, it’s not ITM, but shows what levels of speed and clean coordination of bow and fingers are achievable.

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Ah, but Paganini made a pact with the devil to be able to write and play like that. Presumably his followers have also.

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Oldstrings, I reckon there must be quite a few guys around in sessions and in some ceili bands who have made that pact!

Paganini’s "Moto Perpetuo" was one of his special party pieces and wasn’t published until many years after his death. Even then, in the 19th century there were very few virtuosos who were prepared to tackle it. Today, that standard is expected in the music colleges.

Like polkas, it’s a tune that’s meant to be played fast (and with 100% accuracy), and like a polka it loses a lot of its effect if played off-speed. Technically, it’s 187 bars of 4/4 in C major, each bar containing 16 semiquavers (sixteenth notes) each played with a separate bow (slurred bowing is definitely cheating and a big no-no!). The overall structure of the piece is sonata form which is common throughout classical music and is possibly a development of the A-B format of traditional music (although I stand to be corrected on that).

Anyone who can play it cleanly in 5 minutes or less is doing very well, thank you. Marina Yashvili plays it in 3 min 52 secs (that’s about 14 notes per second, if you please!), and on the classicalarchives website there’s a mp3 of a Moscow chamber orchestra getting through it in just over 4 minutes.

The conductor of my chamber orchestra wears another hat as a concert violinist and regularly gives Paganini recitals. He explained that the notes of the Moto Perpetuo aren’t particularly difficult as such and short bursts of it are probably well within the capabilities of many players, but when you’re playing the whole thing at speed it becomes a very big exercise in concentration, stamina and the ability to maintain relaxation in the bowing arm and finger-bow coordination for 4 - 5 minutes. In its way its comparable to running the mile in 4 minutes or less.

Another important aspect of playing the fiddle at that speed is its setup - a responsive instrument and strings with a low action and, most important of all, a bow that is up to the job. I think you’d be looking at something in the 4-figure range.

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and if course Bela Fleck plays it on his album….Perpetual Motion

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Good point lazyhound. I remember being very excited being assigned the Moto Perpetuo when I was in college… the 16th notes are very doable at say mm. 120 and seemed easy. That gets you through the piece in roughly 8 minutes. But, I don’t think you have to throw a lot of money to get a fast instrument… I remember reading a story about Paganini saying that he was furious at people making excuses for his virtuosity… "he plays that well because of his beautiful Stradivarius.." and so on… so it is said that he played a concert to a standing ovation… one of his best… he came out for the curtain call… and smashed the violin to bits… it was a sub-standard violin… Paganini’s contention was that it is the musician’s task to make the music worthy, not the brilliance, or lack thereof, of the instrument.

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YEs, but a good bow is, i think essential.

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I’ve heard that story too. Even if it was a sub-standard fiddle he was playing you can bet your bottom dollar it was set up well, and that he was using a pretty good bow. Funny that people generally never mention the bow when talking about some virtuoso - it’s always the violin - forgetting, or perhaps being unaware, that a good bow is, if anything, more important than the fiddle.

And there’s the quite scurrilous story that Paganini did a quick fiddle swap behind the scenes just before he came out for his curtain call ๐Ÿ˜‰

As well as being the greatest violinist of his era, with an influence extending down to the present day, he was nothing if not a consummate showman and could use the occasional technical trick to make something that was difficult even for him be a little easier to play but still look impressive to the audience.

The Moto Perpetuo is played on other instruments - the concert (silver) flute, the piano, and even the cello, although the heavier strings and bow prevent it from being played quite as fast as on the violin.

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While we’re talking about Paganini this is a good place to mention that in addition to the virtuoso solo caprices and concertos he composed a number of short (3 - 5 minutes) sonatas for violin and guitar that are full of some of the most beguiling tunes you ever heard - I suspect he may have nicked some from local folk music sources. You can download them in mp3 format from ClassicalArchives.com, where they are played by the Russian violinist Eduard Grach.

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Too much emphesis on speed. Not enough on the music.

Just because a person can type fast does not result in them being able to craft uplifiting and artistic verse and prose.

And I couldn’t Imagine the Mona Lisa being done in spray paint-even though spray covers alot of canvas very quickly.