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Old 02-10-2014, 07:00 AM   #26
Holy smoking keyboard!
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 9,375
Default Re: Adult learners who can play straths, reels, jigs and h'pipes.

Originally Posted by Steve Anderson View Post
Perhaps we would be able to find an example of this if the competitive violin circuit were as large as the one for bagpipes.... or if violins were featured in parade bands.
There are many opportunities for violin players though. There are all levels of orchestras and chamber music groups. But there don't seem to be any adult beginners who manage to get into even the least of these groups (perhaps the equivalent of a poor parade only band.

I think there are a number of reasons for this, including:

  • The violin is more awkward to play. I think young people's bodies actually change to adapt to the instrument.
  • Violin repertoire encompasses a wider variety of styles.
  • Violin playing requires a lot more theory.
  • Orchestral concerts involve a ton of music.
  • It is difficult to gain ensemble experience with violin, because most violinists learn as children -- there are few adult beginner ensembles for people to learn how to play in groups.
  • People pay violinists. Even for a small regional orchestra the violinists get paid for not only the concert, but for each rehearsal. There is less opportunity for local violinists to play in a lesser orchestra because people will pay to bring in violinists from further away to get a better sound. Bad violin sounds just as bad as bad bagpipes.
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