In the book on the history of modern classical music, Richard Whelan cites the early 1900s when “the most advanced musicians were still learning the technique through the use of sticks in a wooden concert-hall” — but the practice became more widespread by the middle of the century.
The instrument did have a reputation for being harder than the trumpet — the music industry certainly saw that as a strength when buying instrument makers.
“The old fashioned brass trumpet is a tough instrument,” says Whelan. “It can take the hard knocks. There are cases on YouTube where you’ll see them falling of the stage and the percussionists can see them.” (See “Why is it Called A Stradivarius?” for more on the differences).
But a lot of trumpet sound is caused by vibrations in wood; the wood doesn’t have to be as dense or heavy as with a violin to produce the same high-pitched, shrill sound with the violin.
“Bamboo string or plastic string are much lighter,” says Dr. Tom Breen, chair of the department of physics and chemistry at the University of Illinois. “They are still much more expensive than wood.”
But in the end, it all makes a big difference to people.
“It gives the musician control, because they only use their hands to play the instrument. With a violin, the musicians would have to make very precise movements with their hands to play a sharp note,” he says. “With a trumpet, when the bass player swings their shoulder back, and the lead player swings his head back in the same motion, the violin is going to bend. The viola isn’t. The music will still be really good.”
That’s why the Stradivarius is one of the best-known concert instruments — and why it continues to sell through the centuries.
Hearing from an industry official who represents several major electric utilities that the grid is “unresponsive to the need to reduce emissions,” House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton of Michigan (R-MI) said more money, not more technology, is needed to help improve reliability.
During Wednesday night’s hearing before a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee, the chairman and ranking member of the subcommittee, Reps. Fred Upton and Justin Amash, discussed what they viewed as the inadequacy of many of the electric utilities’ current efforts. Both men argued that Congress needs to consider a major overhaul of the way the nation
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