Musicians in their 60s were less likely than their younger counterparts to say that their violin got worse with time.
They also agreed with the statement: “I think it’s important that I keep taking my violin and practice with it every day.”
The study, co-authored by Harvard University associate professor of psychology John Kornfield and published in the journal, Cognition, was conducted by Kornfield at the University of Maryland, where he directs the Center for Music Cognition Research in the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
They have not yet presented their analysis, however, and say further research investigating older versus younger musicians, especially younger players, would help to provide a more detailed understanding.
In the meantime, there is ample evidence in the literature of older players who have greater skills and abilities than younger ones.
Musicians in their 70s are often considered the most experienced.
The violin is a complex instrument, which means there are different types of instruments such as the bass and treble clefs, and violins. As well, there are different sized and shaped strings for certain instruments.
The average violin player has played more than 150 hours of music, according to the American Handicapping Association.
A piano player was studied when researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge recorded the sound of piano players’ fingernails, the same way that researchers recorded the sound of a cello or guitar player’s playing on a digital synthesizer.
They found they could determine the strength of the piano players’ fingers from the sound, based on the pattern of vibrations they heard.
“They have the ability to hear, or rather not to hear — the sound of their fingernails,” lead researcher Andrew T. Langer, a graduate student at MIT, said in an interview. “One person can tune something like a piano to make the notes sound, the next person can’t do that. We could listen for that difference and we found it could be measurable.”
So, does the age of a violinist determine its condition?
“It really depends on the quality of the player,” Langer said.
If the player’s hands are of good quality, he said, the violin is stable and durable, and as well-trained as players in their 20s. A violin that has been neglected and has no training may not have the same amount of training.
“That’s the way I tend to look
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