The Instigator
HeavenlyPanda
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
Dburch111
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The violin is the best classical instrument

Do you like this debate?NoYes-1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/18/2016 Category: Music
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 479 times Debate No: 92889
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

HeavenlyPanda

Pro

Round 1-accepting
Round 2-debating
Round 3-rebutalling

This is preferably for classical musicians. You can choose any classical instrument and you can provide videos that can clearly hear the instrument you chose.
ex Vivaldi- Four Seasons, any concerto starring your instrument.
Dburch111

Con

I will be arguing against the assertion that the violin is the best classical instrument on the grounds that it is not possible to designate any instrument, classical or otherwise, as better than any other. Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
HeavenlyPanda

Pro

The violin is the best classical instrument. Not only does it sound nice but it also looks graceful sitting on the shoulder of a violinist. Violins play a big part in orchestras also. There are many violins in an orchestra that they have to be split up into first violins and second violins. They stand out from other instruments, which make the violin an appropriate instrument to play the melody. The violin can even be compared to the human voice because of how expressive it is. Not a lot of instruments can compare to the violin when it comes to expressing emotion.

The violin is a very expressive instrument that can be used to convey a lot of emotion.
https://www.youtube.com...
Watch from 1:15 to 3:50. (Continue if you want to listen to the rest) There is not a moment in that solo where the violinist is not expressing emotion. From the beginning slow and peaceful to the end of the solo where there is a frenzied panicked rush to play all those notes. This piece goes from peacefulness to passion so vast. The change from high notes to low notes really makes an impact too. The only other classical instrument that could come close to the emotion being conveyed in this piece would be the piano.

The violin not only expresses emotion but it can also express objects and things.
https://www.youtube.com...
The music is Vivaldi's four seasons. The music literally expresses all four seasons. Listen to 0:34-1:10. Does it not sound like birds to you?
Here is the poem that Vivaldi based the four seasons off of.
http://www.britannica.com...
You can clearly hear when Vivaldi is expressing the gentle breeze of a wind to the flash of lighting and the sound of thunder. Not a lot of instruments can a sweet breeze swelling into a thunderstorm like Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

Finally the violin can be compared to what most people think is the most expressive instrument of all, the human voice. Have you ever hear of a violin "singing". Now with new technology the violin has been shown to have similarities between itself and the human voice.
http://www.futurity.org...
This article is evidence that the violin can definitely be compared with the human voice which not many instruments can do.

Violins are not in orchestras just to look pretty. They are very important compared to other instruments. Violins can express emotion and things like no other instrument can do including the human voice. Hearing a violin "sing" is truly an amazing thing to hear and no other classical instrument can come close to the beauty of a violins sound.
Dburch111

Con

(I'll try to refrain from providing a rebuttal here, as that's what the next round's for!)

Merriam-Webster defines "best" as "excelling all others" [1]. In reality, the best musical instrument is something that is subjective rather than objective, as one could prefer the tone quality of a euphonium [2] (very beautiful, expressive piece, by the way), for example, over that of a violin. Being so subjective, it could be argued that the triangle was someone's favorite instrument, and in turn, the best to them. This fact couldn't be argued, for in their eyes, the triangle is the finest instrument of all.

In this video [3], a proponent of the triangle being the best instrument could argue that the man pictured in the video, Jose Cortijo, plays the triangle with such skill and emotion, and that his instrument provides a tone that no other can match.

A pianist, on the other hand, may argue that their instrument is the best with factors such as its wide dynamic range [4], beautiful, expressive tone [5] and the wide variety of styles in which you can play it [6] [7]. If that pianist also plays an electric keyboard, they could also argue that their instrument can emulate a wide variety of other instruments, whereas a violin cannot [8]. However, a violinist, or nearly any other instrumentalist, could argue that their instrument is better than the pianist's on the same grounds (except that last one, of course) that the pianist has asserted. It is difficult for two to debate a matter when the arguments of both parties will practically be identical, and this is the issue with arguing a matter as subjective as the superiority of a musical instrument over another.

The violin is not the best classical instrument, for it is impossible to prove that the sound of any one instrument is superior to any other.

Links:
[1] - http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[2] - https://www.youtube.com...
[3] - https://www.youtube.com...
[4] - https://www.youtube.com...
[5] - https://www.youtube.com...
[6] - https://www.youtube.com...
[7] - https://www.youtube.com...
[8] - https://www.youtube.com...
Debate Round No. 2
HeavenlyPanda

Pro

The definition of best as my opponent provided is,
"Excelling all others."
"Better than all others in quality or value."
"Most skillful, talented or successful."
In my opponent's first paragraph he/she claims that the violin being the best classical instrument is more subjective rather than objective. To oppose that I have brought up the definition of best.

The value of a violin at its greatest is $16 million and the cheapest could be an $87 4/4 violin off of Ebay. But violins can range from $100-$100,000 to even the most expensive, $16 million. The most expensive piano sold for $1.2 million. The most expensive Trumpet sold for $55,000. The most expensive flute sold for $187,000. And the list goes on but you can see that by a big gap, the violin has a whole lot more value than all the other instruments except for one. A viola that sold for $45 million. Though the viola's value is higher than the violins, the violin is more successful than the viola. This isn't just about what is the most expensive instrument ever sold but even an average violins cost is more than other instruments.

In an orchestra there is alway the conductor who is the head of the whole orchestra. And then there"s the concertmaster. The concertmaster is always a first violin and is only second to the conductor. So technically, the concertmaster is second in command. What makes the violin different from any other instrument, you might ask? It is because the concertmaster is the most skilled musician. That means that in a world class orchestra with only professional musicians the skill of the violinist who is concertmaster is obviously better than all the other professional world class musicians. This proves that the violin is definitely more skillful, talented and successful than all the other classical instruments including the viola.

The oldest surviving violin is from 1564. Violins that are valuable are old which proves that violins are made in good quality too.

As to my opponent's second paragraph, the triangle is not of better quality or value, nor is it more skillful, talented or successful. The price range of a triangle is under $10 averagely and can go up to $300 if you buy accessories for it.

As to my opponents fourth paragraph, the piano can be expressive but not as expressive as the violin. For the piano, to make a sound all you have to do is press down a key. The only way to make that expressive is through dynamics. With the violin you can bend the note, use dynamics, feel how long you want the note to be played, etc. With a violin you can feel the vibrations of the sound inside it which in the piano you cannot. Also a key board piano does not count as a classical instrument since it wasn"t even there in the classical period. Therefore the violin is better classical instrument compared to the piano.

Finally, what is the best is not measured by sound. Like from the definition above, the best is determined by value, quality, success, talent and skill. The violin beats every other classical instrument when it comes to all those categories. The facts that I stated are not subjective, they are real and true. They are objective which proves that the violin is the best classical instrument. It excels all others.
Dburch111

Con

My opponent claims that the violin being the best classical instrument " that is, excelling above all others " is objective as opposed to subjective. This is fine, but let us see what evidence she uses to back up this claim:

- "The value of a violin at its greatest is $16 million..."

So, then, just because the most expensive instrument ever sold was a violin, the violin is automatically the "best classical instrument"? Well, no, we later see in the paragraph that there was "a viola that sold for $45 million," along with a statement that...

- "This isn't just about what is the most expensive instrument ever sold..."

I would agree. The cost of an instrument has no bearing on whether or not it is the greatest instrument. In fact, the argument that "even ... average violins cost is [sic] more than other instruments" is detrimental to the opposition's cause. Surely, the greatest instrument would be one that would be widely accessible. Or, perhaps the greatest instrument would be one that is so expensive that only the wealthiest of musicians could afford it. This, a defining attribute of why the violin is OBJECTIVELY the best, is subjective in itself.

- "The concertmaster is always a first violin... That means that in a world class orchestra with only professional musicians the skill of the violinist who is concertmaster is obviously better than all the other professional world class musicians"

This statement implies that, in the orchestral world, the world's most skilled musicians are ALWAYS violin players in an attempt to prove that the violin is thus the greatest instrument. This clearly doesn't prove anything, as musical skill is NOT defined by the instrument the instrumentalist plays, as this paragraph implies. The concertmaster is always a first violin, and therefore cannot always be the best musician in the orchestra at the same. To imply so would be laughable.

- "The oldest surviving violin is from 1564. Violins that are valuable are old which proves that violins are made in good quality too."

The oldest surviving harpsichord is from 1530. Therefore, it's the best quality instrument overall, right?

- "As to my opponent's second paragraph, the triangle is not of better quality or value, nor is it more skillful, talented or successful."

Well, we've established that the value of an instrument being a defining factor of an instrument being "the greatest" is subjective thus far. I would also like to continue on to say that most triangles are of a superior quality to most violins. Could this statement be argued? What defines quality? If referring to longevity, I would argue that most triangles will last longer than most violins. And what defines talent and skill? I could say that Jose is more skilled and talented than a world-class concertmaster. That is an opinion, and therefore subjective.

- "... the piano can be expressive but not as expressive as the violin."

Subjective.

- "... the best is determined by value, quality, success, talent and skill."

Finally we have a clear criteria, defined by the proponent, that defines what makes an instrument the best. The best part is that the violin does not objectively meet any of these criteria:

- The most expensive instrument ever sold was not a violin and the instrument with the highest average selling value is not a violin.

- The violin, a member of the string family, all of which are similarly crafted and could all have the same quality, does not have an innate quality that any other instrument couldn't possess.

- The violin is no more successful than every other classical instrument, especially the piano. I would argue that the piano is overall more successful than the violin, but that's for another time.

- The violin does not give those who play it talent, therefore the talent argument is irrelevant (as well as subjective). The violin also takes no more talent to master than any other instrument.

- The violin takes no more skill to master than any other instrument

If I have not proven that the choice for "best classical instrument" is subjective, I have at least proven, by my opponent's criteria, that the violin is "objectively" (again, I emphasize "by my opponent's criteria") not the best classical instrument.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by enderwiggin 11 months ago
enderwiggin
I agree.
No votes have been placed for this debate.