The Instigator
CloudApex
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
NiamC
Con (against)
Winning
18 Points

Violin is one of the hardest instruments to master.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 7 votes the winner is...
NiamC
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/16/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,344 times Debate No: 56695
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (7)

 

CloudApex

Pro

Round 1 is for acceptance.

Good luck.
NiamC

Con

As said, 1st round is acceptance; ergo, I accept.

The BOP is on you.

This will be interesting because I play the violin. P.s. This topic is a little vague.

I look forward to my opponent's responce.
Debate Round No. 1
CloudApex

Pro

I'd like to preface by saying that I have been playing the violin for over a decade now and that I have excelled in both Kiwanis Competitions and RCM Examinations. I play over three hours every day with no exceptions and I am counseled by an esteemed Russian virtuoso.

I'd like to mention the forbiddance of semantic traps. I would like my opponent to abstain from questioning the phrasing of the proposition or attempting to justify his stance by referring back to the semantics of the proposition.

Now, to proceed to the content of the debate.

Technical Requirements

Violin is a very technical instrument. I emphasize this point to its maximum capacity because it is the keystone of the instruments difficulty. The first component to the technical aspect of the violin is bow control. It involves tilting the bow at a specified angle (required with ultimate precision in the European style of playing) and maintaining the extreme degree of tilt even whilst playing highly expressive and technically difficult (fast and energetic) pieces that require spiccato, accents and cadenzas in non-stop repetition and flawless synchronization. To be able to manipulate the bow at high speeds is a very daunting task. It implicates thousands of hours of discipline to grounding the mechanics of bow division and bow control, as the deficiency of one of these aspects will lead to a terribly played interpretation of a piece. The bow is one of the most demanding components of the violin. I justify this by saying that it is held up by the pinkie, and if the pinkie is abruptly dropped, the bow will essentially collapse in an instant. The pinkie is one of the most fragile and delicate parts of the human body, and using this finger as the token of bow control demands for utmost intricacy and discipline to master - in addition, it must be able to articulate between four tonally distinct strings with pristine and mint sound quality.

The second technical requirement for violin is the fingering. In rudimentary playing, the fingers play more of a down-tuned role in the expression of music, as the bow is the core of the dynamics and fire in the music. But as you begin to progress to more advanced pieces, for instance, pieces composed by Mendelssohn, Vittorio-Monti and Bach, fingering plays a more pivotal role in the musicality and poignance of the piece. Fingering is the highly sensitive and meticulous movements of the fingers across the fingerboard. What makes fingering a very difficult challenge to violinists is a) shifting too higher and often extreme positions by extending the elbow b) applying vibrato (the trembling of the fingers to enhance sound quality) to faster, more well articulated pieces and c) maintaining tonality. I'd like to emphasize point c) in the previous statement, which addresses the difficulty in tonal precision and accuracy. The intervals on a violin are not evenly spaced, nor does there exist a distinct pattern of spacings between the strings. This clearly distinguishes its caliber of difficulty from other widespread instruments such as the piano (white and black keys in sequential order) and the guitar (clearly marked frets with ingrained tonal progression). To be able to memorize the positions of the violin with perfection or near perfection can take thousands of focused hours of practice.

Co-ordination between bow and fingers

Co-ordinating two immensely difficult tasks on their own is a huge gauntlet to violin mastery and even violinists of the highest class in society cannot obtain this.

Mastery

Mastery is to acquire complete knowledge or skill in (an accomplishment, technique, or art). I'd like to emphasize the complete portion of the definition, which idealizes the notion of complete understanding and perfection in all aspects of the violin. I believe it is highly difficult if not statistically improbable for anyone to obtain this to a high degree of proficiency and consistency.

I eagerly await my opponent's arguments!
NiamC

Con

“It involves tilting the bow at a specified angleand maintaining the extreme degree of tilt even whilst playing highly expressive and technically difficultIn my opinion, this skill would obviously require practising in order to remember the specific angles for bowing, but tell me, how would this be any different to the wind flow pressures made by a player’s diaphragm in order to achieve higher or lower notes? This would be harder than if not the same to perfecting bowing angles. This is because we are able to see our hands (and would be easier to know what to do) compared to the fact that woodwind players have to use their diaphragm (which we cannot see). From this aspect you have brought up and I have negated, I have shown that woodwind instruments i.e. bassoon, flute etc, would be harder to master.

“It implicates thousands of hours of discipline to grounding the mechanics of bow division and bow control,” Isn’t this just the same as having to practice any other technique on any instrument i.e. tonguing – woodwind.

“I justify this by saying that it is held up by the pinkie, and if the pinkie is abruptly dropped, the bow will essentially collapse” I thought that you were a violinist. This is wrong because the violin bow is actually supported mainly by the first 3 fingers and thumb- the pinkie would just simply rest on the bow. If I am wrong, please explain how the bow is held up by the pinkie.

“The intervals on a violin are not evenly spaced nor does there exist a distinct pattern of spacing’s between the strings. This clearly distinguishes its calibre of difficulty from other instruments such as the piano and the guitar. Ok, from what you have said, we can logically say that the viola to double bass, which are scaled up versions of the violin (and exactly work the same way); would therefore be harder to master, let alone be able to play it due to their larger sizes meaning that it would also be harder to shift positions and manipulate your fingers when playing faster. I am right in what I have said because the instruments (mentioned above), would be harder to play and therefore, the violin would not be one of the hardest instruments to master due to there being instruments that are harder to play/master. P.s. no instruments in the string family have evenly spaced frets due to the laws of acoustic physics.

d = s – (s / (2 ^ (n / 12))) this is how to figure spacing on a guitar

To be able to memorize the positions of the violin with perfection or near perfection can take thousands of focused hours of practice.” How is this any different to memorising the fingerings of a bassoon or the hand positions when playing a French horn? Your sentence is null. Also, the bassoon has over 10 keys just for the thumb.

“Co-ordinating two immensely difficult tasks on their own is a huge gauntlet to mastery and even violinists of the highest class in society cannot obtain this.” I am pretty sure that all orchestral instruments and beyond, will require the use of two hands when played. So therefore, mastering any instrument will require perfect co-ordination between hands- not just the violin.

My argument:

As said before (using the logic that my opponent had used), the violin is apparently the hardest instrument due to the fact that it requires precise hand co-ordination, perfect memory of positions and shifting due to “uneven interval spacing” therefore, the viola, cello and double bass would be harder to master because the technical difficulties above, are amplified due to size. Therefore from this, the violin would not be one of the “hardest” instruments to master because there are a number of instruments that are harder to master.

To conclude

My opponent has given an interesting argument, but has not fulfilled the BOP and I have negated his points by showing that there are instruments that are/ and would be harder to master (especially according to the logic used by my opponent). I will extend my arguments and sources in the next round.

Debate Round No. 2
CloudApex

Pro

My opponent has misinterpreted the premise of the argument.

The proposition is that Violin is ONE of the hardest instruments to MASTER.

It logically follows that the stance I must uphold is the fact that the violin is a relatively difficult instrument to master, which has been previously defined as the ability to acquire complete knowledge or skill in (an accomplishment, technique, or art).

I have read my opponent's rebuttals and they are all digressive, meaning that his counterarguments draw tangentials from the proposition.

I am required to prove that violin is a difficult instrument, and I have done so proficiently. It need not objectively be the hardest instrument to master, only a relatively difficult one. My opponent has misconstrued this fact and proceeds to compare the technical requirements of violin to that of the bassoon. He argues that the bassoon also demands for very regulated and precise blows projected from the diagram and that it also demands for precise fingering resembling that of the violin. As I was scaffolding of my argument I mentioned the coordination between the bow and the fingers, and in this case, the coordination of the fingers and the mouth. Thus, his arguments only serve to reconstruct the foundation of my argument. Even if, say, the bassoon was a more technically advanced instrument than the violin, that does not suffice to disprove the proposition. The violin remains a difficult instrument to master and you have neglected to dispute the technical and mental difficulty posed by that of the violin. Thus, my points stand unchallenged.

My opponent continues by asserting the baseless remark of how bassoons and flutes are more difficult to master than a violin. This may be true, but my opponent previously confirmed that blowing a bassoon is equally if not less difficult than manipulating a bow; this concludes to be a logical fallacy, unless pressing down tabs (with no tonal requirement of the ear and the fingers) poses a difficult challenge to bassoon players.

My opponent then proceeds to refute some of my arguments. He states that bow division and bow control is similar to tonguing. Tonguing is the alteration of the aperture formed by your mouth and it opens the player to a whole range of dynamics and sound ranges once the player has mastered the skill of opening and closing his/her mouth whilst corresponding to what the music demands for. Bowing on the other hand, is a much more complex problem. You have to maintain a strict position of the hand while pressing down the bow at a certain bow to string contact point. You must do this while accounting for the strength that must be applied, the dynamics that are offered in the piece and the retainment of a singing sound. My opponent has conceded to me that he has only played the violin for four years so I understand his deficiencies in understanding the technical dexterity that the violin demands at a high caliber.

My adversary then asserts that the bow is held up primarily by three fingers and the thumb; this is incorrect and many violinists who have accumulated a decent amount of experience will agree with me. There exist two main nodal points on the bow in terms of bow control (please refer to my adversary's image above), the point in which the thumb and middle finger intersect and the point in which the pinkie makes contact with the bow. In basic physics, you have learned that if you sit near the end of a teeter-totter rather than closer to the middle, you can generate a stronger force from the same weight. The same notion applies to violin; despite the fact that the pinkie is a fragile finger, it is responsible for generating the 'currents' and 'turbulence' (dynamic expressions) of the music and, if dropped, the bow will collapse with only one primary nodal point to balance on.

My opponent then proceeds to claim that the size of the instrument increases proportionally with difficulty This is ridiculous.

I now await my opponent's turn.
NiamC

Con

I would like to begin by reiterating the resolution and preposition.

“Violin is one of the hardest instruments to master”

My opponent says that he must only uphold that the violin is a relatively difficult instrument to master. This is absolutely wrong.

Preposition -“Violin is one of the hardest instruments to master”

My opponent must uphold that the violin is one of the HARDEST instruments to master.

If my opponent had to show that the violin was only hard, the preposition would be: “Violin is a hard instrument to follow”. Alas, this is not the preposition, so all of my opponent’s arguments are null and therefore my opponent has not fulfilled the BOP because once again, my arguments and rebuttals are valid.

My opponent has lied in this debate, in which he says the following:

“But my opponent previously confirmed that blowing a bassoon is equally if not less difficult”

This is an absolute lie. I have said no such thing, and I never will. My opponent has intentionally made a false statement towards the favour of him.

My opponent then asserts that playing the bassoon requires no “tonal requirement” of the ears.

Once again, this is false. Pressing down certain keys will only produce a rough approximation of a note; it is the perfection of certain wind flow pressures produced by the diaphragm. This is where trial-and-error needs to be improved. My opponent is once again wrong. The higher the pressure, the higher the pitch produced.

Looking back at my opponent’s R1 argument, my opponent states that the violin bow is held up by the pinkie (please refer to this); my opponent does not mention the three main fingers and thumb in this argument. This would suggest to a reader or anyone that my opponent is saying that the violin bow, is only held by the pinkie- and nothing more. My opponent’s argument was false from the beginning despite his attempts to deny this.

“My opponent then proceeds to refute some of my arguments”.

My opponent has admitted that I have refuted some of his arguments.

I am amazed at the audacity of my opponent! He has lied and used an ad hominem against me in order to undermine me and my argument. This is worse that semantics.

My opponent has said that because I have less experience in playing the violin than him, he understands my “deficiencies in understanding the technical dexterity that the violin demands ant a higher calibre.” This is a personal attack towards me (once again false), and I am insulted by opponents actions. My opponent does not know me at all, so he has no jurisdiction or knowledge of my skills/ capabilities in violin playing.

To conclude:

My opponent has not fulfilled the BOP; he has not shown that the violin is one of the hardest instruments to master. I have negated his points despite what he has tried to deny. My opponent has misinterpreted the preposition, in which he said that he only had to show that the violin is hard to master. He is absolutely wrong.

My opponent has lied in this debate in favour of himself in which he claims that I conceded to certain points, but in fact that I did not at all.

My opponent has not presented any viable sources, if not any sources at all; whereas, I have shown my sources.

I have successfully rebutted his points. He has said that I have misinterpreted this debate (this was then proven to be wrong). Many of his arguments such as the “bow” one, was negated, in which this was also a false statement.

My opponent has used an Ad Hominem against me in favour of him and to also undermine me and my argument. This is not tolerated and is worse than using semantics (this is ironic because my opponent had asked for no semantics).

My sources used for this and my previous round:

http://liutaiomottola.com...

http://koppreeds.com...

https://uk.answers.yahoo.com...

http://www.abrsm.org...

https://uk.answers.yahoo.com...

I ask the floor to side with me. Vote Con!
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Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
NiamC #killed it.
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
CloudApexNiamCTied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: I am in two minds about this debate, as I believe the debate lost its way in round 3 and descended into a semantics debater and who should shoulder BOP. If I was to adhere strictly to BOP, I must hand points to Con as no BOP can ever sufficiently be met. However debating semantics is in itself frustrating, as such I am not awarding argument points to anyone. I will award conduct points to Con, as Pro really was not respectful on a few fronts which was uncalled for. Regarding sources,they only were given in the last round. As such I feel Pro did not have a chance to respond and so I will not award them either.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
9spaceking
CloudApexNiamCTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: although pro showed the violin difficult to master, he had not shown it be on of the hardEST instrument to master.
Vote Placed by Envisage 2 years ago
Envisage
CloudApexNiamCTied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct to Con for Pro's rather condescending talk about Pro, especially regarding his violin experience. S&G was equal but I am awarding it to Con because of his use of images and very reader friendly structure of his arguments. Arguments to Pro, as I do think he (barely) sufficiently sustained his argument that the violin is one if the hardest instruments to play with the bow positions and fingering. I didn't buy pro's argument about the pinkie though and Con blew it out of the water, the BoP on the resolution was fairly low, if the resolution is the violin was the hardest instrument to play then Con would have clearly and very easily won.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
CloudApexNiamCTied
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Hmmm... I've taken a while to think about this debate, and much as Pro's conduct leaves something to be desired, I have trouble justifying a vote for Con on arguments. He essentially brought two separate examples, the bassoon and larger string instruments played with a bow as examples of more difficult instruments to play. I agree to some extent that the bassoon is difficult, but I don't get any demonstrably large difference between the difficulties for the violin and the difficulties for the bassoon. It has to be obviously harder, and I'm having trouble buying that. I honestly thought the larger instrument issue was a slam dunk after Pro just said it was ridiculous, but I need to see why it isn't - even light justification might have been enough. Conduct does go Con, though - careful both with your burdens analysis and personal attacks, Pro. You can't redefine the resolution after the first round.
Vote Placed by YYW 2 years ago
YYW
CloudApexNiamCTied
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Reasons for voting decision: PRO did not offer convincing arguments that the violin is the hardest instrument to master, however challenging doing so may be.
Vote Placed by kinsky 2 years ago
kinsky
CloudApexNiamCTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Firstly, the debates were becoming a little awkward. pro had misunderstood the preposition, which he set. He then enforced his belief that he done correctly. HE then attemps the say that con is following the wrong prepostion ( and his argument would be null ). Con showed that pro was wrong and then showed that con had fullfilled what hewas supposed to do, his opponent had not. This is why i am awarding argument points to Con. I also feel, linked in with what i said last, that con had better and more legit sources. This is the most important part now. Pro had made an insult towards Con directly, which is seen as an Ad Hominem. Using ad hominems will compromise your chances of winning, because it is not acceptable... at all!
Vote Placed by Themba 2 years ago
Themba
CloudApexNiamCTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Arguments were equal because both were having a tug of war based on what the resolution meant. Pro failed to clarify much conditions in the first round especially The 'one' and 'hardest' part. This failure led to the outbreak between how one's argument stands in for or against the resolution. Either way, since there is a misunderstanding, Arguments shall be held equal. However, I noticed that Pro insulted Con by saying across the line 'my opponent has less experience, therefore his argument is nulled'. Pro's exact quote "My opponent has conceded to me that he has only played the violin for four years so I understand HIS DEFICIENCIES. in understanding the technical dexterity that the violin demands at a high caliber." The instances of personal attacks are highlighted. As such, an Ad Hom is a breach of conduct, so conduct points to Con.