The Instigator
nerf4sh
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
AlexFreeman
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Violin is the Hardest Instrument to Play and Learn

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/24/2014 Category: Music
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,088 times Debate No: 55381
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

nerf4sh

Pro

I personally think the violin is the hardest musical instrument to play and learn.
AlexFreeman

Con

I believe the Theremin is much more difficult both to play and to learn.
Debate Round No. 1
nerf4sh

Pro

Well, first off, the violin is an instrument where you have to find the correct note on the fingerboard, without any frets or indication of where the notes are. You have to get the notes in tune also, and that is not as easy as some other instruments. Most music for the violin is played extremely fast, with many notes being played within one beat. You have to shift your finger positions to play notes in high registers. And that's a whole different story with tuning. The right hand controls the bow, which needs to be played correctly and perpendicular to the length of the violin to make sound. The sound has to be warm, full, and clear, most of the time. There are various types of bow styles, including: legato, stacatto, spicatto, richochet, and many others. There is also vibrato, which is vibrating the notes you play to give them a good sound. I myself took time to get used to it. While you take time perfecting each hand's job, you have to play both simutaneously, and put the correct note down for each bow stroke. Violin players have to have good ears, to have good style and sense of music. A person playing guitar and a person playing violin is whole different story. The guitar is just chords, while violin is melodic notes. As a player who has won many scholarships at competitions, a player of five years, and currently at level 9, I can tell you violin is not an easy task. It requires talent, skill, and effort.
AlexFreeman

Con

I'll admit that I don't have any experience with the violin, but I've found that the Theremin is much harder than either of the other instruments I can play (piano and guitar). For one, the notes are not caused by physically manipulating the sound-producing parts but my moving your hands through the air in relation to two axes. The fact that the musician cannot see the matrix on which the notes are played makes it very hard to get the hang of melodies. Furthermore, the hands are engaged in unrelated activities while playing. One hand plays the notes, which correspond to different distances from the vertical axis, while the other controls the volume, corresponding to distances from the horizontal axis. The hardest part, for me, is coordination. The hands move along different axes, which makes it tricky to move them simultaneously and fluidly. Trickier still is the fact that, unlike other instruments, a rest cannot be "played" on a Theremin by simply not playing the instrument; the way to silence it is to place your hand within a couple inches of the horizontal axis.
Debate Round No. 2
nerf4sh

Pro

It does sound like na instrument that is hard to grasp, but just like the theremin, the violin requires coordination to, and often it's hard because we play up to speeds of 32nd notes. Also like i said, violin has different technique methods, many playing styles, and is generally very complex. While the thermin does sound like a very complex instrument, to me, it seems more like an electronic device, not an instrument. But that is not important. On the theremin, there doesn't seem to be a type of stroke, or way to play notes differently, except pitch wise. I do think the theremin is a very intresting, genius, and cool invention, but I think it is not as complex and diffucult to grasp as the technique and musicality required to play violin. Maybe it is because you do not play violin that you do not think it is the upmost difficult.
AlexFreeman

Con

Perhaps it's because the theremin is a newer invention than the violin that the violin has more techniques and playing styles, but I think in time people will write music that takes full advantage of the theremin's capabilities. That being said, the theremin does allow for varied playing techniques, including vibrato or even staccato, which is incredibly difficult due to the way the duration of notes is controlled. Furthermore, musicians such as Clara Rockmore and Carolina Eyck have demonstrated a great deal of artistry and skill on the theremin. I think the theremin and violin are comparable, both being best suited for melodic notes. Theoretically, any melody playable on the violin ought to be playable on the theremin, and in light of this, the fact that music written explicitly for the violin is more difficult seems to be evidence that the violin is an easier instrument to play. In other words, any given composition would be more easily playable by a skilled violinist than by an equally skilled thereminist.
Debate Round No. 3
nerf4sh

Pro

We shall now summarize.

When you stated, "In other words, any given composition would be more easily playable by a skilled violinist than by an equally skilled thereminist," I disagreed, because you cannot compare the skill level between a violinist or a therminist, for they are very different instruments. And I do not think thee will be a lot of hard music for the theremin, for it is not capable of playing most music, due to it's short note range and variable playing styles. While on the violin, there is always room to experiment, to play harder music. I think the violin's complexity is it's weakness, and the theremin's incomplexity and broad range of creativity and style is it's weakness.
I certainly do agree that the theremin is hard, but the violin is harder. There is harder music for it. There is more varying styles and notes for it. There is ability to be very musical and creative, and very stale and plain. Both are required at times. There is need to play notes at high ranges and high speeds. 2, 3, 4, notes at a time. Trills, mordents, ornaments, very technical stuff. Pianissimmo or loud as hell sound. Plucking the strings, tapping the violin, tuning the violin with your bare years, when you cannot get a tuner, or have no need for one. To play the violin, you'll need to get a violin right? Well violins aren'tcheap, and once you get really good, and need a big upgrade, violins cost way more than theremins.
All in all, the theremin is hard. But, the violin is harder.
Thanks to my debator for providing a good debate, and please vote pro! Thanks
AlexFreeman

Con

To summarize, I think the theremin is the hardest instrument because it does the least for the musician. With no physical medium to manipulate, it requires a steady, precise hand and a great deal of instinct to hit the right notes, to literally pull them out of thin air. The fact that each note is played simply by holding one's hand at a particular distance from the vertical antenna means that a thereminist without a great deal of finesse will produce very cold-sounding notes. I understand that the violin also requires finesse, but I think it's harder to achieve on the theremin due to the latter's less intuitive playing style. The fact that the theremin is a relatively recent invention also means that there is a lot more that has yet to be developed in terms of style, meaning the there are fewer tried-and-true techniques in the thereminist's repertoire. Despite this, the theremin is capable of producing absolutely gorgeous melodies, provided the thereminist has enough skill. And I believe that this skill is harder to come by on the theremin than on the violin.
Thanks, too, to my opponent for proposing this question. I've really enjoyed debating this.
For the rest of you: vote con!
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
nerf4shAlexFreemanTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Both sides made a bunch of unsupported assertions. While I think an at least semi-objective case could have been made for either side, I don't think either side went that route. Each appealed through a bunch of subjective assertions to their own instrument being more difficult. I think more sourcing would have helped, but as it stands I don't think either side really warrants points, sorry! As always, happy to clarify this RFD.