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the cat's meow
from the rosenberg collection

a page of research topics for serious students of the other

The Bat Violin
Musicologists have been debating what exactly is Batman's lasting contribution to the western musical canon? In his hands is the instrument of instruments a weapon for the power of good? Or is the violin an integral part of The Evil Empire?

The Ring Modulator Violin
How much stuff can you actually get inside a violin before chronic sonic malfunction takes place? This electronic gem was built in 1985, and most of the electronic circuitry is built inside the instrument. A unique thumb grip controls the tone generator, thus enabling the other four fingers of the left hand to continue their arduous exercises on the fingerboard of life.

Violin Made of Magazines
Exactly how many magazines would it take to make a violin of this size? A marketing nerd at BBC enterprises took on the problem. Why is there currently such a push by advertising hit men to make violins out of consumer throw-aways?

Violin and Roller-skating
On 22 April, 1760, a Belgian musical instrument maker zoomed into a London society party wearing the first recorded pair of roller-skates and playing the violin. His historic musical journey ended when he crashed at full speed into a mirror. In the light of recent developments in the field of speed and sound, this turned out to be a far more significant event than many mediocre violin concertos written around the same time (we will not mention the composers' names, as it upsets people). Why did this challenging revolutionary act never become an accepted artform?
The source of this information is The Guardian, UK.

Dinky The Singing Dingo
Dinky is a four-year-old dingo (the Australian wild dog) who lives with his manager Jim Cotterill near Alice Springs in Central Australia. Dinky works more than any other professional musician we know (ie. five to seven nights a week) and has developed an international reputation due to the bus loads of tourists that attend his concerts. The use of a Stroh (violin with horn) in the music that you are now listening to on this page, points back to the golden age of recording and His Masters Voice - a logo that inadvertently proposed interspecies musical collaboration. Dinky confounds anthropomorphic platitudes, performing his flowing counter-dingo-tenor in such traditional forms as this chorale melody, but is equally adept at singing to his own padding accompaniment and indeed - full on free improvisation. Humans mimicking animals is accepted behaviour stretching back to our hunter gatherer origins, but where (excluding the Lyrebird) is the research on animals doing impressions of humans?

Spot The Violin
In 1989 The Rosenberg Museum started to collect every violin sequence from every general release film ever made. Do you remember one? Let the museum know (a policy of confidentiality is maintained).

Karl Marx and The Violin
Not many people know about the influence that the violin had on Karl Marx. Supposing he had been tone deaf or worse - played the new-fangled saxophone? The Marx family lived in abject poverty in London, and the violin was one of the few household artefacts to survive the death of the founder of communist theory. Of little interest to his wife or children, the instrument was pawned off to pay the gas bill at the turn of the 20th century. A quote from Das Kapital was written out by Karl on the back plate of the instrument. Beware! There are numerous copies and fakes of this instrument in existence. The original is kept under lock and key at the Rosenberg Museum, Slovakia.

A Concrete Violin Monolith
this violin is one of a number that have recently been found at various points on the planet where psychic phenomena and other unusual goings-on (live music for example) have been witnessed. This one spends its time leaning against an appartment block in Neu Köln, Berlin. Along with the stone statues of Easter Island and the inscribed navigation stones of the Chinese fleet left on the coasts of three continents in their world conquest of the 1420s, these ubiquitous giant concrete violins are in urgent need of investigation. Are they the disturbing work of a diabolical cult? Where are the agents of Homeland Security when we need them?

The World' First Glass Violin
Ikuko Kawai plays what is said to be the world's first glass violin in the fetish capital of Tokyo. The instrument was produced by glassware maker, Harlo, from thin heat-resistant, splinter free, glass. It weighs 1.38 kilograms, and costs a mere $69,000.

The World's Biggest Selling Plastic Violin
The TOMY violin is not only made from the finest non bio-degradable plastic but has a repertoire of six indestructable mind-withering tunes performable in automatic and semi-automatic modes. The instrument is demonstrated in these historic photographs by Dr. Knecht, director of the former Rosenberg Museum, East Berlin (closed down by the West German authorities in 1990). The Doctor stands beside two exhibits of state control - the revolving loudspeaker and searchlight, and the notorious Doors of Perception.

The Papier Mâché Violin
Australia has always been a place for simple do-it-yourself solutions to life's demanding problems. Like we need a violin. So how do we make a cheap one quickly? Historian and musicologist John Whiteoak has a pile of newspaper clippings demonstrating the inventiveness of Australian outback musos. Fiddler, vocalist and songwriter Frank Ottenson had a violin constructed of compressed newspaper, made for him by his father. The Eureka writer for Man magazine waxed lyrical about a rabbit trapper who made a banjo with bits of a rabbit, silly oak and kangaroo sinews for the strings; another bloke made an Irish harp out of an iron bedstead and fencing wire, and not satisfied with that got some 'splendid tone' out of a tennis racquet and a cake tin strung with piano wire.

The Rhythm Master Rhythmic Violin
The promotional material reads as follows - At 7 1/2 inches long, the Rhythm Master is the perfect size for vaginal and clitoral stimulation. 6 different functions, a squirming shaft, fully adjustable speeds, reversible action, surging movements and pulsating sensations are all part of this incredible vibrator. Completely controlled by a tiny microprocessor, the vibrating components can easily be adjusted to give her the ultimate orgasm every time. Uses 4 AA batteries (not included).

The Great Violin of Saddam
Once housed in the Mother of All Museums Museum, Baghdad, this violin was mistaken for a musical instrument and shot by a US marine after the invasion of Iraq in 2003. A fund has been set up at The Rosenberg Museum for the restoration work required to restore it to its former ancient glory. As we already know, Saddam's murderous regime (like many others) was brought to power and kept there with massive support from the US government. When it became clear that Saddam couldn't hack it as a loyal rank and file violinist, it was only a matter of time before he was forced to stop playing and a new leader of the orchestra (with the right CIA credentials) was put in his place.

Bach On The Bike
The Annual Rosenberg Award for Innovation in Violin Performance, was awarded to Christian Adam (Germany) in 1999 for his inspirational work on violin and bicycle. He is the world record holder for cycling backwards while playing the violin - 60.45 Kilometres in 5 hours. 9 minutes. This was set in The Rosenberg (no relation) Tunnel near St. Gallen, Switzerland.

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