KRUTZ, founded by Anton Krutz, is a manufacturer and vendor of student to professional violins, violas, cellos and basses. They employ European and American craftsmen with over 300 years of combined professional experience in the art of crafting high quality string instruments. KrutzStrings.com
K.C. Strings is the flagship store for KRUTZ instruments. It is the largest full service violin, viola, cello and bass shop in the Midwest. They have an expert staff of repair and sales people that are passionate about music and serving string players.
Why Bowed Strings Impact Society
Since the dawn of civilization it has been understood that creativity can be expressed through art and music. The reason is that both are exactly the same vehicle but in different form; art is frozen music and music is liquid art.
But what is only now being recognized is that there’s a powerful self-reinforcing loop. The very act of expressing art and music in turn stimulates more creativity. Within the music domain, the violin family of string instruments stimulate creativity the strongest. Here’s why:
Fact: Bowed string instruments stimulate creativity.
"The theory of relativity occurred to me by intuition, and music is the driving force behind this intuition. My parents had me study the violin from the time I was six. My new discovery is the result of musical perception……I see my life in terms of music."– Albert Einstein
Rene Descartes knew 400 years ago that mind and matter are different. Physics now understand enough about the power of the mind and the limitations of matter to know this is true.
While Neuroscience is making progress in understanding the human brain and how to measure intelligence, there is comparatively little progress in understanding the conscious, thinking human mind. Neuroscientists have no serious model of the detailed mechanisms of how the mind actually functions. The widespread assumption is that somehow millions of neurons fire in the brain to produce the mind. They equate brain with mind and intelligence with consciousness, even though each are separate things. So in order to help understand why strings have such an impact on emotion and creativity, the following advanced model of the mind is given.
The attributes of thought, intuition and emotion cannot originate from a brain cell that dies every 12 years. Furthermore, cells break down into molecules, atoms and subatomic particles. Consequently, there is simply no capacity within the construct of matter to harbor the mind. In computer terminology, the brain is like an adaptive biological motherboard while the mind is a separate operating system that runs and restructures the brain.
The human mind subconsciously saves to memory all sensory information input that the body sees, hears and experiences. Memory is therefore just established information that the mind can access, use and assimilate to attain unique perspectives. In this process, the mind’s force (e.g. volts) and transmission capacity (e.g. amps) is limited by how the physical brain is neurologically wired. It becomes necessary, then, for the brain to be constantly rewired by the mind to accommodate the mind’s force and transmission capacity needs. So the more the mind is stimulated to assimilate information, the more the mind rewires and expands the brain’s capabilities.
But the physical brain offers resistance (e.g. ohms) to the cognitive mind rewiring it. The addition of emotion to this process acts as a catalyst that stimulates the mind to greater output while simultaneously increasing its force to overcome the brain’s resistance. Emotion can range from fear to inspiration and from conflict to harmony. Those emotions can be triggered by human interaction through the release of internal chemicals. Emotions can also be triggered through physiological interaction or by musical vibrations. Within the music domain it has been found that playing bowed string instruments produce the highest level of emotion and is therefore the most potent catalyst for the mind. This is due to the strings uniquely being amplified by an instrument body designed by divine geometry centuries ago. The very movement of a bow along the strings induce vibrations that resonate in consonance with our bodies. This is why we can be overcome with emotion when we hear the evocative sound of string instruments. Because more than any other instrument, the string instruments evoke emotion that speak directly to our imagination. This experience then stimulates the mind to assimilate information in ways that would not have happened otherwise, freeing us from a lifetime of obstacles that have blocked our imagination. So as radical as it may first seem, it turns out that string instruments have the power to free our imagination thereby Stimulating Creativity.
Current research, evidence and references on how music rewires the brain:
Why Strings Programs Are Essential In Education.
The pace of innovation and Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology advancement is constantly accelerating in the modern interconnected world. American corporations depend on their teams to continually become more creative in how they innovate and use AI as a tool. Therefore the clear priority is developing the creative skill sets of American students so they can be globally competitive in the future. But this is not happening.
The Education Paradigm
With relatively minor adjustments, a schoolteacher from 100 years ago would feel right at home within the modern classroom. Other than replacing books with tablets, there has been little system advancement in over a century. In the past, educational excellence meant providing students equal opportunity to learn information that was not easily or publically accessible. Today, information is available for free anywhere and anytime for anyone with Internet access. Therefore, information has become a commodity that no longer has any value in education. The process of forcing students to memorize information and then grading them on how well they regurgitate it is obsolete. Now, memorizing information is mainly needed as a foundation for innovation. The true value in education will reside solely in how students’ minds can be engaged to creatively use, assimilate and transform established information in new ways. This innovation may lead to either a conceptual or physical end product. Only levels and speeds of this creative process should be taught and graded. However, this is rarely happening in U.S. Education.
Consequently, the current state of education has resulted in the failure to achieve the main tenant of the U.S. Department of Education’s mission statement: “global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence”. In fact, much of education is preparing students for jobs that won’t even exist in the future. Therefore, we cannot continue to approach education in the same way and expect different results.
Educators will be forced to experiment with teaching systems for decades to come until the evidence clearly points to a final system to implement. This will be a messy transition with many failures. Generations of students will be caught in the cross hairs of those teaching system experiments until a final system is implemented that develops the creative skill sets of students. During this transition, students who experience controlled emotion through the participation in a strings program will continue to engage their minds to expand creative abilities.
The end result of stimulating creativity allows the mind to assimilate information in ways that would not have happened otherwise. In essence, creativity creates new information. So if the purpose of the creative mind is to create new information then an explanation needs to be given on how the mind is different from AI (Artificial Intelligence).
The AI Paradigm
AI technology is constantly improving in its ability to instantly access and deliver information. It is acquiring ever increasing linear computing capabilities and speed for this function, The specialized capabilities of AI therefore will eventually eliminate all future jobs whose main requirement is using memorized information. Furthermore, AI capabilities are advancing to creatively use, assimilate and transform established information into new information. So AI is already and will continue the process of being able to innovate e.g. IBM’s Watson. This capability alongside advancing (mechanical and then biological) robotics will scale and radically change the role of humans in society. AI will even replace humans performing most of the base functions in the STEM disciplines, just like calculators have replaced the need to do complex arithmetic by hand.
For example, here is an article on how AI has replaced the work of “expert-level astrophysicists” and doing it “10 million times more quickly”: http://futurism.com/ researchers-prove-ai-can- complete-demanding-expert- level-astrophysics-tasks.
The take-away perspective is that Astrophysicists would unarguably be some of the smartest and best-educated humans on earth. If AI can replace them, then most jobs that students are being educated for today will absolutely be replaced in the future.
But AI does not have the human attributes of (non-linear) divergent thought, intuition or emotion. These attributes will be the only advantage humans will have compared to AI. These unique attributes give humans the potential of innovating new information (and not just access old information) at such advanced levels and speeds that computer AI can never attain. Unfortunately, this cannot be achieved if students are not engaged in creativity
Students have been the first to sense the obsolescence of the education system. Ask teachers and they will tell you how students now regurgitate-and-forget information they are learning. The ones who have adapted to play this game the best, receive the best grades. This is just an evolutionary response because they know that memorized information is no longer necessary for their survival. Students are using AI as a tool outside of school every day to source any information they want. Their intuition is telling them that being forced to memorize information in school is essentially relegating them to compete with AI. They instinctively understand this is not just counterproductive, it’s self-defeating.
Students now want and need to become more creative. This corresponds with the demands of an evolving business ecosystem in which corporate survival now depends on the creativity of their adult teams. Consequently, all priorities in U.S. Education now must refocus on how to teach and develop students’ creative skill sets. This, and only this, will keep America competitive in the 21st century. But currently, few programs in school other than music stimulate creativity. And as explained in the introduction section, strings are the strongest catalyst of all music to do that. That is why strings programs are essential in education.
This new paradigm goes beyond even being an advocacy, but is one of empowering the survival and relevance of America’s future economic and social system. All through an existing strings curriculum that needs to become the focal point of education.
Divinity Of The Violin.
When Anton Krutz started his violin making apprenticeship with a local Luthier at twelve years old, he considered it a hobby – like the model cars and airplanes he was also making. After high school he went to a four-year violinmaking trade school and the hobby transformed into a craft. Then he worked for two years in New York, across from Carnegie Hall, restoring rare instruments and the craft turned into a profession. Now his shop, KRUTZ strings, has over a dozen craftsmen and tens of thousands of student to professional clients all over the world. His instruments are used in orchestras from the Boston Symphony to the N.Y. Philharmonic to the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra. Furthermore, he also knows that they will be used for centuries to come. So now his profession is turning into a legacy and that leads one to reflection.
In this world there are things that are invented and there are things that are discovered. For instance, Anton feels that motorcycles were invented but math was discovered. The clear example of math is used because future advancements will not change the core concept of the math. Furthermore, because all matter is explained through math, the concept of math must have existed before the cosmos was even created. That is why Anton considers math to be discovered and label it as divine. For most of his career he thought that violins (using that term to represent the entire violin family of bowed string instruments) were invented. But after thirty-five years of making, restoring and experimenting with violins, he began to see that they were discovered.
All the violins you see now are copies of master instruments that were designed centuries ago. Those original violin models, arches and other acoustic aspects were designed using proportions and spirals based on Golden Section geometry. The Golden Section has historically been called the “Divine Proportion” because light, sound, botany and aspects of the human body (just to name a few) manifest through it. In fact the violin bridge position, where the string vibrations are born, is located in the same proportion to the violin body as the naval is to the human body. Aspects that are beautiful to the human ear and eye have this proportion involved. That is why any changes from these ideal proportions and the visual beauty and sound of the violin declines.
Technology has now been able to synthesize the sounds of other types of instruments. But the complex sound of the violin still cannot be duplicated. The violin is the closest man-made object that comes to imitating a singing human voice. This is important to note because the human voice can only exist in the presence of three elements; heat, moisture and air. Yet a man-made wooden box and man-made metal strings that comprise a great violin can emulate a human voice. This is another reason the violin is divine. Here is an article in Live Science documenting this phenomena by scientists. They compared, using highly sensitive equipment, the sounds of the Stradivarius instruments with talented professional opera singers. The similarities were numerous, including many vowel sounds from English, French and Italian languages being detected in the instrument’s sound.
But what the violin lacks in not being a real voice, it makes up for in its diverse sound characterization and coloration versatility. The sound coming from a great violin played by great musician touches the deepest part of human emotion. Even listening to recordings can evoke strong emotions that influence a person’s mood. On the surface it seems mysterious for a wooden box being vibrated by steel strings to influence emotions in such a dramatic way. But quantum mechanics gives insight to the reason. The absolute smallest element at the quantum core of all matter is a planck length frequency which closely resembles a tiny vibrating string. In essence, the foundation of all creation is string vibration. That is why even the simplest botanical life has the ability to sense vibrations. Here is an article of how plants use acoustic vibrations to find water: https://qz.com/959888/a-new-scientific-study-find-that-plant-roots-follow-acoustic-vibes-to-find-a-drink/.
Of course all biological bodies can also sense vibrations and humans have the most complex biological body. In turn, the violin is designed to maximize all aspects of a string to create the most complex vibration. The end result of both dynamics is that the complex human body can intimately sense the complex vibrations of violin strings resonating in sympathy with the core of everything that comprises and surrounds us. These sympathetic vibrations are translated by us as emotion and influence our lives.
Most people do not recognize this correlation between violin sound and emotion because they think they need to be at a classical music concert to hear violins. Furthermore, most people don’t realize that they are even being influenced emotionally every day by violin sound. In the modern world violin sound in fact influences people constantly through movies, cable series, ads and now video gaming. The reason that violin sound is extensively used commercially is because the violin sound IS what gives emotional depth to the visual images. Corporations spending billions of dollars promoting their products would only use what is most effective. And they use violin sound specifically because they know that no other type of sound even comes close to its influence.
So the divinity of the violin comes from its unique geometry, vibrations and influence. But this is rarely recognized because the violin sound mainly has a subconscious impact on society. Only by recognizing the connection between violin sound and its impact can people think differently about the role of the violin in society.