Violin/Response Time


What does it mean when an instrument has a slow or fast response time?

Hello, response time refers to the clarity of notes in rapid passagework.  A violinist performing a sequence of fast notes will want them all to speak equally regardless of register, what string they are on, or what finger is being used.  There are many such technical causes of poor clarity on the part of the performer, but an instrument or string with slow response time can also be at fault.

In this case, certain notes will not speak clearly, or fast string crossings will be muddled, causing the overall passage to sound muddy and ill-defined.  On the other hand, a fast response time will make performance easier for a violinist because there are less clarity problems to be compensated for.  


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Todd Sullivan


Hello, I am a NYC violinist performing for Broadway shows, symphony orchestras, opera, and sundry theatre/pop tours. I would be happy to answer your questions about anything related to being a performer in the music business. I play both violin and viola professionally, so questions on playing either instrument are welcome. The only thing I am not well informed on is information concerning instruments/bows...those questions are best left to luthiers.


Professional experience includes a variety of on/off Broadway tours and shows, numerous orchestras, tours with Ray Charles and Ann Murray orchestras, leader of the 20-piece Todd Sullivan Orchestra.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (violin) with honors from Carnegie Mellon University (1999)

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