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Um, we seem to be forgetting that a violin is a fretless instrument.  
one string raises the tension on the remaining strings forcing the 
to modify their fingering.  A really proficient player of fretless 
instruments does this all the time, though to a lesser extent usually, and 
singers of any proficiency do this constantly without thinking about it.

The amazing thing about Perlman was not that he could find and hit an A at 
882 Hz when needed, its that he was able to find replacements for notes 
he simply could not achieve on a violin whose range may have suddenly been 
truncated at one end or the other.  I say 'may' because the article 
state which string broke.

In any case, I think the instrument being slightly out of tune is small 
potatoes when compared to the mental and physical gymnastics it would have 
taken to completely rearrange a violin concerto on the fly.

My two cents,

On Wed, 15 Aug 2001, David Beardsley wrote:

> > in theory correct, but in practice, i recall that tuning individual
> > strings on an instrument of the viol family is not as hectic as doing 
> > on a floating-trem equipped guitar, since tho the bridge is suspended, 
> > doesn't ride on springs (insert image of golden gate rising slowly up 
> > down through fog on giant slinkys...); nevertheless i suspect it would 
> > throw the other strings a bit (but not a lot) off...
> Exactly as I thought.