Make a trifold mirror for your studio!

Most teachers have a mirror on their wall, so that their students can look at themselves when playing. But would you like to offer up a side view to your students? If so, you would need a trifold mirror. If you shop for one on the Internet, already made, you are looking at about $800-900. This is quite expensive! What about making your own? I’m not handy, but I tried. It worked! If I can make one, you can, too!

I already had a full-length mirror on my studio wall, so I didn’t need to buy that. I wanted to have two mirrors on either side of this mirror.

So, I bought two door mirrors from Target for $17 each. Then I bought two continuous hinges (1in. X 48in.) for $15 each. These come with very small (#4) screws. I also bought some #6 wood screws and some drywall anchors for these. The total cost to me was about $70. I already had the tools I needed: a drill, a 3/16in. drill bit, and a very small phillips head screw bit.

I screwed the hinges into the back of the mirrors (into a kind of tough cardboard). One hinge for each mirror. Then I propped up my mirror with some boxes, so that I could easily mark the wall for the pilot holes that I would drill. I drilled them, put in the plastic anchors, then put the mirror back on the boxes, so that they would be in the exact same place vertically. Then I screwed in the #6 screws (not the #4 screws that came with the mirror–these were too small). I took me about an hour and a half to make the whole project.

Take a look and see what the view is like with the trifold mirror!

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The trumpet of the Greek games

It’s important to remember during the Tokyo Olympic games this summer, that in ancient games, starting in the 96th Olympiad (396 BC), the trumpet was introduced as a competitive discipline.

The trumpet, called the salpinx in Greek, had already been used to announce the winners of the various athletic categories in prior games, but starting in the 96th Olympiad, the games began with a trumpet competition, so that the winner(s) of this contest would be the official trumpeters during this latter part of the games. I can imagine that this helped to remove any bad trumpeters from the important winners’ ceremony!

We don’t know exactly what the criteria were for judging trumpeters back then, but among the most important factors were the rhythmic patterns of the trumpet calls and the clarity and loudness of sound. Also a possible factor was how long a contestant could hold a tone.

In his excellent ITG Journal article from October of 2006, Nikos Xanthoulis gives us a lot of interesting research into The Salpinx in Greek Antiquity. He writes that Archias from Yvla, an Olympic trumpet contest winner, also won in the Pythian games where an image of him stood with the epigram:

Accept this statue with certainty benevolent Phoebus,
The state of Archias from Yvla son of Eucles,
Who proclaimed thrice the Olympic competition
Without any volume accessory attached to his salpinx

So, from this we can surmise that volume was a premium quality expected of an Olympic trumpeter, although I would like to know what sort of accessories could have been attached to a trumpet!

Xanthoulis theorizes that, from the original Greek, an emphasis is on “the strength of breath to support the duration of sound.”

He goes on to mention a few more specific Olympic trumpet medal-winners: Herodorus of Megara, a very tall man (more than 7 feet tall) who could eat five pound of bread (about 6,000 calories) and 20 liters of meat (about 27 lbs.)! He could also play two trumpets at once. Herodorus won ten consecutive games (40 years!) and he helped win an actual battle with his playing.

Xanthoulis also mentions a female salpinx player, Aglaisi Megakleous, who also was a good eater (apparently this was an important trait for trumpeters) and played with a mask and helmet. I wonder if this was to conceal her identity?

This small sliver of Greek trumpet history will hopefully inspire you to play strong, long and clear during these Olympic games happening in Tokyo!

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