Violin is such a brilliant and versatile instrument, it can bring out human emotions perfectly. From solo works to orchestral masterpieces, the violin shines and continues to wow audiences world wide, just as it did back in Paganini’s day. Whether you’re just starting out on your musical journey, or wanting to continue studying, we are happy to help you out!
The violin, as we now know it, emerged in the early 16th-century, in Italy. The earliest pictures of violins have only three strings, and the bows were very curved when compared to the modern ones we use today.
Significant changes occurred in the construction of the violin in the 18th century, particularly in the length and angle of the neck, as well as a heavier bass bar. The majority of old instruments have undergone these modifications, and hence are in a significantly different state than when they left the hands of their makers, doubtless with differences in sound and response. But these instruments in their present condition set the standard for perfection in violin craftsmanship and sound, and violin makers all over the world try to come as close to this ideal as possible.
To this day, instruments from the so-called Golden Age of violin making, especially those made by Stradivari, Guarneri del Gesù and Montagnana are the most sought-after instruments by both collectors and performers. The current record amount paid for a Stradivari violin is over $22 million Australian dollars, when the instrument known as “The Lady Blunt” was sold in an online auction on June 20, 2011.
Often, violins mature with age, and many players will search out these hundred-plus year old instruments to enable them to play with a tone that is pure bliss to listen to.
Violins are like people; no two are the same. Therefore, you will need to take care of them all in a slightly different manner, but the guidelines are all the same.
- Loosen your bow hairs when finished playing. The curvature of the bow is created with heat, and if you don’t loosen the hair, the bow will return to it’s original straight form.
- Make sure you wipe over the body, fingerboard, strings and stick of the bow with a soft cloth to remove finger grease and rosin dust after playing.
- Be careful where you leave your violin! Extreme heat or cold can seriously affect the quality of any instrument. Extreme heat, (i.e. in the car), can not only ruin the violin’s varnish, but over time can split the belly along the grain. Dryness will shrink the wood and dampness will swell it. The same thing can happen to your bow hair. It is strongly recommended that you keep a “temperature thingy” in your case. Alternatively, you can purchase cases with one permanently installed.
- Re-hairing of your bow is important, but how often you do it depends on how much you play with it. If used every day for hours, we recommend re-hairing about twice a year. Just once a year will do though.
- Replacing the strings as an entire set will benefit not only the violin, but also the player. Frequent string changes is not recommended. Use similar guide-lines to that of re-hairing your bow.
- We recommend that you have your violin serviced regularly, (i.e. once a year)