• Ornatti Violin Front
  • Ornatti Violin Back
  • Degani Violin Front
  • Degani Violin Back

Articles

The unusual stringed instrument with a horn had a short run. But the Stroh violin answered the need for more sound projection, a bridge to electronic amplification.

The Stroh violin stands apart from any other stringed instrument due to its unconventional design, where a metal horn stands in place ...

Much like investing in education or a home, there are specific criteria that a musician can apply to borrowing in order to buy a fine violin, viola, or cello. Here are the basics.

When an individual musician or the musician’s family recognizes that the player’s talent exceeds the capabilities ...

Violins, violas, cellos and basses range in quality and price. Distinguishing between masterful luthiers’ instruments and those that are factory-built is easy.

There are different gradations of quality in musical instruments. And for every gradation, there is a player for whom it is the right ...

The provenance of a great violin, viola or cello plays heavily into its value. But how that is proven is difficult – and no job for an amateur.

The challenges and sometimes great triumphs of tracking the provenance and value of art and antiques has been the subject of extensive media coverage ...

Not every violinist can have a genuine Stradivarius, not every cellist a Guarneri. But modern violins made to old Cremonese designs and methods do quite well.

If it’s true that imitation is the highest form of flattery, then the violin makers of the 15th through 19th centuries have much to be ...

The people who fashion wood and strings to build great violins are not on the concert hall stage. But sometimes they are great friends with the player.

When the most famous violinist in the world walked into a Los Angeles violin maker’s shop, asking for a repair of a highly valued (Guarneri ...

Luthiers born 600 years ago gave us the first violins. Instrument refinement came about through multiple generations of violin makers devoted to their craft.

One has to imagine that in the earlier years of violin making – in the 1500s when we have the first recorded evidence of the modern violin ...

The violins of 300 years ago are unlike those that are made today. The construction and sound may vary, but so too did the compositions and concert venues.

Art evolves, and yet some say it is eternal.

These two things are not incompatible. Human expression, be it in sculpture or painting or music ...

Among great luthiers, the name almost always connotes a certain level of quality. But the house of EH Roth understood there are students and there are virtuosos.

It is well understood that General Motors organized its brands – ranging from the lowest-price Chevrolets on up through Pontiacs, ...

Today, fine violins can be found all over the globe. But several hundred years ago, the best instruments in the world were made and played in Cremona.

Cremona, Italy in the 16th through 18th centuries was where the finest violins and other stringed instruments in the world were made. Thanks to the ...

The Belgian virtuoso claimed a personal affection for his violins, even if his style of playing was unorthodox and might have shortened his playing career.

Violinist Eugène Ysaÿe (1858-1931) was and remains perhaps the greatest violinist to come out of Belgium. He was described by his ...

Few fine instrument dealers hold onto so many violins, violas, and bows. But Rosenberg loved his instruments, probably because he understood them so well.

“Do what you love and the money will follow.” So goes the advice of some parents to their children who look for direction on their career ...

He made more than just great violins. Jacob Stainer innovated on the form and created a new type of violin that fit the Baroque and subsequent eras.

The most famous of the Austrian-German luthiers, Jacob Stainer (1618-1683) – the violin maker who preceded the Stradivari and Guarneri juggernauts ...

A scion of the organ-and-instrument dynasty was in fact also a restorer and dealer in Stradivarius violins. His work is also associated with a Strad movie and play.

For the uninitiated, the name “Wurlitzer” means 1950s-retro juke boxes. A smaller audience might know of the “Mighty ...

Musical performance is physical in many respects. The advantaged stringed instrumentalist will be stronger, less prone to stress injury – and have good posture.

Anyone who thinks there is no physical exercise involved in playing a stringed musical instrument has never played a stringed musical ...

The fiddlers of Chagall’s childhood made a life-long impression on him. As do his music-inspired paintings today in prestigious galleries across the globe.

A recurring motif of the art of Marc Chagall (1887-1985) was stringed instruments, usually violins. Why was this?

Various art historians ...

Personal history and personal politics are interwoven into the automaker’s love of violins and “fiddle” music. The highly valued instruments he acquired a century ago live on.

Henry Ford is best remembered as the inventor of automobile mass-production (and mass production in general), taking ...

While America cannot claim ownership of the common fiddle, the music it delivers evolved here and is embraced by a national audience – far beyond its regional Appalachian origins.

There’s an old fiddle joke, which we assume is told by American fiddle fans and players, that goes like this: ...

Even Itzahk Perlman had a teacher, without whom he would not be the performer he is today. It takes sacrifice to leave the stage and cultivate those who will one day take it themselves.

The saying, “Those who can’t, teach,” has never been true. Without teachers, civilized societies would ...

The father and both sons achieved enviable heights of success as violinists – despite the elder Harold Dicterow’s initial misgivings about the financial instability of musical careers.

The liner notes to Madonna’s 1992 Erotica album contain a name that might surprise classical music fans. ...

What happened to one Stradivarius violin after it left his shop in 1720? Hollywood created a possible history – one that might have an element of truth.

Art imitates life, they say. And there is no better example of that than the narrative of “The Red Violin,” an award-winning 1998 film. ...

The human instinct to produce pleasing sounds is unlimited. This is evident in the string, wind, and percussion instruments found in museums around the world.

It’s possible to travel the world and, in almost every capital and many secondary cities, particularly at great universities with music ...

As the first chair of one of the world’s great orchestras, the LA Phil concertmasters often extend their credits by working on great cinematic scores.

The casual fan of orchestral music knows the first-chair violinist, the concertmaster, is the “number one,” the best of the violinists. They ...

Is it wrong to be really good at copying great things? Yes, if those things are presented as originals. But the Vollers made convincing violin replicas that have value today.

Forgeries of fine art and fine stringed instruments go far back in history, including when the Romans copied statues seen ...

Misidentified for decades, the instrument of the famous 20th century cellist is still in the ownership of his widow. Tax policy is why it was misidentified.

A rose by any other name is still a rose.

The same could be said of the 1733 Goffriller cello. The prized instrument of legendary cellist ...

Musical genius often accompanies big personalities. That includes Paganini, the violinist-composer who possessed great violins that were lost to a big bet.

It would be wrong to diminish the influential career of one of history’s greatest violinists and composers, NiccolòPaganini (1782-1840). ...

For 200 years, fine violins, violas, and cellos were tuned only with a twist of the pegs. But new kinds of strings, as well as fine tuning additions, have made for sweeter music.

On the most elementary level, even the beginner violinist understands that the vibration creating the sound of a ...

Most violins made by the master luthier of Cremona are named for their former players and owners. But this mint condition violin is named for anticipation.

Of the 650 remaining Stradivarius instruments in existence – fine violins, of course, but also fine violas, cellos, guitars, and harps – ...

Neither a player nor maker of violins, he might be responsible for more fine fine stringed instruments from the master luthiers still in existence today.

Across the arc of violin making, selling, and collecting, it’s important to understand it all started as a story of European culture, ...

The crossover between visual and performing arts is not uncommon. But in his championing of Cubism, Picasso found his inspiration to paint in violins.

Art historians know all about Picasso. They understand his oeuvre (“Cubism,” primarily), his various periods (Blue, Rose, Analytic Cubism, ...

While early members of this dynasty created violins that have endured for hundreds of years, later industrious Hopfs also were successful at mass production.

If you peruse fine violin shops and auction sites online, a violin maker name you could well run into (depending on your price range ...

The Austrian-born violinist had many stringed instruments over his long career. And he had fine taste in violins – commensurate with his playing.

The career of violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler (1875-1962), while brilliant, is fairly consistent with other European virtuosos of the late 19th ...

They look like violins, but appearances can be deceiving. The addition of sympathetic strings gives this Scandinavian favorite a haunting, polyphonic sound.

Every region on earth has its indigenous musical tradition and Norway is no exception. It is the country most associated with the Hardanger ...

Almost everything was sold via the Sears “Wish Books” of the 20th century. Worth noting is inexpensive instruments that have long been available – and valued.

Fundamentally, shopping online via Amazon in the 2020s is an awful lot like shopping by way of the Sears catalog in the early 1900s. ...

Every fine violin from the Italian luthiers has a story. But in the case of those played by Itzhak Perlman, the life stories of these instruments are bigger.

It’s an understatement to say that Itzhak Perlman has a storied career. And it’s erroneous to say that in the past tense – the ...

As the orchestra concertmaster is always a violinist, it seems natural that great conductors are often great violinists. Here we list some of the most notable.

When a feature writer for Great British Life magazine interviewed Sir Neville Marriner, the English violinist who founded and conducted ...

Among the greatest of 20th century virtuosos, Stern left behind great violins and bows. His estate may have bungled it a bit, but the instruments endure.

Just two years after his death, the auctioning of the fine violins, bows, and memorabilia from the estate of Isaac Stern (1920-2001) set the ...

Some of the finest violins, cellos, basses and other stringed instruments are now 100s of years old and of great value. Knowing their history matters.

There are several factors that determine the value of a violin, and for that matter, all stringed instruments. The maker is of course a large part ...

About a third of violin players acknowledge leaving their instrument vulnerable to theft, a large portion of them in cars. Which is a very, very bad idea.

In most major cities in the developed world, it’s a pretty common truism that leaving something on a car seat is an invitation to thieves. ...

Over a long career that left a legacy of recordings and accomplished students, Ricci always had an eye (and ear) for fine violins, both old and new.

When virtuoso violinist Ruggiero Ricci died in 2012 (b 1918), the obituaries tracked his storied career. From his status as a child prodigy (two of ...

More than the guitar strings can make us rock. Violinists including John Creach, Richard Sanders, Robby Steinhardt, and David Lindley showed us how.

As every new genre of music builds on what came before it, it’s always interesting to see how certain instruments are employed in completely ...

While considered subservient to the violin, the bow rose to much greater importance in the confluence of Tourte, skilled violinists, and the French Revolution.

Frenchman Francois Tourte is widely credited with inventing the modern violin bow, in almost universal use today by violinists of all ...

The violins of Cremona and Venice might have the most storied histories, but the Neopolitan Gagliano family instruments have stood the test of time as well.

In 20th century America, the music most popular among immigrants from Italy, and Naples in particular, is lively and very often full of ...

A scaled down version of the violin, the pochette was devised for traveling and impromptu performances. And, it helped Scots become Englishmen.

The innovation of making things smaller – from furniture size radios in the 1930s to hand-held transistor radios in the 1960s, and “car phones” as ...

Here’s to thinking outside of the (string peg) box. But from a 21st century perspective, covering the aluminum with faux wood was a poor aesthetic choice.

Perhaps one of the more curious aspects of musical expression is the unfettered creativity of instrument makers. It began with plucking ...

The parts of the cello start at the floor. But the endpin wasn’t always part of the instrument, and the physicality of that changed music itself.

Aspects of the cello that most matter when considering cello accessories and parts: The scroll, pegs, pegbox, neck, fingerboard, strings, upper bout, ...

Relegated to the alto voice in most compositions, the viola has risen to greater prominence thanks to William Primrose and those who aspire to his virtuosity.

Pity the viola? Not quite a violin, not quite a cello, and a far cry from the double bass. With its lower and deeper sound vis a vis the ...

While the Museum of Füssen commemorates its luthier-populated past, much of the violinmaking influence of this Bavarian town ultimately went elsewhere.

It’s curious to know what led to the development of great instrument making in Europe hundreds of years ago. Certainly, an appreciation for ...

While scribbling difficult formulas about E=mc2 on a chalkboard, it may have been Mozart’s Violin Sonata in C that coursed through his considerable brain.

We may have Mozart to thank for E=mc2.

The most famous scientific equation in the world, given us by none other than Albert Einstein, is a ...

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art has several Strads that are played occasionally. But should rare instruments be mostly seen and rarely heard?

The stringed instruments made by the famed Cremonese luthier, Antonio Stradivari, have household name recognition, beyond the sphere of classical ...

Rare stringed instruments have a chain of custody known as provenance. Without clear and legal ownership, the instrument is more a liability than asset.

In the world of very valuable things – think art, antiques, Stradivarius violins – there is a mix of beauty and threat that is ever present.

...
To understand stringed instruments of the European Middle Ages, it helps to understand medieval music itself.

The Medieval Era, roughly 500 CE to 1400 CE, was the time when the Church of Rome was the dominant ruling body and religion. Musically, the Catholic churches engaged people in the great ...

Musical eras and the instruments that created them are on an historical, evolving continuum. But each era, the Renaissance period included, has its own instruments.

The Renaissance was a period so associated with the new, the creative, the break from the status quo, particularly in the arts, ...

Catherin de’ Medici brought a love of dance from Italy to the French court. In so doing, she drove the enduring standardization of violins, violas, and cellos.

Hard as it may be to imagine, it was a practice in the 18th and 19th centuries to reduce the size of bass violins (bassos) to what we ...

The Ukranian-American virtuoso played four priceless instruments in his career. But one Strad was his favorite, and he renamed it for his wife.

The virtuoso violinist Nathan Mironovich Milstein (1903-1992) had a remarkable career by many indicators – his training, his colleagues, his ...

Stradivari is known for the greatest violins, but the likely inventor of the modern violin was Andreas Amati. French royalty deserves some credit as well.

The story of the Amati family of violin makers is closely intertwined with another, historically prominent clan: that of Catherine de’ Medici ...

Austria’s von Trapps might have a movie made about them, but the musical contributions of the Klotz luthiers are celebrated with a statue and a school.

The Catholic Church, as well as with many other Christian denominations, has a, shall we say, evolving history with the use of instrumental ...

All aspects of orchestral music making – performers, conductors, composers, and instrument makers – have resisted women’s involvement. Until the 20th century.

The place of women in music and instrument-making history follows a familiar path. The fairer sex has always been there, playing ...

Patronage of artists has always been essential. But different ways that high priced instruments find young prodigies ensure those strings get bowed.

The arts, music in particular, have always survived due to generosity of the wealthy. Mozart – whose behaviors excluded him from support from the ...

The smaller of the two parts of stringed instruments, the bow, is remarkably complex and made of several parts, historically derived directly from nature.

To understand the parts of the bow used in stringed instruments – in Western music, the violin family (violin, cello, viola, bass, and the ...

The violin Joshua Bell can’t let out of his sight has twice, and for many years, been in the hands of thieves. Yet it helped save the lives of 1,000 people.

The French poet, dramatist, novelist, writer, journalist, and critic Theophile Gautier is credited for birthing the phrase, “All passes, ...

There is more time to learn things in the pandemic. So this age of at-home learning is perfect for taking up or refreshing musical skills on an instrument.

When the coronavirus shut down much of the world in mid-March 2020, in-person music instruction failed to meet the criteria for “essential ...

Great violins last hundreds of years, so perhaps a ten-year wait for wood to age isn’t so bad for violinmakers. But scientists hope to speed things up.

The nature of violinmaking is that the mastery thereof is part science, part art – and lots of patience. Just looking at one aspect of the ...

Photo courtesy of Tarisio Fine Instruments & Bows Neither a musician nor a maker of musical instruments, this deeply shy writer traversed America to meet luthiers face-to-face and describe their work.

It was published more than 30 years ago, and all copies sit within a fine Moroccan goatskin ...

The “Swedish fiddle” is not purely a product of this Scandinavian country. But its biggest fans are probably in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo and Uppsala.

To understand the history of the Nyckelharpa – referred to in some circles as the Swedish fiddle – actually requires digging into the ...

Whether for the violin, cello, viola or string bass, knowing proper string maintenance can reduce the chances of a mid-performance break.

Few violinists consider their music to be a contact sport. Sure, there are competitions when the side eye from one player to the next might involve some mental ...

Among the finest violinists of the 19th and early 20th centuries, Sarasate had two Stradivariuses with which to create great music. Both live on – differently.

Among the hundreds of surviving fine Italian violins crafted by renowned violin maker Antonio Stradivari, two were once in the hands of ...

While appearing to be less complex than the violin itself, the bow and its evolution since the 17thcentury illustrate how “the stick” had distinct advantages.

Violins and bows of the Baroque period (early 1600s to the mid 1700s) were physically different from their “modern” counterparts ...

The interplay of historical events and inventive instrument making – violins providing the best example – led the transition from one period to the next.

The Baroque Period, roughly the 17thand first half of the 18thcenturies, was not just about music but also of the visual arts, fashion and ...

A simple piece of maple wood might look less important than the showier body, strings, scroll or bow of a violin. But the bridge is critical to the sound.

Among the many parts of stringed instruments – violins, cellos, violas, basses – the bridge might appear to be just a simple wedge ...

Despite the difficulty thieves might find reselling famous works of the master luthier, history shows that Stradivariuses hold enduring attraction to thieves.

The story of the stolen Stradivarius violin that is probably most familiar to Americans is that of the Totenberg-Ames Stradivari (circa ...

Both rosin and music produced by strings go back thousands of years. When the two came together is uncertain, but it’s easy to understand why.

It’s somewhat challenging to identify when rosin met its first bow to produce music on a stringed instrument. A Google search fails to yield definitive ...

His hands may have created the most beautiful music of the 20th century. But in an instant, Heifetz risked it all to save a timeless, priceless violin.

Jascha Heifetz (1901-1987), considered by many to be the greatest violinist of all time, was recognized for his virtuosity in the concert ...

The search for identity and value in fine stringed and other instruments is its own treasure hunt. Several factors matter – including how it sounds.

“Antiques Roadshow” is one of the most-watched programs on the PBS television network, seen by up to 8 million viewers per week. But while ...

Rare musical instruments as investments are attractive because a growing wealth market appreciates the finite supply of fine violins and other instruments.

Whether in a strong economy where market-traded securities are performing well, or in economic downturns when such securities aren’t, a ...

The traditions that gave us the best violins ever made continue in this northern Italian city. This heritage is even recognized by UNESCO.

It might be hard to understand the shared characteristic between traditional violin craftsmanship in Cremona, Italy and the following: polyphonic singing ...

The prodigy Menuhin had a taste for the best violins in the world, and his virtuosity made him deserving thereof. For all he was given he also gave in kind.

What is the connection between virtuoso violinist Yehudi Menuhin (1916-1999) and Fallout video games, devised in the early 2000s? The former ...

The thick neck of this obscure stringed instrument speaks to the double duty it and its players serve to produce its rich tonality. Barytons are quite rare.

The baryton, a member of the viol family, is a rare but still-played instrument in the 21stcentury. Aficionados of the music of Joseph Haydn ...

Venice stood apart from the other Italian city-states, a blend of culture and art from a bigger world beyond southern Europe. Violins from there reflect this.

When music lovers describe the violinmaking school of Venice, they’re not referring to an educational system per sé, with buildings and ...

Instruments like violins and cellos produce harmonic tone vibrations, involuntarily or by intent, from strings other than the string being played.

Students of stringed instruments who also have an affinity for physics are likely delighted with the subject of harmonics. They not only understand how ...

Politics of the Renaissance era ordered northern Italian cities in violinmaking. But bubonic plague hit Brescia a little harder as most of its luthiers perished.

The distance between Brescia and Cremona, Italy, two bastions of fine stringed instrument making in the 16thcentury forward, is only 29 ...

The bridge in all stringed instruments is a simple, unheralded part that transfers vibrations from the strings to the instrument body. It’s all physics!

There’s an argument in education theory circles that the 21stcentury emphasis on STEM – preparing students for careers in science, ...

The option to rent an instrument makes sense in a variety of circumstances. Understanding the variables should help players decide what’s right for them. Note: The following article explains how violin rentals “generally” work throughout the industry. The information does not necessarily ...
The versatility of bows on strings is evident in how musicians over the past century have found ways to swing an instrument that can do bebop as well as Bach.

To understand the history of violins in jazz music, one should understand the history of jazz itself. Violins aren’t typically the first ...

As only humans can craft fine stringed instruments – violins, cellos, violas, basses – some are better than others. Luthier competitions show us who.

While violin performance competitions are well known to students and fans of fine stringed instruments (the cello, bass, and viola also have ...

The special resonance of this early music instrument – which has its modern-day fans – is due to sympathetic strings that provide a distinct undertone.

“There is something about the emphasis of the very low, and the very high register of the viola d’amore, that for me is quite profoundly ...

The differences between fine stringed instruments and an assembly line made violin (or cello or viola) are significant. Craftsmanship matters in the end.

In the simplest of terms, there are two kinds of violins in the world. One is made – painstakingly – by a professional ...

Violins, cellos, violas, basses and bows are sold at auction all the time. It works for buyers and sellers, but it’s possible to get it wrong.

Buy a fine violin, cello, viola or bass at auction? It may not be for the faint hearted, but auction sales of fine stringed instruments offer certain ...

Between your instrument strings and the bow hair is something vital, the rosin. Too much or too little, applied the wrong way, can impair your playing.

...

Bringing music to Los Angeles’ most disenfranchised people isn’t just a do-good project. It’s about summoning the best in all of us, the core of our beings.

What does it mean that accomplished musicians perform for and even work with the most disenfranchised parts of society in Los Angeles? ...

Now the most highly valued violin on the planet, the iconic instrument was refurbished almost 40 years ago in Carl Becker and Son’s simple Chicago studio.

Today, a non-descript condominium building stands at 1416 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago. This is in the re-gentrified Lakeview neighborhood of ...

Minor maintenance of violins, violas and cellos can and should be done by the player. Know what you’re doing – including when to call a professional.

All stringed instruments – violins, cellos and violas – are in certain respects alive. The strings, the various components (neck, pegbox, ...

The “planetary geared” peg makes tuning easier on violins, violas, and cellos. There are several additional reasons to favor them.

Geared pegs are a newer innovation when it comes to useful – some may say ingeniousstringed instrument accessories. Widely available both online as well as ...

Fine instruments are beautiful works of craftsmanship, and very vulnerable to come what may. Being careful means obtaining an insurance policy.

There are horror stories about fine stringed instruments getting damaged. You’ve heard them. Despite meticulous care and love a musician puts ...

While not intrinsically great instruments, Jewish-owned violins, cellos and violas that somehow survived the concentration camps live on in concert.

Among the many perverse facts of the Holocaust is there were camp orchestras. Talented instrumentalists from the Jewish and “Gypsy” (Roma) ...

Violinists are split on if the shoulder rest helps or hurts their play. Medical professionals recommend it for people with sore necks and shoulders.

The sound a violinist produces, as well as the mastery he or she has with the technical aspects of the score, is considered the goal and achievement ...

The physics of music matters, particularly when a cello, bass or violin produces an unintended sound. Understand how it works to fix it.

There are many reasons why education policy experts encourage adding an A, for arts, to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), giving us STEAM. The ...

Math is intrinsic to music. But what’s truly fascinating is how the designs of fine violins, flowers and huge galaxies connect to Fibonacci’s Golden Ratio.

The Fibonacci Series might sound like a spy thriller, but it’s perhaps more exciting because it draws a direct, mathematical connection ...

The legendary violinmaker didn’t limit his enterprise, producing many other types of stringed instruments. A few survive, are playable, and are highly valued.

In 2018, violin maker Gregg Alf curated a remarkable collection of fine stringed instruments by the iconic Antonio Stradivari. The event, ...

Synthetic bow hair is unthinkable to most violin players and makers. But given the delicacy of natural horsehair, the synthetic option has some appeal.

Players of fine cellos, violas and violins typically perform on fine cello, viola and violin bows. At some point in rehairing these ...

Violins and other instruments are like children, needing protection from unkind elements. Extreme temperatures and humidity pose the biggest threats.

For every thing there is a season. Fine violins can perform in all four seasons (as Vivaldi well understood), as do cellos, violas, and ...

It starts with mature, old growth trees and then requires a long time of natural drying. With stringed instruments such as violins, age is an advantage.

Much is made of the fine violins made long ago. The names Stradivarius, Guarneri, and Amati immediately come to mind. The ages of those ...

An especially knowledgeable violinmaker can identify the origin of a violin. This goes beyond an appraisal – a certificate of authenticity applies to insuring a fine instrument.

The enduringly popular Public Broadcast System program, “Antiques Roadshow,” has multiple episodes in its archives ...

There are several items the stringed instrument musician should acquire early in his or her training. It enables better play from the start.

The violin is perhaps among the most beautiful of musical instruments in both sound and appearance. A mere picture of violinist playing – or even just the ...

The electric guitar didn’t kill the acoustic ones, and neither have electric violins diminished acoustic violins. They broaden artistic range.

Is it somehow unwholesome for the serious violinist with a firm grounding in classical music to toy with the idea of electric violins? Or for that ...

Atmospheric water – humidity – changes the size and weight of wood in violins, cellos and other stringed instruments. But it can be managed.

Perhaps Vivaldi understood both the beauties and curses of nature. Arguably the composer’s most popular composition, “The Four Seasons” (Le Quattro ...

Music study can lead to a rewarding career. But simply learning how to play a violin (or tuba or oboe) can positively affect development in many ways. 

We go to a concert hall and see virtuoso musicians performing some of the most adored musical compositions on some of the finest violins ...

The A note changed over the centuries due to concert hall architecture, instrument innovations, and the globalization of Western music. 

Violin strings are typically tuned by setting the A string to 440 Hz. It’s a scientific metric applied to a tool of art, which in itself might seem odd. ...

It takes several kinds of woods to make fine stringed musical instruments. But the back of the violin, made with maple, has much to do with sound resonance.

Students of the violin and violinmaking are generally aware that a fine violin – as well as cellos and violas – is made up of ...

Spruce is a vital raw component of violins. A product of nature, there is great variability that skilled violinmakers understand how to control.

There are countless variables that affect the quality of music created by a skilled violinist and his or her violin. It is the talent, skill, and ...

Ole Kanestrom A tiny fishing village on Washington’s Puget Sound is the place where fine stringed instruments and instrumentalists find their essential bow.

Violins, violas and cellos mostly get all the attention. They’re the principle instruments in the orchestra; they are played by the most ...

Photo courtesy of Niam Chauhan They don’t make the music but ensure the instrument gets to its audiences. This London violinmaker created some of the most beautiful cases ever made.

When is a package or container almost as valued as its contents? One imagines the Fabergé eggs as an ...

Very few fine stringed instrument shops master so much of what musicians need to produce fine music – and what collectors need to establish value.

Some people know W.E. Hill & Sons for their fine violin bows. Others for the cellos and violins the firm made during the late 19th and most of ...

The 17th and 18th centuries produced the Stradivariuses. But the 20th and 21st centuries had the Chicago violinmaker Carl Fredrick Becker.

Chicago’s Fine Arts Building, a gem of the Windy City just steps from Symphony Center and the home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is ...

Luthiers practice a craft that derives from the old schools of Italy, Germany and France, but several schools for stringed instrument making are in the US.

Despite the omnipresence of manufactured violins from China, despite the decades of skills development that luthiers must have before becoming ...

Violinmakers do not typically include parts of expired animals in their fine instruments. But nonetheless fiddlers add snake rattles for a variety of reasons.

Only in America.

The place of the violin in the hills of Appalachia and on the plains of Texas, and along many points in between, is one ...

The discovery of the New World brought prosperous trade in Brazillian Pernambuco wood to Miracourt – establishing a legacy of fine bowmaking

Mirecourt, France is famous for two things: Violin and stringed instrument bow making, and the making of fine lace. That fact is as true today as it ...

It’s a tiny town with a big claim in fine stringed instruments. The Klotz family started it a long time ago and today’s luthiers still learn their craft there.

When tourists travel to Germany, must-visit cities are Hamburg, Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt. Unless, that is, the tourists are ...

An accomplished Japanese violinist studying in Germany was frustrated that children could learn the language faster than adults. But it birthed an idea.

Children learn to speak before they are able to read. So should beginner violinists learn how to create music before they are able to read music?

...
Whether looking for someone to teach violin, cello or a flugelhorn, the teacher is vitally important to how well your child learns. Here are search tips.

The unfortunate aphorism, “Those who can’t, teach,” is largely untrue and completely misleading where it comes to music instruction. A ...

Not one instrument but a family, this cousin of the violin and cello has a rich history in early music – and a future in contemporary music as well.

It isn’t a simple matter to find a viola da gamba for sale or a violin maker who crafts them. They are rare and fascinating. The stringed ...

All stringed instrument players know the importance of a good bow. But how do carbon fiber bows stand up to Pernambuco, Brazilwood, fiberglass and composites?

The history of fine violins, violin making – and violas and cellos for that matter – is rich with craftsmanship applied to ...

Bows of violins, violas, cellos and other stringed instruments can have hair issues: The horsehair bows fray, break and need fixing. It’s the nature of organic material.

Fine violin bows (as well as fine cello bows and viola bows) are a bit of a menagerie. There’s the frog of course, which ...

Violinists, violists and cellists know the score: It can be hard to fly with stringed instruments. Savvy musicians know the top tips of air travel.

Traveling on airplanes with musical instruments of any kind can be a challenge, particularly if we’re considering professionals who are carrying ...

“Outfit” is another word for “set,” as in how the three primary components (violin, bow, and case) are sold in a package. Sometimes it’s a better buy.

The beginning violin student and even someone with a few years of study might choose to purchase what is called a “violin outfit”. ...

Tiny, bow hair-eating bugs really exist and they can wreak costly harm to violin, viola and cello bows. Save yourself aggravation and money by following these preventive steps.

Almost all decomposition is actually the work of small bugs and microorganisms. That includes the unfortunate destruction ...

Studying a stringed instrument like a violin, viola or cello can be pricey. The decision to rent or buy largely depends on the student’s age and commitment.

Adults who enjoy being musicians by and large were enthusiastic about studying their instrument as children. They may not stay with the ...

The friction created by rosin is essential for playing all bowed stringed instruments such as violins. But the choices of types and brands are varied and vast.

There are quite a few questions – and unresolved matters of opinion – on the technical matter of rosin use on violin, viola and cello ...

Double-blind tests in 2014 found newer violins have a preferred sound, shocking many. But it’s music to the ears of violinists with smaller budgets.

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and taste is on the tongue of the gourmand, is the sound of the sweetest violin only in the ear of a ...

Being “off pitch” is more often a metaphor for poor communications. But with violins, oboes, and concertmasters, it hits on the science of music.

In a modern world, we expect everything to be standardized. With a few exceptions – the inability one encounters trying to plug American ...

Legendary violins are made of Bosnian wood grown hundreds of years ago. But can modern luthiers replicate what Stradivari had available to him?

The extraordinary sound of the fine violins, violas and cellos made by the legendary luthiers Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) and Guiseppe Guarneri ...

The supporting role perception of the violinist’s bow underestimates its importance. But a certain 18th century Frenchman changed everything.

There’s a famous unattributed quote about bowed instruments such as cellos, violins and violas: “The left hand makes the notes, but the right hand ...

It’s prudent for the budding musician to begin with a student-model instrument. But progress can be stunted if the violin isn’t properly setup by a professional.

There is a great deal of difference between a student violin, an intermediate violin, and a professional violin. It has to do with ...

It's a task easily taken for granted by stringed instrument enthusiasts, but violinmakers know there's much at stake when merging the neck with the mortise.

When crafting fine violins, as opposed to cheap, mass-produced ones, placing the neck onto the violin body is the most complex procedure, as ...

The sound holes on violins, violas and cellos aren't there just to be gorgeous; they serve a vital function in the sound of the instrument.

The sound holes of stringed instruments such as fine cellos, violas and violins, also known as F-holes, are openings in the top plate. The holes allow the ...

Every violin, viola and cello has a scroll whose only real function is to be beautiful and to showcase the skill of the maker.

The distinctive scroll found at the top of fine violins, violas and cellos is a purely decorative woodcarving that showcases the violinmaker’s skill as a maker and ...

Ivory is a gorgeous and durable material that enhance stringed instruments and their bows, but as musicians have learned, traveling with ivory can be tricky business.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) director has worked with the Obama Administration to set in place strict rules ...

Violinmakers and archetiers have utilized ivory on fine stringed instruments and bows for centuries because ivory is a strong and lovely material.

Through the years some makers have considered Ivory as an essential choice when it came to building fine musical instruments, from pianos to fine ...

If a fine, older violin is missing a label, analyzing the patterns of the wood makes it possible to determine the age and quality of the wood and the instrument.

Dendrochronology is the act of analyzing tree ring patterns in wood in order to determine the wood’s age. Dendrochronology has been ...

In the Internet Age, it's tempting to purchase accessories for violins, violas and cellos online, but there's much to be said for the local violin shop.

Whether you are in need of chin rests, rosin, violin strings, metronomes or tuning devices, shopping for the right violin accessories can be a ...

Maintaining your instrument is more than a good idea; it's vital. Professional violin shops can help keep your instrument tuned up and playable.

Good care and maintenance are vital in preserving a violin, whether or not the instrument endures frequent travel or gets handled often. All ...

It is possible to cause a lot of damage to a fine instrument. Fortunately, modern luthiers have taken the craft of repairing instruments further than before.

Fine cellos, violas and violins are made of delicate materials and can get damaged, whether through poor storing conditions, exhaustive ...

A violinmaker's tools are specialized to violinmaking, often individualized to the maker and often handed down over generations.

The craft of violinmaking has changed very little in the 300 years since the time of Antonius Stradivarius and the Cremonese masters. In our current era of factory ...

Modern luthiers have advanced the craft of restoring violins to their prestine condition, but that doesn't mean expectations shouldn't be tempered.

Performing fine violin restorations is an art form in its own right within the field of violin making. Not all violinmakers perform restorations, ...

The varnish a violinmaker uses on fine violins, violas and cellos is usually proprietary, and has much to do with the sound and character of the instrument.

Violinmakers know that even the most subtle of details are crucial in perfecting the sound quality of fine violins, violas and cellos. ...

As any string player, from the beginner to the professional, knows, all music-making begins with an in-tune instrument.

For the practicing instrumentalist, tuning a violin, viola or cello is a daily task. Located in the peg box towards the end of the instrument, pegs are adjusted to tune the ...

A Stradivarius label can be found in new and old violins, violas and cellos that are not "Strads", but typically, the label isn't intended to fool anyone.

Old violins containing an official looking “Stradivarius” label often surface, for instance, while digging through a yard sale or a ...

When investing in learning the value of a fine instrument, be certain to take it to a violin shop with a reputation as fine instrument appraisers.

Knowing the value of a fine violin can be difficult without the eye of an expert. Whether you are looking to settle an estate, resell privately or ...

From metronomes to electronic tuners and more, smart phones provide vital and convenient tools for violinists, violists and cellists.

Violinists and other instrumentalists will find that tuners, metronomes and other useful and necessary violin accessories are now available as applications, or ...

Even in the age of Ebay, consigining your violin, viola or cello at a trusted local violin shop, with their large client base, remains the best decision.

When you’re looking to sell your fine violin (or a viola or cello), consignment to a notable violin shop may be the most lucrative option. ...

Purflings on violins, violas and cellos are entirely decorative in nature and offer the violinmaker a chance to show off his steady hand and skill as a craftsman.

Purflings are the decorative inlays highlighting the edges on the faces and backs of most stringed instruments. Since the first ...

Bending wood to shape the ribs of violins, violas and cellos is one of the most important - and complex - tasks of making an instrument.

The “ribs” are the pieces of wood that make up the sides of violins, violas and cellos, between the outer edges of the top and bottom plates and enclosing ...

The bass bar on stringed instruments isn't just vital to the instrument's voice. It is a remarkable feat of sound engineering conceived by the old master makers.

The bass bar is a piece of wood on the underside of the faceplate or “belly” of stringed instruments such as violins, violas or ...

Violin, viola and cello bows come in different lengths, weights and materials depending on the instrument, the playing level and what the player is trying to accomplish.

The bow is a musical device that is pulled across the strings of violins, violas and cellos to make them produce sound. Bows ...

Playing a violin or viola correctly requires perfect posture and positioning of the instrument in the player's hands and against the body.

The string player holds violins and violas similarly. Correctly holding a violin or a viola will enhance the sound of the instrument as well as its ...

The difference between a "violin" and a "fiddle" has less to do with physical characteristics and much to do with how the instrument is played as well as the style of music performed.

Violins and fiddles, by themselves, may be difficult to distinguish physically. The same instrument can be ...

A sound post is a small but important part of a stringed instrument, tasked with many vital functions. As such, it often requires repositining from the hands of an expert luthier.

Sound posts in cellos, violas and violins are cylindrical rods inside the instrument body located below the treble ...

A stringed instrument bow - for violins, violas and cellos - have evolved over centuries and are more complex than they appear.

The bow is an integral part of playing on violins, as well as on violas and cellos, except when plucking and strumming the strings. The bow, like the violin itself, is ...

Chinrests on violins and violas are an accessory that have evolved over time. Shapes and styles are a matter of preference, but musicians agree, they make playing easier.

The chinrest is a component of violins and violas that helps in positioning the violinist or violist’s chin and jaw on ...

Neck grafts are often needed on older violins, violas and cellos but the repair should be entrusted only to the most experienced of luthiers.

Neck grafting is a repair process for violins, violas and cellos through which the neck is replaced while often preserving the peg box and scroll of the ...

The sound produced by a bowed stringed instrument - violins, violas and cellos - varies greatly depending, in part, on the types of strings used.

Different kinds of strings can markedly adjust the sonic character of violins. Plain and wound gut, steel and synthetic strings offer timbres varying ...

For the violinmaker, part of the challenge of making a great-sounding violin is determining the wood's proper thickness in varying areas of the instrument.

The final thickness of the wood of violins has a major influence on the quality and character of its sound. As a violinmaker carves the top ...

The mortise on a stringed instrument is a lesser-known albeit important part of a violin, viola or cello with a vita function.

The mortise is a gap in the violin body sized to hold the protruding neck’s matching dimensions so that they can join together. Like many parts of violins, the neck ...

As any string player with an older instrument knows, when the peg holes slip or crack, it's time to visit the local violin shop.

On all stringed instruments – violins, violas and cellos – the container that houses the pegs is called the “peg box”.

Peg box repair becomes necessary when ...

Stringed instruments like violins, violas and cellos, come in many sizes to account for small children to full-sized adult players.

Violins, violas and cellos are made in a variety of sizes, mainly for youth. Violins and cellos have standard adult sizes as well as a slightly smaller 7/8 adult ...

The traditional shape of violins, violas and cellos has less to do with beauty and much to do with science and practicality.

The shape of stringed instruments such as violins, violas and cellos consists of an upper bout, lower bout, and two C-shape bouts on either side.  Looking from the ...

The right bridge - properly positioned and maintained - is essential to the sound and playability of any violin, viola or cello. 

In time, as violins, violas and cellos are used, tuning the strings on the instrument eventually cause the bridge to become slightly angled, leaning upwards ...

There's more to a violin's tailpiece than simply holding the strings in place. Properly fitted, the right tailpiece enhances the sound.

The tailpiece anchors the strings on the bottom end of violins, violas and cellos. As the top of the strings are held in place by pegs in the peg box, they are ...

Installation of the bridge on violins, violas and cellos may look simple, but it's an important step best left to a professional violinmaker.

Careful installation of the bridge is necessary to achieve proper sound, tuning and maintenance of violins, violas or cellos. A poorly installed bridge ...

Modern scientific methods help explain what accounts for the musical sound of a bowed stringed instrument.

The body of violins, including their front and back plates, their sides as well as the air they contain, all function as part of the process of transmitting the string vibrations through ...

Violinmaking in the modern age has been marked by mass-factory-produced instruments, but there are plenty of fine violins, violas and cellos being hand-crafted by contemporary luthiers.

The modern violin’s origins are in the schools of violinmaking in Brescia and Cremona, the traditions of ...

Though bowed stringed instruments have existed for thousands of years, those we recognize today as violins, violas and cellos were crafted by 16-century Italian luthiers.

The first modern violins were made in Northern Italy in the middle of the 16th Century. Seven makers of bowed stringed ...

Bowed stringed instruments were crafted in various countries long before instruments we know today as violins, violas and cellos were made in 16th-century Italy.

Before the invention in Italy of instruments we know today as the violins, violas and cellos, many other stringed instruments ...

The varnishes applied to violins, violas and cellos do more than make the instrument look good. It makes them sound great, too.

A good violin, viola or cello varnish can play an important role in perfecting the sound quality of an instrument. The varnish applied by Stradivari to his violins is ...

The art of making strings for stringed instruments is as old and fine of a craft as instrument-making.

All violins, but especially older, fine violins sound better with fine strings.

The string-maker, or “cordaro” as it was first called in Italy, has been a profession since the 1600s. ...

While typically made separately from the violin, viola or cello, fittings are vital and a fine instrument deserves a finely crafted set.

The fittings of the violin, including the tuning pegs, tailpiece and tail gut, are attachments that are added on to the body, neck and bridge to place the ...

For a violin, viola or cello to be tuned correctly, the peg hole must be cut perfectly to keep friction on the peg. For the violinmaker, the pressure is on.

Violinists, violists and cellists use tuning pegs daily to adjust the tones of each string on their instrument. In violinmaking, the ...

The fingerboards of violins, violas and cellos are the most used surfaces on the instrument. It is necessary for the violinmaker to utilize a wood that is durable and beautiful.

The fingerboards of violins, violas and cellos are the most touched surface on the instruments and can wear out ...

An older, master-crafted instrument with "composite" repairs - where parts have been replaced - can be an affordable option for  players investing in a fine violin, viola or cello.

Composite instruments are violins, violas or cellos with one or more parts that have been replaced from the ...

The two-dimensional vibration of "Chladni patterns" are one way modern science has assisted violin makers in the ancient art of crafting fine violins, violas and cellos.

Chladni Patterns are the result of techniques of visualizing the vibrations of a resonating two-dimensional object’s sound. ...

To craft fine violins, violas and cellos, violinmakers require hard, strong and dense wood. Maple, Spruce and Ebony do the trick.

There are a variety of woods used for making fine violins, including Maple, Spruce, Ebony, Boxwood, Willow, Poplar and Rosewood. Old growth trees from higher ...

When it comes to crafting or repairing a fine violin, viola or cello, not any glue will do. Just don't expect to get it at a hobby store.

In the production and repair of stringed instruments such as violins, violas and cellos, hide glue, typically from horses, has traditionally been the ...

Should a Desire for Color Change Warrant Refinishing a Fine Violin? The finish on antique and modern fine stringed instruments is applied painstakingly for reasons of acoustics. Refinishing an instrument for aesthetics is not recommended.

One of history’s great, unsolved mysteries is what makes ...

  A Stradivarius Violin in Your Attic? How to Know. It would be a great shock to the world of fine stringed instruments if a lost violin from a great Italian luthier turned up. Many imitations were made 100 years ago.

It is not unusual to come across a violin in someone’s attic, at a flea ...

Violin Shops Have Key Features to Look For When Choosing The purchase of a violin at any price level is a critical moment. Whether a student or principal concert violinist, how and where you buy the instrument is important.

In California alone there are more than 30 specialty violin shops, and ...

Violin Students Upgrading to a Finer Violin Need to Know How and When The moment for students of any stringed instrument to upgrade to a finer violin, cello or viola is an exciting juncture. But to do it right takes caution and study.

Perhaps you or the violinist in your family has been accepted ...

Before Buying a Fine Violin Online, Know About the Shop Selling It Buying a fine stringed instrument can rarely be done online. Even with a fine and high-value instrument, establishing a long-term relationship with the seller matters.

In our digital world, some of most rare and fine musical ...

Purchasing Violins from Individual Sellers Online is Probably a Mistake Even affordable student violins come in a wide range of quality and playability. Anyone purchasing a violin will get better service with an established retailer.

In the realm of stringed instruments, there is a wide range of ...

“Shop