If you've been spending a lot of time alone with your violin, you may be more in touch than ever with how it sounds and what you like or don't like. For example, a string player who normally plays in an orchestra seldom gets so much one-on-one time with the instrument, without the sound of the orchestra all around. Right now, though, is a perfect opportunity to practice.
Some of us may be thinking about upgrades or changes. Or if you have more than one instrument, perhaps you are switching around. Or maybe you are just enjoying the instrument you have and noting its strengths. At any rate, I thought this would be a nice time to discuss old violin vs. new violins.
Certainly there are merits to both old and new. When it comes to old stringed instruments: with music resonating in that wood over many years, the sound can open up and mature very nicely. Plus, it is a little easier to identify the "good" violins in a group of old ones that have been played and compared by many people over many years - many old violins come with a reputation, if you will.
But new violins and stringed instruments are better than ever, when it comes to handmade instruments by luthiers. As I've written on a number of occasions, now is a kind of "Golden Age" in violin making. Modern makers have combined science with tradition to create some truly wonderful instruments, and their newness makes them a little more durable and consistent for a musician that travels (back when we traveled!).
And of course, I say all this knowing the following: it depends. There are fine instruments, fair instruments, awful-sounding instruments - in every category, be they old, new, American, European, Chinese, student or high-end.
What I'm looking for is your personal experience, at the moment. What do you prefer right now, and why? What do you currently view as the merits and what are the drawbacks, to a new or old violin? Can you honestly say that you feel equally about the two? Please participate in the vote and then share your thoughts on the matter.
You might also like:
This article has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.
Violinist.com is made possible by...
Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.