Sunday, September 23, 2007

Paging Muzenews... Check this!


So I got out this violin that I have been hanging on to. I found it in a second hand shop here in Jamestown a few years ago. It's not in great shape, but I wanted to have a violin on hand should the spirit of my childhood move me to play again. Yeah. Many years of practicing have left me wanting more, I guess. I think I started playing in the fourth grade. Preppy Girl... can you verify this fact? She also took up the four squeaky stings around the same time. Mom used to set the built-in timer on our 1950's era stove to be sure we put in our 30 minutes of practice. I hated that timer but I played right up into high school when I switched to cello and then upright bass. Bass led me into electric bass and then into a couple of bands... blah blah blah...

So tonight I took the violin out of its case to have a look at the label. For those of you who may not know, there's a label inside the violin that tells you who made it. You can see it if you hold it up to a light and squint into the f-shaped holes on the body of the instrument. This label will give you a general idea of where the thing came from, etc... at least it will if it is still in there. Mine is gone.

The next thing you can do is check out the bow. Pretend you know what the hell you are talking about. This is an older bow and it's horse hair. There's some mother of pearl inlay missing from one side of the frog. The word "TOURTE" is stamped on one side of my bow. Turns out this guy developed the modern bow. He was French and is now dead. There are more details, but that's the Cliff Notes version.

The case is a wreck. Cases usually are but inside I found an old cake of rosin and the label from another. I have no idea how old either of these items are. The could be retro-designed labels from last week for all I know... but I like them. I think I will post a picture of the violin tomorrow, time permitting. Anyway... any insight y'all can throw at me, please chuck away!

By the way... despite the condition of this violin, and my rusty form, the thing sounds pretty good.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Julia said...

It's about time you took that out! You may have done this already, but lightly knock around the edges of the instrument. You should just hear a nice echo, but if you hear a knocking sound back then a seam has come unglued. Easily fixed by a professional, of course.

I also recommend re-stringing it with new strings (Steel E, Dominant for the rest). Does it have a fine tuner on the E? If not, then I have an E string for you. The last set I bought came without a looped E.

From what I understand on Violinist.com, rosin doesn't really go bad and you can even melt it down to refresh it or something. I've never tried this and it probably would make more sense to buy a new cake unless this stuff is working just fine for you.

Now you just need to brush up enough to join Jamestown Community Orchestra. We need violinists, you know. (grins) I'm being serious.

5:34 AM  
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6:54 AM  

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