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Violin How to Choose

Violin How to Choose

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Published by: Emmanuel Luciano Crombeen on Feb 18, 2012
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Sections

  • CHAPTER I
  • CHAPTER II
  • CHAPTER III
  • CHAPTER IV
  • CHAPTER V
  • CHAPTER VII
  • CHAPTER IX
  • CHAPTER X
  • CHAPTER XI

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THE LIBRARY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LOS ANGELES

— —

HOW

TO CHOOSE ONE.

BY A PROFESSIONAL PLAYER,
Author of "The Violin: Holu
to

Master

It," do.

COZsTTEIsr'X'S.
Experts Some hard words about Collectors Model Why one Violin excels another How to get a good Violin very Cheap Amber Varnish, a collection of Facts and Theories— How to make Amber Varnisli The names and addresses of eight makers of Amber Varnish for Violins How to Colour Amber Varnish without the admixture of Colouring Ingredients Charles Reade and Ole Bull on Amber Varnish Some plain words about Old Violins Heavenly Message The Tubby Tone Fractures Wolf Notes Worm-eaten Violins The best substitute for an Old Violin The dififerent qualities of Wood and Tone Training the Eye The Italian Tone Power against Sweetness How to test Experts Reliable Experts Beginners' Violins^The kind of Violin to buy Tone dependent upon the Player Ladies' Violins The Violin Case, The Bow, and the Strings

—A

— —

— —

— —

— —

Startling revelations of a Skilled Violin

the Tone of any Violin may be Copied and the Bass Bar adjusted to the requirements of the JNIodel and the capabilities of the Wood The long sought Secret which was withheld by Savarb, Vuillaume, and Otto— Every part of the Violin Tuned to Modem Concert Pitch in course of Con-

THE ACOUSTICS OF VIOLIN MAKINGMaker—A sure method

by which

struction

A LIST OF LIVING BRITISH VIOLIN MAKERS
using Oil Varnish, the Models they follow, the Colour of Varnish they use, and a Copy of the Ticket inserted in their Works.

PRICE ONE SHILLING.
EDINBURGH: E. KOHLER & SON, MUSICSELLERS, NORTH BRIDGE. LONDON: FOOLSHAM & CO., 4 PILGRIM STREET; and DUNCAN & CO., 1S6 FLEET STREET.

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THE VIOLI
HOW
TO CHOOSE ONE.
BY

A PBOFESSIONAL PLAYER,
AUTHOR OF " THE
VIOLIN'
:

HOW

TO MASTER IT," EIC.

-*-

co3^t:e:n"'T'S.
Experts

— Amber Varnish a collection of Facts and Theories— How to maka Amber Varnisli — The names and addresses of eight makers of Amber Varnish for Violins — How
excels another

— Some hard — How to

words about Collectors
get a good Violin very

— !Model — Why
Cheap

one Violin
,

to Colour

Amber Varnish

without the admixture of Colouring Ingredients

— Charles Keade and Ole Bull on Amber Varnisli — Some plain words about Old Violins — A Heavenly Message — The Tubby Tone — Fractures —Wolf Notes — Worm-eaten Violins — The best substitute for an Old Violin — The different qualities of Wood and Tone — Training the Eye — The Italian Tone — Power against Sweetness — How to test Experts — lleliable Experts Beginners' Violins — The kind of Violin to buy — Tone dependent Ufion the Player — Ladies' Violins — The Violin Case, The Bow, and the Strings—
THE ACOUSTICS OF ViOLIN MAKING— Startling revelations of a Skilled Violin ]\Iaker — A sure method
by which

the Tone of any Violin may be Copied and the Bass Bar adjusted to the requirements of the Model and the capabilities of the Wood The long sought Secret which was withheld by Savart, Vuillaume, and Otto Every part of the Violin Tuned to Modern Concert Pitch in course of Con-

struction

A LIST OF LIVING BRITISH VIOLIN MAKERS
using Oil Varnish, the Models they follow, the Colour of Varnish they use, and a Copy of the Ticket inserted in their Works.

PRICE ONE SHILLING.
EDINBURGH:
E. KOHLER & SON, MUSICSELLERS, NORTH BRIDGE. LONDON: FOULSHAM & CO., 4 PILGRIM STREET; and DUNCAN & CO., 186 FLEET STREET.

Cremona Villa. Awjust Fifk. all of which were couched in terms of praise and delight except two. is not infallible. have carried the day. for it springs from love of the grandest musical instrument which ever cheered the heart of man. N. first liy me in penning WM. but no tale from my pen has attracted more attention or drawn forth more unqualified expressions of gratitude and loving approval. and so carries with it its own yjalliation. it has cost me more labour than a six-month story. \fit. therefore. HONEYMAK 1S93. while these papers have been appearing. thank every one who has thus cheered me in my task. Let them extend the same feeling to me.PEEFACE. Let me. I have received from six to twelve letters daily. This book these pages. Their opposition will only excite my admiration. The majority. One of these was only carping and scornful.1707D . the other was so horribly abusive that I had not strength to read more than six lines before dropping it into the waste basket. During the last six months... Newport.B. therefore. 1. and assure them that if they have derived pleasure and increased their knowledge enjoyed l)y studying these pages the pleasure was them. Simple though the work may appear. C. nor do I profess to else know more about Violins than some one who may chance to read Many will disagree with some of my assertions and cling to their pet notion in violins as stoutly as every fond lover believes his chosen mate to be the wino-less angel of the world. and the papers now appear as a book.

.

A — — — Violin Experts. or £100." but some experts will assume an awful and impressive air and answer. having in his pocket £5. and he is (3) frequently nob Tiie usual charge of an expert for judging a violin honest. and prove curious and interesting even to those who are not so inclined. " Oh. so an opinion may cost pounds. A is VIOLIN may cost anything from 3s. which he wishes to exchange for a violin suited to his taste and requirements. . is 2^ per cent.000. he has his ear and his eye to guide him .THE YIOLIN: HIO'W TO CHIOOSS CHAPTER Experts. 6d." The whole purpose of this book is to show that the simple person makes the best answer. how is he to act so that he shall be certain of getting full value for his money 1 simple person would answer. Given a violin player of averagr^ ability and judgment. and often a source of great bewilderment to those who do. £oO. O^TE. you must be careful you must consult one of us. I have been so frequently asked to chouse violins for readers of my books a task which I have always fulfilled with real pleasure that it has struck me that a concise exposition of the best method of choosing a violin would be welcome to many who either play or wish to play the violin. he is (2) not always correct in his judgment. of its value. An expert is (1) a very expensive luxury. I. £20. which a source of amazement to those who do not play violins. to £2. " Ah. £10.

. Quite surprised and disheartened the trustee lelt London and showed the instrument some time after to an amateur expert.ered to buy the violin for . he will look perfectly aghast. supposed to be by Amati. while the writer carefully avoided all reference to the probable maker. I have seen one of these documents. am I to ride him for selling or for buying?" Pretty much the same high toned principle actuates the average ! ! A ] dealer in old violins his judgment is often cruelly warped possibility of him becoming the owner of the violin. Another case A country dealer and repairer got hold of a fine 'cello. leaving a fine old violin and an orphan boy to whom the violin was as nothing but to represent so much money. and also ofl. who promptly pronounced it an Italian violin by a good maker. in excellent ])reservation. to expert A. "Pather. and 1 will quickly prove to you what a dishonest pack some of us are.£5. horse dealer's boy when called upon to trot out a horse. who with wonderful unanimity went over pretty much the same palaver. and then ofiered £o for it. but should you afterwards chance to show your violin to expert C. dissatisfied. The chief trustee took the violin to London and showed it to an expert and — by the A —A who said it was nothing in particular. and took it uj? to London to expert B. real case in point man in England died. and then take your violin to expert B. and for a trifling fee prove to you that experts and B are not only entirely mistaken. and the violin which it described. 2s. he may give you an entirely difi'erent history of your violin. having heard that the instrument was considered valuable. and there were palpable mistakes and errors in nearly every line." If you be simple and pay the fee. ran it down to the utmost. took it to another expert and dealer. — .G THE YIOLIX: HOW TO CHOOSE OXE. and shortly after helped him to sell it for <£lOli. which was the information chiefly sought. but honesty among experts who deal in violins is about as rare as are Said the erfect Strads. and send 3^ou away satisfled. and for that sum you will get from them a paper containing an infinitude of nothing in all doubtful cases. The trustee. But supposing you avoid a cheap expert as you would a cheaj:) doctor. when he was asked to dealer. Genius among experts is rare. and you pay £2. and yet be worth very little.. There ai-e some experts who Avill give an opinion on any violin for 5s. it is highly probable that the latter will exclaim " Ha you have been deceived Pay me a trifling fee of £•'2. but are little better than robbei'S. 2s.

sold it for 70 guineas to another enthusiast. and still has the 'cello. cnstomer ready to buy the 'cello at a good profit. How then a violin made by him in the " Rue Croix-des-petits-Champs" could be " an early work " is explainable only by expert B." and advised that it be sent to Messrs. hwt "an eai'ly woi'k " of that maker. I was once told of I'an 17 . "Nicolas Lupot Liithier. being the successors of Lupot. who. are the best judges of his works. this may be estimated when I state that the violin is ticketed. Its real value is about £10 at the outside. a Paris. who could easily have sent the violin to Paris for identification. I knew that it was only an old French fiddle.— THE VIOLIN: no W TO CHOOSE ORE. of Another case course. A occasion to send the violin to experts A. if that particular firm would certify it genuine. Yet another case An English traveller. 1 was dead) and tackled expert B. Owner No. Bernardel. the shop at that addz-ess before that (date 1803) his address was "Rue de Grammont. in Paris. 2 (owner No. 2 and get back his Cremona. who in turn exchanged The third owner of the " Lupot " had it for a fine Cremona. rue Croix-des-petits-Champs. however. with which he was perfectly satisfied. 7 leave the instrument and call in the afternoon for an opinion. chose rather to send it back to owner No. and. for £40. and the owner of one was quite offended when I told him I did not think it was by that maker. in London. Gand k. but did not. 3. Then up to London went owner No. and they are no more alike than chalk and cheese. and was so pai'alysed by their answer that he took the train home straightway." and still earlier (1791) he dates his violins from the City of Orleans. by people yo>i know. and gave him a certificate to that The value of effect. gentleman in the heart of England bought from expert B a violin guaranteed by the seller to be a genuine Lupot . when they at once emphatically pronounced it an instrument "with no pretensions whatever to the name of Lupot. who assured him the violin was a genuine Lupot. Upon calling he was told that they declined to have anything He had a to say in the matter on any terms whatever. writes to me thus -"Now about the so-called professional expert. who is an enthusiastic player and a good judge of violins. I know where there is another sold as a Lupot. During my twenty-six years' tx-avelling I have come across all sorts of violins which have been sold by these gentlemen. — — — . Lupot last worked in " (the date indecipherable). lost his sale. I know now where there are three totally different violins all sold as the work of Landulphus.

^fLj *SsJ^ . it can do him no harm to gather all the knowledge he can on the subject. It was a grand old Amatise Strad. After I bought it. and both said they would come again. but badly out of order. but their chance was gone. as I took it with me. I soon had a note from one of these man He experts to know the price of it. and when it was done up I sold it for £60. so I bought it. could not depend on his own judgment !" Whatever opinion the reader may form from these cases. but I gave him no reply. an old old Nottingham.8 THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE fiddle for sale in ONE. The to whom it belonged asked £10 for it. Then he told me that two of these experts had been to see it. and went to see it.

as under that a violin is not generally at its best. but as both ear and eye require training. When oh when— will players realize that it is not gold mounted pegs for which V How — : How D — — — . By old. which. The ear and the eye of the player ought to be the sole guide. alas. that an old violin. a few hints on how violin players may become their own experts may not be unwelcome. well made and well preserved.THE VIOLIN." I think it may be taken as established. patched. with no purfling. Old violins may be had by the bushel for from £5 to . with a large and telling tone. and I fancy I hear a host of questions showering in on me. Colloctors — Model. and the ignorance of players. For reasons which I have already given in " The Violin to Master It. CHAPTER Some Hard Words about II. selling and reselling which would be better thrust into the fire. Here the vastness of the subject is enough to appal any but the stoutest heart. but having a tone which I have heard brilliantly outshone by an old English fiddle. now TO CHOOSE ONE. At a high-class concert recently I heard Vieuxtemps' Concerto in minor performed by a soloist whose powei-s fell little short of genius. To answer these and a thousand similar questions I have to refer the reader back to the reply of the simple person the ear and the eye must decide for you. I mean about 150 years of age. but who oh. They are kept in existence merely by the rapacity of experts and dealers." and " The Secrets of Violin Playing. fatal folly had chosen to use an old wreck of a Strad beautifully fitted with gold-mounted pegs. a miserable scroll and a wretched oil varnish. are not worth buying. by eminent Italian makers. There are husky. and fractured wrecks of violins. the folly of collectors.. such as "What maker do you recommend mosfcf "Are Italian " violins really the best in existence are we to know a real from a fraudulent copy T' "Would a well made newviolin not be as good as an old onef' &o. is better for all purposes than the best new violin that can be made. and which was sold for £4. diseased.£300. &c.

Haweis says that the collector has been a blessing to the world in " preserving " so many matchless gems from the wear and tear of constant use. and violins. china. but set aside it begins to mould and decay .• for fear of upsetting their fingering of their own instruments. and cannot often have them admired. as a matter of fact. arity about wood is that in use it wears very little. and have thus forced up to such outrageous prices. and great soloists usually shun them . Sometimes Death steps in My . players. but a violin to the masses is "only a fiddle. Gold-Mounted ToxeI The extraordinary listeners sigh but prices which these wrecks bring can be traced to the same Collectors have thus become the curse of violin folly. IS^o one can admire them . Old pictures. notwithstanding all the gush that has been written about them. and no one is wronged by these being sought after and preserved as curiosities. possessing articles which others with more musical ability and less money cannot get. Mr. it is not surprising that they look upon the collector as worse than a crank. so many of these violins are damaged rather than benefited by being kept from use by collectors and. not so much on account of these wrecks which they keep in the market as of the really grand violins which they keep out of use. than one instrument. as good players have no time in a cursory trial to get acquainted with the powers of such violins. are not lovely objects except to a select few. Those who play upon violins sufi'er grievously and as it was for them and not for collectors that violins were made. but with old violins it is very difierent. valuable violins are invariably entombed in boxes. there they may stick in voiceless stillness and darkness till they rot into dust. Again. To keep good violins out of use they declare to be a crime. for the collector cannot use them himself. scarce a being can play upon them . and books are usually placed in a position in which they can be admired . no such noble ambition as "preserving matchless gems to the world" fires the soul of He simply wishes his vanity flattered by the collector. he cannot w^ell play upon more A . coins. The Rev.. old coins are full of interest and of history old books are also worthy of being collected. 10 THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSF OXE. but the strange peculiremark is more sentimental than sound." Old china is sometimes beautiful to look upon . fittingly made to resemble coftins. even when the collector -chances to be a violin player. own view is entirely in sympathy with this one. Grand pictures will please thousands.

A is not. to use a violin I have always sold it. let them collect NEW ONES. let us hope that they will all "tak' thocht an' mend. presto the violins are all scattered to the cheerful chip of the auctioneer's hammer. but coffiners. Mi'. and shut them off from the glorious world of brightness and joy. and as no one who really loves the violin is past praying for. There It are scores of others who are not players. new violin. until Scatter them scatter them Let it shall cease to exist. players. quite within the law and pleases. If men of money will collect violins.THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ! ONE. not the men individually. violin collecting. to collect old violins as curiosities. Ed. inade of grand wood by a genuine artist. generally at the price I paid for it." Nor am I to condemn the disease without pointing out a remedy. and see them again entombed by a fresh crop of wealthy vandals. This suggestion I make in all seriousness. 11 and makes their owner relax his senseless and greedy fingers. I am bound to admit that all the violin collectors whom I have met have been singularly amiable and obliging men. The pure selfishness which prompts violin collecting ought then to be hooted from the earth in common with all selfishness. Heron Allen takes the middle course of declaring that every man has a right to use his money as he Exactly. for which they were created. and slowly and patiently covered with a fine amber oil varnish is a beautiful object to look upon. and would not do so at any price. is the practice I denounce. use their money in a manner which calls while others are forth the disgust of all unselfish men beloved for tlie way in which they administer this great trust While denouncing for the good of the world and themselves. To keep a spai'e old violin ! ! ! for an emergency is nscessai-y and commendable . but frequently for I have never sold a violin to a collector. hey. sometimes at a slight gain. but these have all been players. and then. which an old violin generally . but many men. What the world hear them while they have voices to thrill When I have ceased I preach I have all my life practised. but at prices entirely prohibitive to the best. is detestable. and a collection of violins by the different makers now would not only be full of interest in itself and a much-needed encouragement to struggling talent but an investment which would increase enormously in value as years rolled on and time did its mellowing work on these living — — . who can simply look on and groan and gnash their teeth. their own right. less than it cost.

is the least sin for which He deprives good the collector of old violins is accountable. he robs players of the use of them . .000'? THE VIOLiy. The extraordinary prices up to which the best Cremona violins have been forced. Begin this new form of violin-collecting at once. ye millionaires. of the rapture of hearing them. always distinguishing between the violin which is made and that which is merely manufactured. With voices in them which might rouse many of us like the call of angels. thousands. worst of all. these violins are doomed by the collector to JIaledicite I JIaledicite J eternal silence. nay. millions. the Messie Stradivari bring Simply because it had been kept to look at from and vras varnished full. then. and has tlie hour it was finished not even a chin mark on it at the present moment. Why did .12 perfect j£2. and the blessings of hundreds now living and millions to come shall crown your memories. HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. violins. but.

clumsyworking Storioni to all these . when Stradivarius alone was the fashion . skilled judge of violins writing to me. when he preferred Maggini to both Stradivarius and Guarnerius. just as last century it was Stainers and Jacobs and Dukes. "Ye gods. a great violin player has been found who has retained enough sanity to stand aside from this scrambling and panting crowd. when he preferred Guarnerius to Stradivarius. The real violin player who has preserved his judgment amid such shoals of nonsense and oceans of gush as have been written on this subject should not care one straw what "the lovely curves and waves and lines" of his violin may be. and Ole Bull was another. and say. as the combination of crisp. 13 CHAPTER Model." Paganini was one. when he set Gasparo da Salo above them all.. III. there are fashions in fiddles as there are in ladies' bonnets. clear tone and depth as well is so satisfying to the performer. THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. the tone of which equals or outshines that of many of the violins of Stradivarius or Guarnerius for which high prices have been paid. and before that Amatis and the gaping crowd of wealthy connoisseurs hearing the cry blindly follow. however. " I think you are mistaken. or what "resplendent amber sheen " may glow from its varnish. and here I mean to utter lieresy upon heresy. Vieuxtemps was another. when he preferred coarse. And whyl simply because there are violins whose model would send some gushing cranks into hysterics. De Beriot was another. when both were the fashion . nothing else would suit. exclaiming. so the man whose mind is already made up on this trifling point had better read no further. what fiddles!" Here and there. so long as the tone is grand and thrilling.' Notwithstanding the fine qualities of the sue- — A ' . and just now the fashion is Strads and Josephs. The truth is. remarked "An old dealer in violins once told me that when a player once took to using a Mu(j'jini. This brings us to consider -what model or shape of violin produces the best tone.

" he meant " pretty full. ." This last remark only applies to some Guarnerius violins. Against this reserve of force. they are rarely excelled. — : — . and those of Maggini in turn. that it was " a violin. Por penetrating brilliance and sweetness. himself a worshipper of Stradivarius. pale somewhat before those of Gasf)aro da Salo. there is often in these violins a mellowness and easy response which we frequently find absent in those of Stradivarius. The violins of Guarnerius in turn are inferior to those of Maggini in largeness and grandeur of tone . the most powerful. as proved by Ole Bull. be denied that a greater voluQie of sound can be produced from the violin of Joseph Guarnerius." The reason Ole Bull gave for preferring his Gasparo da Salo to all the Cremonas in his possession was. J." for no more can be said of the tone of the best Stradivarhts in existence. Mr. I think." By " wonderfully full. but in largeness and grandeur of tone they are frequently excelled. perhaps. cessors of Gasparo da Sa1o. It is a ]jopular idea that the tone of the Strad comes easily it is a delusion the tone is often very diflicult to get. Payne. " Though the tone is wonderfully even and full. it is tinc- tured with a peculiar nasal quality . and equally to some Strads. is to be set a certain deficiency in flexibility and readiness of speech. and ti'ying in succession the Strads and Josephs in my possession. and a want of delicacy in the finer shades of sound." while of the violins of Sti-adivarius he said. he has pi'oduced the largest tone of anv maker. though I have owned several fine specimens of this maker. The best violins of Joseph Guarnerius certainly equal them in sweetness.14 THE VIOLIX: now TO CHOOSE ONE. the tone of which could be graded in all colours. E. I have never played upon them in public. who told me that he used it in a large hall at Moscow where nothing else would tell. being the one used by Ole Bull. in a jjaper on that maker read before the Cremona Society said " It cannot. and as certainly excel them in power more. amoug them one of a quartette made for the Court of Spain. Whether the same sustained force of tone Avhich Spohr is said to have drawn from his Joseph Guarnerius violin could be ])roduced on a Stradivarius may well be doubted. though very fine. the violins of these Cremonese masters sounded rather efleminate. It is said of Spohr that in playing an adagio he had the powder of filling the concert-room with the sound of a long-sustained note. for this reason. while the movement of his bow was so slow as to be scarcely perceptible to the eye. however.

and . 3. — pared with those of Gasparo da Salo and Maggini. often correct in his own works. 5.. As foV the Amatis. still leaving capacity for a large tone. he would probably have created the perfect violin for all time. Maggini worked more neatly. was not so stupid as it now appears to our warped judgment. hard as a steel wire. 2. 3. The usual order woz-ks is a sheer waste of time and talent. 4. and the diminished size and toy-like tone . GuARXERius (del Jesu). This brings me to another startling statement. Gasparo da Salo. and set himself to amend it and had he lived longer and more temperately. — — in which these makers are rated 1. 4. to have detected the mistake. 2. Guarnerius. Maggixi.— — THE VIOLIX: HOW TO CHOOSE OXE. The primitive model of Gasparo da Salo. which Stradivarius tried latterly ta They give a toy-like tone. Gasparo da Salo. : I would alter the arrangement thus 1. and flattened the model somewhat at the edges. As ifc The model has yet to be is. and no further in that direction at least ought that reforming to have gone. rich. found which shall combine the gi-andeur of the Brescian makers Gasparo da Salo and his pupil Maggini -with the thrilling sweetness of Stradivarius. 5. and their violins are fit only for small To copy their rooms or for the glass cases of museums. comIt is interested persons. Stradivarius. which I fear will elicit a howl of disapproval from certain enthusiasts and The model of Sti'adivarius. Maggini. their whole life-work was a mistake. rising almost from the purfling. Amati (Niccolo). 15 Why one Violin Excels Another. It gave a gi-and. A MAT I. . not an improvement. the work is nearly all yet to do. was a Joseph Guarnerius seems retrograding. is this : Stradivarius. and large tone. but then came the Amatis with the fatal scoop at the edges.

Joseph Guarnerius followed. or finish. Violin makers should look a century forward instead of a century backward. of Guarnerius. Maggini. and soloists will seek violins of grander proportions and larger — tone. and before long the concert halls which we now boast will be too For small for the populace which will crowd to fill them. and the tide began to roll back in the right direction. and got a little more tone back. or upon fine workmanship. copyists. that marvellously neathanded guitar maker. and certainly startled him into thought. or on varnish. Yiolin makers since that time. the diff'erence was not in the workmanship. and there the struggle ended. Guarnerius. violins of Stradivarius and Guarnerius were not great violins . and even Storioni that is. who would be the Stradivari of the twenty-first century look forward Having thus almost driven the breath out of the reader. What cared they for tone when they got beautiful work and pretty varnish So that insane period lasted. it will be possible to hear a concert which now costs twice as many shillings and what will be the result ? The halls will be made larger. for the carefully finished ones are often inferior in tone to those carelessly put ! ! — — . . hfvve exercised only their hands they have all forgotten that they have brains. set every one raving. with scarcely an exception. Stradivarius. The cultivation of music is advancing at a rapid pace. Look forward. followed. or perhaps for one penny. but chiefly upon the wood of which This is proved by the fact that all the it has been made. and got rid of the scoop only after forty years' thinking. ye violin makers. and give to the world the perfect model for all time 1 That model. their beautiful workmanship. and Gasparo da Salo. Leaving out Amati as too trifling. it may be considered proved that great violins have been produced by Gasparo da Salo. and have meekly dwindled into a flock of sheepish Wlio is to begin where Joseph Guarnerius left ofi. I feel convinced. and at once the Stradivarius model will fail to fill the buildings. I shall now continue the work by asserting that. Maggini. lies somewhere between those "? . Stradivarius. though it was nothing but neat guitar making. with violins which are truly great model has very little the kings and emperors of their kind to do. violins which could satisfy the most exacting ear and the greatest genius in violin playing and as these men all worked on diflerent models.— IG THE VIOLIN: now TO CHOOSE ONE. threepence. it is clear that greatness in a violin does not depend on model.

yet he. which he preferred to that Stradivarius violin. but this one was sold by Mr. even when these violins out of one log of wood. was sold two years ago for £80. one of whom puts out work of which Stradivai'ius himself would not have been ashamed the other is a coarser worker . Nay. and. "NYm. The Mirecoiirt manufacturers of fiddles every year put out thousands of fiddles. This violin is of Guarnerius' model. but Their tone.a THE VIOLIX: HOW TO CHOOSE together : ONE.£20 . Its special value lies in a few ounces of sonorous wood and some subtle and happy relation between these parts. of Kelvedon. You may buy Storioni violins by the dozen at from XIO to . 17 it was men made many made varied solely in the wood. rather. and grand wood. the violins so in sonority and sweetness. but after all the result was a speculation lottery for many of the Cremona makers seem to have been unable to repeat their best results by a fixed method such as that given at the end of this book. and attributing the ethei'eal tone of his instruments to that Let me give another example. though it was sold by a London firm for £12. and constantly used in his magnificent solo playing." The roui^hly-finished violins had the finer tone and yet we have to listen to gushing writers going into hysterics over the fine work of Stradivarius. even when of exactly the Fame model and finish. where are the few ounces of magic-sounding wood'? I know two British violin makers now living. Essex. Any violin maker. after passing through the hands of several expei'ienced judges of tone. These makers selected their wood with an instinctive knowledge of acoustics which can only be called genius. and often chooses pieces two and three hundred years old. but where is the tone 1 or. The late Rev. "The violins of Hieronymus Amati are of larger said pattern and flatter model than those of his brother. ]iossessed a fine Stiruiivarlus violin which sold for £400 at his deatii. Blow's widow for £40. beautiful but somewhat hard varnish. He also possessed a violin made in the year 1789 by Laurentius Storioni. in noticing the brothers Amati. with purfiing coarsely and carelessly put in . Blow. finer. tone in a violin. is much are not so finely finished. coj)ying the same models. The work of a fine guitar maker goes for little in the production of Ole Bull. with work on them positively perfect compared with that on this violin . there- — — i I — ! ! i . He has the instinct for selecting the right kind of Avood. produces violins with a far grander tone than the fii'st. the last of the Cremona makers of any merit. hovvevei'.

which sucks in the shellac like a sponge. The wood has chanced to be that part of the log where the best tone was to be got and the relation of the parts has been a happy hit. and test tliem for the tone Avhich pleases you best. will shine out resplendent as the best of the Cremona or Brescian violins. but when a man has not the money to buy a first. Tlien string it up carefully. though it has cost theui not a particle more labour. in which state they may be bought from any important dealer at from 15s. and let the varnish be applied in a great many thin coats. as it takes time and patience and some knowledge of tone and the gauging of the thicknesses in these violins is often very imperfect .18 fore. if he have a knowing one to guide him in his choice by trying over a dozen or more of the horrible Mirecourt fiddles. like as peas in a plate. The buyer of a cheap violin. throw out a hint to those who would buy may produce A Good Look over a number white" Violin very Clieap. and will test it during construction for its acoustical properties by some. . instruments which. THE VIOLIN: 110 W TO CHOOSE OXE. but let the violin hang up in an aiiy room for six —that is. I do not recommend this as the best course for every one. 150 years hence. Then having picked out the best. Even in our own day violin makers occasionally startle themselves by hitting upon a violin of extraordinary tone. will often secure one immeasurably superior to the rest. Have them strung up. at such intervals that each has time to dry thoroughly. and no amount of scrubbing Avith ammonia and a hard brush will altogether remove the impediment. Let me here. of these Mirecourt fiddles " in the without varnish on them. and get a higher price for it. and you probably have a fiddle as good as many costing <£20. Be in no hui'ry to get the violin back. Be in no hurry to get bridge and strings on it. to 30s. therefore. who has the acumen to select wood Avith the same care and judgment. such method as that hereafter described. The reason for buying your cheap fiddle "in the white" is that the horrible spirit varnish used on these factory fiddles is clapi)ed on the bare wood. have that violin varnished with a good amber oil varnish of the colour Avhich you most admire. months or a Avill year. and use a good model and a fine amber oil vai'nish.

THE VIOLIX: HOW TO CHOOSE class violin ONE. that I may now be excused for devoting an entire chapter to that subject. and the result is clap in tlieir own ticket. I have often astonishing. touch theni by an honest Britisli course. them as tlieir own. and sell . 19 maker. lip a little. heard it whispered that some of our home makers when jDressed for time buy these violins in the wliite. Good oil varnisli made from fossil amber is such a grand seller of a violin. both in regard to appearance and tone. varnish them carefully. that is his next best Indeed.

which has at first been proj^erly varnished. it is easy to spoil the tone of a good violin by putting on a coat of hard varnish. seems to need no varnish. once declared to me that amber was too hard a gum to be used in a violin varnish. A friend of mine owns a by Vincenzo Panormo." Curiously enough. round. became denuded of every particle of varnish with which it was originally covered. it is well that the tincture should be a good one. through being long exposed to tlie sun in a shop window. however. and mellow in the tone as any varnished violin which can be The owner. yet their tone violin the eye. However. whetlier that varnish be an oil one or a spirit new violin is certainly improved in tone by being one. but a certain tincture or quality is imparted to it which it had not "in the white. very skilful violin maker in England. Collection of Theories and Pacts. CHAPTER Amber Varnish — A IV. but he was mistaken.HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. yet it is full. that there is still varnish in the wood. I once tried a Stradivarius violin somewhat worn in varnish alongside of one which was whole in varnish. for many valuable old violins are almost . seeing that varnish does tincture the tone of a new violin. a violin one or two hundred years old." The tone is in the wood and the harmonious relation of the parts.20 THE VIOLIN. covered with a varnish of the right kind the tone is neither increased nor diminished. but here again the difierence in favour of the worn one might have arisen from the violin having been more played upon. — A — is ravishing. is of opinion placed alongside of it. wiiich. and am bound to say that the worn one sounded better . who uses a very slow drying oil varnish. not in the varnish nevertheless. though not visible to bai"e. however. It is as bare as tlie back of my hand. The varnish which he himself makes and uses is so A . I HAVE frequently had the question put to me " Is the grand tone of the Cremona violin caused by the varnish with which they are covered 1" to which I emphatically answer " No.

Edinburgh. As every little tells. London Alfred Rathbone. &c. who washed off the varnish with a little turpentine. To send it back to the maker for that purpose would have occupied a year and risked the same spoiling in transit when done. but the result amply repaid the delay. such as dragon's blood. 496 8t. though not nearly so transparent and beautiful to look upon. Glasgow. the grounding of the Cremona violins being probably gamboge dissolved in spirit and the varnish an oil one. C. logwood essence.. but a curious accident led me to alter this opinion. South Kensington. which always give a streaky and paintlike appearance. had got spoiled in the varnish. Amber has been made into varnish for at least 150 years probably much longer and applied to various purposes. But in making this statement. discovered by a Glasgow chemist. The tone was decidedly improved that is. declared that amber could not be made into varnish. and also in declaring that the Cremona varnish was a spirit varnish on top of an oil one. James Whitelaw. Exactly the reverse is the case. which has any pretensions to merit. and a thing of beauty is a joy for ever. West. and wrote for one of this maker's. Willesden. clear. in his letters on the Kensington Exhibition of Violins. Charles Reade. he erred signally. the beauty and transparence of which and arise from the fact that it can be coloured to various hues solely by the method by which it is melted. therefore. it was now glassy. so after carefully testing the tone I handed the violin to a local maker. — . a very beautiful and elastic mixture. and I used to fancy that this very soft varnish (though a trial to the patience) by allowing of great expansion or contraction would be as helpful of the tone as an amber varnish. George Dickson. 30 Chaplin Road. Caffyn. Edinburgh. and looked so bad that there was nothing for it but to have it revarnished. see that it be covered with a fine amber oil varnish. and then covered it with Whitelaw's amber varnish. the back of which. James Hardie. I should say to the buyer of a modern violin. whereas before it had been soft — characterless. London. and firm. I was asked to select a violin for a reader of my books. The varnishing and drying occupied two months.— THE VIOLIX: HOW TO CHOOSE OXE. 21 soft and sticky that it is scarcely dry enough for comfortable handling of his violins a year after the violin is covered with it. George's Road. but for covering violins it has been made by Dr. and without the admixture of colouring ingredients. through leaning on something. 117 Nicolson Street. 20 Alfred Place. & Wm. .

101 South Canonand 1)y Wm. writes to me thus " On the same day I compared a piece of wood varnished with my amber varnish with that on a genuine Slrad. and after part of turpentine. C3 Bowker Street. It is of a brown colour. If the amber were placed in a shallow vessel. can be drawn out like After allowing the varnish to cool a little. Girvan. The varnish is now made." Mr.ate. to me. cautiously heat the flask over a gas flame till the amber froths up and finally melts into a brown. and could not — — — — — . writing " The colouring of amber varnish is. chemist. deep. then. oilyHave ready some hoilccl linseed oil. from olive brown to ruby red three coats being sufficient to give great depth. but not melt. Bradley. with this recipe is nsecl by Mr. Ayrshire. Caffyn. as you say. 63 Milburn Street. is generated which comes to the same thing. add one a thread. on being touched with the fingei'. Bradley. . says only a matter of manijjulation in the melting and mixing. Blackpool. separate vessel (two pai*ts to one of amber) and gradually pour that into the melted amber. but l)y a process. wonderful frankness^ gives this as his own method of : HOW TO MAKE AMBER VARNISH. the method of making carbonise. Duncan tt Flockhart. Inglis Clark. and Mr. in wliich the recipe iised by old Foster for making "oil amber varnish" according to the Italian method is clearly laid down. — — by the wire handle. having broken up some amber to be had at the pipemaker's put in ISTow. Dr. in the same strain. sa}' S inclies long. it would char and Of course. from the chemist's. holding it as much as will fill one-fourth of the vessel." Mr. Gilbert Graham. " Get a long test tube. There is also in existence a manuscript book dated 16G0. can be made any colour. Frank Devoiiey.22 THE VIOLIX: HOW TO CHOOSE OXE. EJinljurgli Manchester. the varnish which I have given is only in a very small way to illustrate that amber can only be melted when the air is kept out by a heavy vapour of succinic acid which or else in closed vessels at a high pressure. tie a piece of wire round the neck to form a handle. Chemists. Rathbone. once the property of an English earl. not very subsidence can be used. Bradley. Wm. heated in a looking fluid. of Messrs. Keep tJie mixture quietly simmering for some time until a little taken out on a knitting wire. or a small hard glass flask with a long neck.£. which I do not feel inclined to divulge.

now for the transparent. 23 I have given my reasons for detect the smallest difference. I shall state how the diftei'ent colours are to be got. then the rest of the ingi-edients. When you want the red. having got two three diiferent colours. as I have had two accidents with my little experiments. but since the publication of the above. which might liave ended very seriously. That is for the dark colour . is no argument. you will find many No doubt bits of exactly the same colour as Strad's varnish. and work as described in your article. has hinted the same to me . as laid down in your article. and or I have made from the recipe of Mr. Kewcastle-on-Tyne. 72 !New Bridge Street. though simple. though exceedingly tedious. just as soon as complete fusion takes place in the amber. As you have revealed the secret of amber melting. and strive to get the same To say that result which had been worked out by nature. Please to warn readers that making amber varnish in a house is very dangerous. and keep it there until by tilting your tube to one side you can see the colour you want then put in the remainder of the oil. from pale and ti'ansparent to red. When your amber is melted. even with the smallest quantity.THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE OXE. pieces of amber at a wholesale pipe shop. supposing that the old masters used this self-same amber If you look over a lot of A^arnish. . Dickson's varnish. Mr." very reticent. keep it on the heat for abotit five minutes more. as the method is so simple that in all probability the ancient Egyptians knew how to do Evolving the colour is another matter. put in about half the quantity of oil. then add the whole of the oil gradually. Such a concensus of testimony and opinion is surely good enough for all practical j^urposes. is not for ruby varnish on my . Dickson. Bradley. and Mr. Stradivarius would notice this. and no colouring matter. The method is extremely simple. which I have already described. Wliitelaw declares that there are no colouring ingredients put into liis varnish. has given the following method of HOW " TO COLOUR AMBER VARNISH. as it dries more quickly than the other. the secret of melting amber was not known till after the death of Stradivarius. John Thomson. but even that is it." Dr. The varnish I have just put on the first coat of the pale violin. Dr. I think I have been very successful.

with great fire and beauty. For varnishing a Mr. Mr. Whitelaw's is not superior. if sold at 4s. which is most successful in the yellow colour. and covered with it for experiment had quite an antique Cremonaindeed. Mr. per ounce. with a bottle of gamboge sizing. and he sells it at 3s. or two bottles 5s. Ko human being could wish for a finer violin varnish than this. (ample for one violin). I as a violin covered with amber varnish charms the eye at once. the resemblance to the varnish on like appearance The y)rice is 3s. — — . enough for one violin. and therefore sells more readily. Messrs. which is of various hues. 110 W TO CHOOSE OXE. at 5s. I have also proved that amber varnish imparts a beauty of appearance. Mr. which is of a lovely golden coloiir. as it were yet be so elastic as not to bind the violin in a tight coat or impede its vibrations. inclining to golden brown. At my suggestion Mr. A PRICELESS BOON TO THE VIOLIW MAKER. That this can be done with real fossil amber I have clearly shown. Rathbone's mixture is of a line yellow colour. Hardie sells his varnish. Clark's mixture. and of various colours. enough for one violin.24 sale THE VIOLIX: .. costs Is. ])er small bottle (enough for one violin).. varnish is of a fine golden yellow. and at the same time beautify the instrument. is quite equal to the Doctor's. 4s. Orchars Amati was very striking. Graham bought a common factory fiddle in the white and covered it with his varnish. Gilbert Graham's violin Mr. "What the maker of a violin varnish has to aim at is to produce a mixture which shall soften the woodiness of a new instrument force it to vibrate in smooth lines. Bradley does not see his way at present to manufacture his varnish so as to sell it with a profit . per bottle (sufficient for two violins). and on testing it I found that the tone was really such as might have been considered good in a £10 violin. three ounces being This is a very beautiful varnish. or he will varnish a violin for 10s. I hope he may be able to strike up a partnership with some chemist with the necessary apparatus and buildings so as to get some return for his years of patient experimenting. but as it is a lovely mixture. from golden yellow to deep red. costs 4s. and a violin which I had but Mr. Rathbone charges £\. All these varnishes are . per bottle. Caffyn's mixture. 6d. Dr. Mr. or the makei's will varnish a violin for 21s. or.

Whitelaw. I shall bring forward evidence of it based on facts. or of any article noticed in my works. but it smooths it into a glassy-like clearness —imparts to it a certain tincture So careful have I been to to be got from no other varnish. test this thoroughly that in no case have I taken the word of the varnish maker alone. or been asked to look at or notice his varnish. but have seen the mixture and had applied to a violin with endless tests and comparisons of the quality of the tone. 25 and a fine quality to the tone of a new violin. Whitelaw. " Was amber used in the varnish of the old Cremona masters. and almost equal to rock crystal among minerals. says 'Surely amber was too dear. and in every case where fossil amber was the gum of the varnish. " 2nd. was the characteristic of the tone. it A — ' ' . the same glassy clearness. that within a short distance of Cremona important amber deiDosits have been woi'ked from time immemorial. a specimen of which I came upon by the merest accident. or was it not ? It is allowed by all that this question is almost unanswerable . the great English Chemist. It does not give the tone. they would be cast aside. as his strongest reason against the amber theory. " Charles Reade. and covild probably be had for the lifting of them. That no other gum will sive the fine yellow colour and characteristic sheen. which is given by no other mixture. combined with softness. it always. and violin maker has only to try it once to use with no other. I may now give a few facts connected with the amber theory supplied by jMr.' is the result of the very high refractive power of amber. and after putting briefly the arguments against the amber theory. " 3rd. T])at amber can be got cheaj^ly and plentifully I have already shown.. "1st. Perkins. and given my reasons for adopting it.THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. and that I have never met Mr. the highest of any gum substance. I venture to ])redict that before long every firstclass new violin will be covered with amber oil varnish.' The fact does not seem to be generally known. but before doing so I must state that I have no interest in the sale of this varnish. and as the smaller pieces were of no use for carving. detected amber in varnish scraped from a Joseph Guarnerius violin. Having stated this opinion concerning amber oil varnish. mostly based on conjecture. etc. The peculiar sheen' called by Charles Roade the hidden fire. Seeing that the method of making this varnish is now known to at least nine men.

'"' more plausible reason is advanced by Ole Bull. with whose statement I may conclude chapter " Three facts present themselves 1st. That at the present time it is a current belief among . One thing is certain. on the Continent and in America. It is this : A — — . In texture this \'arnish is extremely supj)le . Against this it may be stated that there is a letter written by Stradivarius to a patron. the secret would have been rediscovered long ago. and that the great Vuillaume made many trials with amber in search of the true varnish. in which he apologises for the delay in sending home his violin on account This shows that it was of the varnish taking so long to dr^^ an oil varnisli. its use was common only in Italy . Spirit varnishes have been used and countless experiments made with them by great masters during the last 100 years. the theory which has suggested itself to me is. This idea was founded on the fact that in some instances the varnish could be removed with spirits of wine. it will yield to pressure. the conclusion arrived at was that amber had never been used. and yet no results obtained can be for one moment com])ared with the old varnish . "4tli.2G THE YIOLIX: HOW TO CHOOSE OXE. " Gth. when attempting to make the varnish. That Lupot tried it. it is only reasonable to suppose that if the old masters had used it. in wliich the recipe of the varnisli was handed down from generation to generation. Possibly the violin makers gave ujd using the oil varnish. owing to the great advantage the spirit varnish oftered in drying at once. this varnish was used by the very earliest Italian makers as well as the later. "If I may be allowed to express an opinion. otherwise it was hardly possible for it to have been so completely lost. that the secret of the varnish was not the secret of the old violin makers at all. contemporary with the Italian makers who v/ei'e then using it. Innumerable attempts to make varnish with amber having failed. " Recently an idea has been mooted by Charles Reade that it was not an oil but a spirit varnish with which the old violins were coated. the great Norwegian violinist. but of one man or family. TJiat it has always been amber with which the great experimenters worked. during such general use of sjiirit varnish. 3rd. "The fact seems to be tliis.1 large class of professionals and amateurs here. '•5th. That the amber theory was believed in by English makers. 2nd. it ceased to be applied to violins after 1760. and besides.

Home. the varnisher. instances are not wanting of the prosecution of such by their less fortunate fellow-workmen. A — — — : . and examining the productions of their violin makers contem])oraneous with the Cremona school. The chair of 1725 presents a surface broken and worn away that of 17GU one comparatively smooth and fairly able to endure further . from 1745 to about 1760. and texture are the indications .— THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. This is smooth. and an absence of all delicate shades of colour. so well known and widely used. From a hundred Italian violins of this later date only a notable few can be selected as possessing the true varnish. here is no such varnish. fairly lustrous. France. Let an ancient piece of Italian furniture a chair. and durable. for the knowledge and use of it extended to Padua. a cabinet. hard. reveals the fixct that this varnish of the Italian violin makers was common to the painter. but occasionallj' it is of brilliant hues. the varnish Avas common to every Italian maker. 27 entirely transparent. red. as being confined to a chosen few. a glazing lustre. or the methods of preparation employed in the manufacture of this mixture. lost % careful study extending over a vast number of objects. the varnish became at last confined to a few. and gives additional beauty to the wood. were in any sense a secret but later quite a change is observable. and the Generally it is colourless. say that the selection of ingredients. then the quality gilder as well. It is quite evident that. it comjoacts the tone without oil. to Venice. Turning to Germany. from the time of Gasparo da Salo to that of Bergonzi. rendering it shrill or harsh. therefore. and England. and provided it have escaped modern retouching. the case of a spinet or hai'psichord be examined. Cremona had no monopoly. and then it proclaims itself to the eye at once. and of all shades of brown. and Naples. Applied to the violin. varnish is distinguished by extreme hardness. It is impossible. makers lacks transparency. In France the The varnish of old English colouring was too pronounced. apart from any considerations of beauty. scarcely a trace of the Italian In German instruments the varnish is to be met with. Let specimens of a later date say 17G0 be examined. For a period of 200 years. the varnish might be by Stradivarius himself. the importance of the varnish as an How was the secret acoustic element was well recognised. and The vehicle in which the gum was dissolved is an yellow. then the manufacture of this varnLsh may be j^roperly called a As a knowledge of secret.

but buried under the wheel of progress. and Germany were eager competitors the stolid build of the first. were found to yield entirely on proper heating and fusion. badlywearing varnishes no longer sufficed for the protection and covering of such surfaces. unrelieved surfaces. The hard copal gums hitherto undissolvable. hardness. the days of violin making in Italy were over. depending on the intrinsic beauty of their material. were found a relief to the eye. and the knowledge of its composition. Moreover. the Italian varnish became a lost art. . The old. or only partially so.. France. naturally confined to general manufacturers. the gaudy colour of the second. and unchangeableness was soon solved but with the laying aside of the old receipts. soft. and the general cheapness of all. of ornamenting all articles of furniture with carving had given place to a more sober style. The old fashion soft gums and their menstrua were discarded. and it would be absurd to say that persistent enquiry must fail to unravel a skein of so many ends. 28 THE VIOLIN: llOW TO CHOOSE ONE. held the market. hence the new processes. tired with unravelling the mazes of complex carving or painted arabesque. And so it has happened that the art of the old varnish is not lost. Between 1740 and 1760 great changes The old in the manufacture of varnish were introduced. England. ." vicissitudes of time. Broad. and the problem of durability. was forgotten. and the baked wood of the Mittenwalder.

There is little or nothing said about tone by these wise men of Gotham yet all the purpose of my argument is to declare that tone. above all.. — — — Having followed me thus far. are often better than many Stradivariuses and Guameriuses for which from £300 to £500 is asked. ought to be the criterion of value in a violin. T^^E VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. nevertheless. which. And here I have a heavenly message for hiui it is that there are numbers of old violins in existence. They are violins which have been " hit upon. In estimating the price at which a genuine Stradivarius or Guarnerius violin should be sold dealers talk learnedly of the state of preservatiou. and. of the amount of varnish which still clings to its body. the collector and connoisseur. For one grand violin in existence by tliese makers there are a dozen either very poor ones or wholly and irreclaimably bad and for one real one in existence there are twenty false. ." as I have described. and has been brought about chiefly by our unhanged criminal. and resolutely shut out everything else as so much palaver. The violin player in search of a grand violin should keep before him that simple word of four letters. the reader will not be sur- prised or startled when I assert that the value to which Stradivarius and Guarnerius violins have risen is purely fashionable and fictitious. Some Plain Words About Old Violins A HeavenlyMessage The Tubby Tone Fractures — "Wolf Wotes —Worm-Eaten Violins." and often do not bring above £5 or £10 on that account. and tone alone. even outside of the cheap Mirecourt frauds. whose makers cannot be named by the most skilful expert. TONE. no matter what the model or who the maker. the history of the instrument. They are known as "nameless violins. 29 CHAPTER V. by makers who perhaps made few — .

Next. to be discovered. and they are often in such bad order tliat they do not get half a chance to show what is in them. and sell it at a good price). while the old instrument rings out above all with scarce an efibrt on the part of the .y be at that part of the breast pressed on by the chin. your clever dealer will soon find a father for it. or old Dutch (for if a violin have tlie faintest resemblance such hits in there whicli to old Italian. back or breast. and think for ourselves. I ventured the opinion that most fractures could be mended without patching. which are Avorth searching for with all your eyes and ears. as they know that it is against it finding a ready buyer. then. which should be clear. old English. and since then I find the idea has been adopted by many skilful repairers. If the fractures have been badly mended and strengthened inside with patches of wood they will scarcely look at it. but they have age and tone. Practiires. the buyer has to consider the state of preservation the fractures of ribs. or near those parts . the first test to be applied is to the tone. and the varnish. In regard to fractures it is a fixed rule among dealers and experts to fight shy of any violin which has been badly fractured. posing a new violin supposed to be old in orchestra under the ear. full. may be old German. rich. but we have agreed to set' these clever men aside for the present. old Tyrolian. : player. and telling. or hardness on a particular string. lives. by using fresh glue skilfully apj)lied. and clap a spurious Italian ticket into it. though I am neither a violin maker nor a violin mendei'. for patches generally produce huskiness or wolf notes. The violin should be tested at home. the new violin even when torn at tooth and nail is not heard well by the player himself. full. old French.— 30 THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE OXE. and equal on every string. may be picked up Supposing such a gem here and there by the knowing ones. Twelve years ago. and with good reason. These violins. and they are often built on a model makes an expert or a crank (the words are often They synonymous) turn up his nose like a reaping-hook. and in a large and heated This last is a sure test for exhall also in orchestra. Generally speaking. always supposing the violin to be not Italian. fractures are not to be seriously dreaded unless they m?.

when prices were lower. would not compare with it . It takes a stranger to . is the join usually found up the across. the badlyjoined fractures undone and reglued fairly and squarely by a patient and artistic repairer. Longitudinal cracks are also less to be dreaded than those What. £150 was cheerfully paid. inasmuch as the edges are often serrated and fitted into each other like teeth. 31 and breast pressed outwards by the sound jjost. but the edges were as sharp as when newly made. otherwise good. however. To buy a violin damaged thus. middle of the breast or back of a violin. When it had been set back in tlie neck. The tubby-toned violin is avoided by the experienced for several reasons. sound worse when put into lirst-class order. and yet were so skilfully repaired that the tone was not affected in the smallest degree and the worst mended violin can be taken down. for the wood was exceedingly fine. as I have known a violin which sounded bad when in bad order. The varnish was slightly worn under the chin. I have seen three difierent violins by Italian makers which Avere even fractured above the sound post.THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE of the back ONE. It was a grand violin. Dread word to the owner of a beloved violin is to crush his heart. and badly r-epaired. "tubby" —which — defect may also ! the back being too thin of wood. are very little fractured. and the instrument made practically as good as if never broken. the straps and patches removed. for a moment. and the model large enough to give a full ringing tone. Sometimes the model of an old violin. Many of these violins. I came upon one a few years since. on the wrong side of the tail piece. that many ordinary fractures will make a firmer joint than that up the middle of the violin. is so high and bulging that the tone is hollow or internal in jilain woi'ds. and a poor thin-toned Stradivarmis which I once tried. Tubby Violins. and was perfect as it had left the maker's hands. possibly from to whisper it arise to make him your enemy for life. which had never been opened. but that is exceptional. but a fracture skilfully repaired 1 I might say more. the tone was as grand as if it had cost £100. and fitted with a proper bass l^ar. after all. made 130 years ago. but chiefly because its tone does not carry well. and for which forty years ago. is certainly a kind of speculation.

but which always startles one the moment it is discovered. A A . wolf note in a violin is a horror which cannot be easily described. and. however. in which case it can be re-necked and set back to the proper line by a skilful repairer. much in straightness or curl. Sometimes the defect called a wolf note is slight. gives Tubbiness is seldom found in modern forth pure treble. when. high bridge. however. the cause is invariably the back being too thin. mild form a wolf note is a sound suggestive of two notes an eighth or a quarter tone distant from each other sounding light pressure of alternately but not jarring painfully. but when it is. or the It is a defect which only ribs being too thin or too deep. a practised ear can detect. Very often the old violin is too straight for our modern concert pitch. and in any case of doubt it is best to refer to a skilled violin repairer. it is best for the chooser of a violin to cling fast to his first im])ression of a violin tone. which are usually copies of good models. some could not detect one though it were sounded full in their ears. when it should run in a line with the upper edge of the ear of tlie scroll. the buyer should either consult another player or avoid the violin altogether. instead of a viola-like tone. The test for this may be roughly set down thus Place a straight-edge along the inside of the projecting edges of the back. ! : — — — Wolf Notes. that this is not a sure The set of the neck should always allow of a reasonably test. to the proper height of bridge which the violin demands. and in any case where there is the faintest suspicion of its existence. detect the tubby tone. In its if the owner be too conscientious to sell it to another.32 THE VIOLIX: now TO CHOOSE OXE. The tubby tone. may frequently be remedied by lining the back with a thin layer of sycamore. so quickly does the ear get accustomed to the tone and forget its faults. or by removing the breast and fitting it with a deeper bass bar. violins. The idea that the bridge should be fitted to the finger-board is utterly erroneous it is the neck and finger-board which should be fitted to the bridge that is. lo the violin. Some players have never heard one . sometimes it is so utterly unbeai'able that the violin has to be set aside. or Scrolls vary so perha])S a quarter of an inch above that. as a rule.

the defective Sometimes. but rarely. having been . however. There is no cure for worm. by some disagreement in the proportions of the back and breast of the violin. Sometimes the old violin is worm-eaten in vi'hich case shun it as you would a pestilence. and sounds so bad that he fancies the bass bar has got The cure for that is persistent hard playing. there is no cure but patching with thin slips of wood to make up the required thickness. If the cause be a knot in the wood. Do not take it as a gift. When the wolf note ai-ises from the thicknesses being unequal. — of the 4th strinii. and in which the whole instrument seems to have gone wrong. as reaching the pest. putting it at a line rather more acute than that .THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE the . it very often clianges suddenly. you can never be certain of injecting acid at the mouth of be comfortably eating away at made or the the wrong season of the year. part must be cut out and a better piece inserted. When a new violin is first but when the owner settles down strung it sounds well to practice hard upon it. — originally of wood cut at wrong side of the tree. or by unequal gauging of the thicknesses. 33 form bow brings out one a strong pressure the other. which I may name The THE DISTEMPER. or got loose and rattly. it slowly rights itself. such as a knot. a change in the line of the bass bar effects a cure that is. which is caused trouble. for the worm might the other end of the instru- . Worm-Eaten Violins. As a rule. is not a wolf note. which may be invisible from both sides. This may sometimes be cured or modified by a slight alter- ation in the position of the sound-post from its usual place. even by the hole. or put it near other violins let it go to the collector or the fire or the dust bin. it will be no loss. when loose. with a certain stage which nearly every new violin has to pass through. or by a defect in the wood. and never again takes the same That. Avolf note in its worst form is a jarring and throbbing as of two notes a quarter of a tone distant fighting each This defect must not be confounded other like fiends. ONE.

ment. when I found the worm in the centre a black-headed. a strip about four inches long and half an inch broad. and I wanted to make an experiment with it. To steep the whole violin bodily in benzine. but as that Avould loosen all the glue and necessitate the remaking of the whole violin. it is a remedy that few would I once had an old Russian violin which was care to try. grey creature. about fiddle — ^ *\V5^ . and afterwards let the sj^irit evaporate might reach the pest.34 THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. badly worm-eaten under the left foot of the bridge. and cut out the Avorm-eaten part of the breast. The was of no value.

The weak point about Viullaurae's violins is the varnish. Such wood is worth searching for. but that could easily be tested before the violins were made. and give a smaller tone. The wood. got a deal of his wood from old Swiss chalets. is said to have got the backs and plains . maple or sycamore. and absolutely free of knots. and now that violin is as good as many fifty years old. if the violin maker be worthy the name. and so friable that it soon rubs off and leaves the wood bare. who made very fine copies of Stradivarius. when he was young and enthusiastic. about the end of the last century. as all wood is not resonant. Vincenzo Panormo. Those who ought to know even whisper that it is only a soft spirit varnish. and is frequently worth more than The pine is more easily got than old its weight in gold. and chests of drawers. if somewhat mechanical or characterless. which expine why very old violins are frequently very bad. To those wlio have not patience to search for the really grand old violin I should say that the best substitute is a nevv A-iolia made of old Avood by a skilful violinmaker. Ten years ago a violia was made for me of very old wood by Hardie. which should be white and even in grain. which is poor-looking stuff. E-ed and yellow — — contain too much resin. and these earlier violins are now bringing high prices from . however. and lent about by me among professional players to be ground at day and night. like that used by some of the second class Italian makers. The maple or plane tree must be sought in old furniture.£25 to £50 as his work was very pretty. The beams and rafters of old buildings sometimes give very good pine for the purpose. 35 CHAPTER VL The Best Substitute for an Old Violin— The Different Qualities of Wood and Tone. Vuillaume. might be two or three hundred years old and yet make a very poor fiddle. old bedsteads. a wandering Italian.THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. the French copyist.

It is the same with the plates of a violin the thickness must always be proportionate to the size feminine thickness for a feminine model and tone masculine thickness for a masculine model and tone. even with He had also the that used by the elder Joseph Guarnerius. but the effect may sometimes be neutralized by making the opposite plate of very . or they would not sell well. the tone will be both thin and shrill. ribs of the best of these out of violins are now very valuable ." Oh. The wood was of the right kind. — — . I have indeed tried new violins which were thick of wood and which sounded harsh. but that is Guarnerius at times erred in the same a limping expedient. Thin wood gives a thin tone. It is always a hazardous experiment to put hard wood into the breast or back of a violin. the wood be hard as well as thin. varnisli . To every violin )naker I would therefore shout ^" Leave plenty of wood in your violins. that if the wood be left thick the model must be large. particularly for the breast for I have tried violins very thick of wood and fresh from the maker the tone of which was faultless. and these but Panormo was a genius in and on some of his instruments vised an oil which for brilliant lustre. but in some of his violins he left enough wood to satisfy the most exacting. and elasticity. the wood could not have room to vibrate. way. Stradivarius. frequently erred in his thicknesses. To put thick plates into a narrow-waisted Amati or early Strad model would be like fitting a lady with a ploughman's iron-shod boots. A ." That is a mistake. and they His will shortly rank with the best violins of Stradivarius. If violin making. will compare with that on the best Cremonas. In some cases he tried to amend the error by gluing on a thin slip. deal board twenty feet long and one inch thick will bend easily but saw olf a piece a foot long and you cannot bend it." Some violin makers reply. only fault was that of occasionally breaking the varnish by rubbing it down at the corners to give the violin a picturesque appearance but as Stradivarius is said to have done the same Nicolas Lupot had at times. rare wisdom to leave his violins very thick in wood. transparence. — — — . an old billiard-table. I may observe in passing. It must be noted. more wisdom. and generally on the wrong side that is. and these violins are now the most valuable of his works in existence. Panormo is in good company. however. in leaving the wood too thin. but that to me was invariably a proof that the wrong kind of wood had been used. we dare not leave much wood in our violins. ay.3G THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE.

that is |^th of an inch. ensured the wood being the more free of resin. as I had predicted. Tyrolian pine and sycamore. as whatever pressure may be put upon the bow there is never a break in the tone or a harsh note. the violin maker what wood to reject as unsuitable. and may be left so with the best results if the wood little experience soon teaches only be of the right kind. the pine of the breast may be chosen very wide in the grain. I have a great favour for this quality of tone myself. but pointed out to me how very wide in the grain it was. and was harped into resonance by storms and zephyrs. as the width in the grain. 37 thus a violin with a back and ribs of hard wood soft pine will at times produce the happiest etiect in tone. The violin was made. I told him to have no fear. That is another mistake. pine of a wider grain. and was then stored and stacked. will usually give the best result. mellow tone peculiar to many of the best Italian violins. and therefore promised a very soft tone. and added that he was afraid to use it on that account. and. violin maker was one? showing me over his workshop when he brought out a fine old piece of pine suitable for a violin breast. just as two persons of extremely different temperament sometimes produce the happiest blend Some violin makers leave the Avood thick in in marriage. the tone was delightfully soft and free. For a violin wanted very soft and rich in tone. For a violin which is desii'ed of that smooth. I have now seen two valuable old violins very Avide in the grain. and of the same width at the edge as at the centre. showing a rapid growth in the tree. but thin it rapidly towards the sides. wood and a breast of very A — — A .THE VIOLIN: now TO CHOOSE soft ONE. very close-grained pine. and the tone not only comes . For a rich round tone of penetrating quality as well as of softness the wood must be left thick all over. or even more. for one wanted brilliant and penetrating in tone. If old Italian Avood could be got. the centre. so much so that the sound post had to be kept quite close to the back edge of the bridge. and in both cases the tone was exceptionally soft and rich. somewhat soft in texture will be found to be best . say -j^fth of an inch." The texture of the wood in relation to the quality of the tone is worthy of the closest study. which three hundred years ago drank in the warm sun on the southern slopes of the Italian mountains. and fashioned into beams or porticos or panels or furniture the violin thus formed would probably have that exquisite quality known as " the Italian tone.

but large and telling tone certainly not smaller than the full proportions of Guarnerius and that when finished it be varnished full with a good amber oil varnish. would apply amber varnish if Devoney I notice the work of these makers because it is known to me.. are both geniuses among violin makers. frequently seems Once. the gum of which is not amber. large and free in tone. who said to me. 117 Nicolson Street. 38 easily. whose system is so freely given at the end of this book. who ]>roduces violins with a. must also be noticed as an honest man. Edinburgh. ot the grain applies to the sycamore. with must here be noted." The same rule as to the width — — of Archibald Eitchic. repair. tone exceptionally free and pure. that a tone which comes difticulty and seems hard to the player. afterwards what you have against that violin noticed sat . and It many harsh notes but a among the audience. the gum of which is amber Dickie uses a very soft slow-drying varnish. the model of which seemed a cross between a Stainer and a Maggini. Yorkshire. and very Frank Devoney. Wentworth. and their honesty is unimpeachable. I must say the same . Dundee. Blackpool. Having got the wood. the tone being very large and clear. When the wood is soft it may be left thick . however. Si Commercial Street. Hardie uses an oil varnish. James Hardie. but desired. uses either his own amber varnish or Whitelaw's. honestly executed . Dickie. 63 Milburn Street. when but very hard wood should it is hard it must be left thin never be put into a violin. see that it be made u]} into a good model of full size. sounded exquisite. skilled violin player. THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. I played two solos in a large hall upon an old German fiddle. extra thick in wood. " I don't know to me in front it simply . The fibres of the breast of my own solo violin measure exactly seven to the inch. when my own violin was under perfect to the listener. but can be graded into an infinite variety of shades. which shall give a tliat of Maggini preferably. or AVm. I found it very hard work. with scarce an etFort on the part of the phiyer. Ilitchie uses Whitelaw's amber varnish. and that I may not be . but there must now be makers in nearly all of our large cities who turn out fir.stclass work. but of a somewhat hard quality. and may be safely entrusted to make up old wood into grand instruments to order. who produces magnificent violins.

as heard in many Strads. and there is the moderately powerful tone. Then there is the tone that only comes with a strong pressure of the bow. continually tried and tested. and by sheer force demonstrates its superiority. and so can be diminished to a perfect whisper without degenerating into a mere fizzle. but quite raw and woody. To Train the Ear. which makes the hearer catch his breath with a kind of startled gasp. now . And it violins not a violin. which are detectable only by the ear most perfectly trained by this process. even in fine old violins." Then there is "mellowness" of tone that oily smoothness which is so often found in the Gaarnerius or i\\c. but they do not suit every taste. THE nccvisecl VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. in some violins seems to run to seed and take all the assertive ([ualities out of the instrument . and I am pleased to know that this refined art and delicate industry has not only sprung into life again. Let two violin players test the tone of a violin. Jacobs. and the reverse of this is that hard and piercing quality. using oil varnish. This last quality is known as " freedom " compared with " stiffiiess. They are both gi'and. must be Nothing else will train the ear. and asserts its supremacy rather by crystalline sweetness than volume. instead of the horrible German copyists. yet they come to opj^osite conclusions. The cause of the ditierence is simply that the ear of the first has not been trained by playing upon firstclass old violins. Gayliano which. — . full tone. so often found in the tStainers. strongly advocated the patronage of our British violin makers. There is the large. which admits of so little shading.. for there are subtle differences of quality of tone in even the grandest of old violins. and the reverse of that Avhich comes with the lightest pressure at any part of the finger-board. and one may pronounce it perfect j while the other may say." Both may be sane men and skilful players. but is in a fair way to bring honour and profit to the really talented among violin makers its followers. I have given a long list of British Twelve years ago I at the end of this book. which carries like a trumpet. especially at the upper part of the finger-board. 39 of favouritism. it will be a grand violin 100 years hence. " It It is too is powerful and equal. indeed.

but it may be developed by constant practice. the player should constantly test every violin which he can lay his bow upon. then. The faculty is to a certain extent inborn. Who but the man with the trained ear can Alhanis.c-^* V . and .40 THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. decide at what point these qualities must meet and mingle to produce tlie perfect violin? To train the ear.

THE VIOLIN: now TO CHOOSE OXE. or by to a bent slip of cardboard inserted at the removing the tailpiece peg and looking through the hole in The first stage in that training is to be a strong light. the build." and the true violin lover simply puts them aside with a sigh. and also whether the whole of the original violin be before him. the state of preservation. fastened holes. which may come in the player's way the varnish. which may be revealed by using a small reflector. able to detect the modern German or Mirecourt tiddle. the wear. The breast in olden times was most exposed. an old scroll was often thrown away instead of being carefully "bushed" and mended. it is high time that the law stepped in and made the selling of any violin falsely ticketed a crime. as if with the nails of the maker . which seriously affects and changes the tone. Training the Eye. and the internal patching. as if turned out of a mould. its sooty appearance between the /' holes its harsh. with its varnish scraped off at the corners and in the centre of the back. In the same way. and violin repairers 50 years ago often tossed aside an old breast and made a bran new one. It generally has a wildly incoherent Cremona ticket inside. 41 CHAPTER There VII. but not so serious as the throwing away of an old breast. hard tone. and though only the veriest tyro is thus deceived. old or new. These violins may be named " mongrels. though tJie amateur may thus get a violin for £10 which with the orifjinal breast would bring £50. and cleancut build. the violin being hiing on the Avail instead ot kept in a case. — . The tone of these — y . and being of softer wood was moi'e liable to injury. the tickets. is no other method of training the eye but to constantly examine every violin. and a new one put on a matter of regret. Good old violins are frequently met with the breast at least 50 or 100 yeai'S younger than the back and ribs and scroll. The next stage which the embr3'0 expert will reach is that at which he can tell without a ticket something near the age ot a violin.

it looks very well." At last the owner took a trip to Scotland. Mr. It is a mixed tone. without lifting it Isn't it lovely!" Sanguine. The buyer aftersvards learned that the price paid for it at the auction was only £13. mongrels would A — "Oh. ridiculous! thing Who would give so much for that old V The seller brought out an old catalogue of the auction at which he had bought the violin some years before. the property of a medical man deceased. as he opened the case " Kow look at it "Yes." brain. every whisper. can be Few amateurs reach that stage. happened to be in a very musical city on the east coast. friend of mine. and showed it to me. but people in haste to grasp a grand Strad are apt to overlook The seller did not know anything about the violin trifles. it to a violinist of some note.£30. exclaiming. and for a time he was the Then he took it up to London and showed happiest of men. After a good deal of haggling the violin changed owners. asked to see it. prices. but it is not a Strad" Then. and hurriedly wrote that he had " very grave doubts of it being genuine. A — — . and saw an old-looking violin without bridge or strings lying in a second-hand book-shop . and detected at a glance. in England. with a dingy ticket. and found " Antonius inside a ticket bearing the familiar inscription Wild visions Stradivarius Cremonensis facebat anno 1721. and he tremblingly asked the price. The third stage is that at which a carefully made copy of a Cremona. claiming to be an expert. I said.! 42 THE YIOLIX: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. went in. and showed that it had been sold along with several other Cremona violins undoubtedly genuine. afraid to trust the precious gem by rail or post. price £22. and very puzzling to all Lut the trained expert. is curious. In this catalogue the real violins were guaranteed this one was inserted without remark. and then changed." of clearing <£1. though some of the other instruments brought high Back to the centre of England to his home he went. pretty correct in wording and dating. and then imagined he heard " Cremona " in — paragraph of the extraordinary windfall crept into the papers as usual. I may give a case in point. and apparently dirty and rubbed with long years of use. much worn in the varnish. except that those who had seen it had said it was worth hundreds of pounds.000 by a successful deal floated through his ". and sometimes not so modern as one expect. got it strung. who first jironouuced it a real Strad. That settled it.

Sanguine believes that I secretly The^fidl value of the violin was not ])rompted the words. and a good deal scaled o&. please. of course. as I proved to him by comparison Avith two genuine labels. and I took dated 1714 and 1717 him to the music rooms of a young pi'ofessional player who is privileged to play upon two first-class Strads. but. Mr. but as we could not see him we left the violin. 43 and tried the tone. 10s. I said " Now. broker had an old Another case amused me greatly. but "Will you .THE VIOLIN: now TO CHOOSE I took it out of tlie case ONE. without a word. and I fear that to this dny Mr.. but it chanced that above it was hung a silver Avatch marked £o. violin in his window for which he would gladly have taken There was no 10s. for his As we turned away. of Manchester. it's very violin?" was the owner's impatient remark. and showed the lin. and wondered a trained ear could ever have been in doubt. and ])romptly declined to take less than No bargain was made. when we go back you will find his first words will "When we did get back we found be.': )1 II — . how any one with — '•' A — — -. Still he was not convinced. . and the ticket from that One day Iiad fallen down and lay on the top of the violin. lor it. a gentleman stopped at the window. good. 'It's not a Strad?^" that he had taken out the violin and tried it." answered take less than £5 for that old fiddle?" " I'll give you " I am not to sell it at all now." said the gentleman. but said nothing.1 few days back came the gentleman and said "No." and the violin The varnish was quite certainly not more than 50 years old. or possibly by Jacob Fendt. but he did nothing but discant on the beauty of the bow (a fine Dodd)." was the answer. Dut what do you think of the which he oflered to buy." broker. Sanguine. and the violin iiot unlike one of those copies made by Crask. inspection. ''Oh. and the broker took the violin out the window intending to get my opinion of its value." said the stranger. getting excited. it's not a Strad. noticed the misof the fallen ticket. looked at the violin long and earnestly. who Instantly the broker iiied to know what he was about. common." The ker started and examined the window. "I'll give you £4 for it. for the tone was full of " wood.inlin in the window marked £5 let me see it. The ticket also was transparently spurious. as it had cost him only a few shillings.iliove £5. and then went in and said " You have a '. Again the -7. price marked on the instrument. !ited the secret.

never to meet again. and then brought out the violin." The face of the broker on hearing the heart-breaking news was a study for a painter. It is one of the cheapest of modern Genuan fiddles. broker refused. I looked at it. and they parted. what a pity you refused such an offer. fe^ days later the broker told me the story. and not worth more than 5s. imd instantly said " Eh.44 THE VIOLIX: HOW TO CHOOSE OXE. A — .

but hung on the wall like pictures. as the same ethereal and crystalline quality of tone is found in instruments covered indifferently Avith oil and spirit vui-nish . but more often pure laziness. It has been known for centuries that the wood taken from the sunny side of the ancient pines and sycamores found on the Italian side of the Alps.— THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE." but no one of experience and proper training can deny that the best of the old Italian violins have a subtle and thrilling sweetness of quality of tone which is rarely found in those of any other country. All the Italian makers knew that. possesses the finest acoustic properties for the making of violins. especially as violins before the present century were not usually shut up in boxes. with an ear and an eye so trained. but they were often too careless to exert . but it is possible that it may be due in some degree also to the manner in which these violins were matured after they were made. 45 CHAPTER Yin. the fine warm sun and clear air of Italy being allowed to count for something. This is due almost entirely to the wood of which they are made. The "Italian Tone" — Power against Sweetness How to Test Experts. Are ITALIAN VIOLINS SUPERIOR to all others 1 is a question frequently asked by the puzzled chooser of a violin. violins is the study of a lifetime. All Italian violins have not this quality. and that too without giving an exorbitant price for it. but it is one which itself. known as the Southern Tyrol. usually manages to get hold of a violin for his To know well repays own use which startles every hearer into hushed silence the moment it is sounded. players differ so much in opinion as to what is " superior . not only in the innocent pleasure which it affords. It is not easy to answer this question in an off-hand manner. but in the fact that the player. and the reason why that magical bit of wood was not always hit upon by Italian makers was sometimes ignorance.

6 each. themselv^es to search for the best kind. up the hint may promust be distinctly borne in mind that the great Cremonas when newly made did not sound as they sound now. and that violin were exposed for years to warm. In the last paragraph lies the whole SECRET OF THE CREMOXA MAKERS. for it and any duce the same . By the time that education had been accomplished. and cover it with a fine amber oil varnish. A dishonest violin maker in other words. but it must be remembered that these violins were new. but with the best of them this subtle quality of tone. I have not a shadow of a doubt but it would have the Italian tone. and the love of the subtle sweetness of the Italian tone had yet to be created. which mellowing power and of hard playing —in 150 yeai's of time's .4G THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. historical fact that a consignment of violins by Stradivarius. to be sold at the modest price of i. and make a good instrument. To return to the Italian Tone. sent to London. Good and grand violins have been made in many other countries. and declare to you that his works give. instead of shut up in a box. but to sell them. were returned as unsaleable. They were new and woody and it is a fairly skilful artist following results. nay. seeing that he has not to play upon his violins. he may even go further. and took what laynearest their hands. and so found a ready sale. a quack may hint darkly at some mystery in his method which turns his new violins into old ones. and a Strad with the red varnish whole has rather a vulgar look. the same tone which came — — to those of Stradivarius only after both cases write him down a liar. when fresh from his hands. dry air. and invite you to pay him an enormous sum for his works on that account . and could not be distinguished a few yards off from a cheap French fiddle. no matter where it were made. while the players who looked at them had the choice of old English and old German violins by the score. Nor must the tincture to the tone given by the Italian varnish be altogether forgotten \ and if a skilled violin maker would but use the best Italian Avood of mature growth. This seems astonishing to us. consequently the tone suffered somewhat. the violins of Stradivarius had also improved and matured and grown picturesque in appearance with wear.

man conquers by power. and the other feminine. so we might waive the question by calling the one 13ut both violin masculine in tone. or even hear them. but it suits the powerful arm of M. Take two persons thus different in their powers. and seems (like the favourite Strad of Sar-asate) to rattle badly on the fourth string. is a fine Stradivarius. proved by a scientific experiment that there are some notes so high that no human ear can distinguish them.THE VIOLIX: HOW TO CHOOSE OJVE. on the other hand. so violins of both qualities are necessary to the full and complete satisfying of difierent temperaments and Many players cannot distinguish tastes in the musical world. but which looks and sounds like old German. Wolffe The violin perfectly. the " Italian tone " at all. A — Reliable Experts. same with some in speaking of the " Italian tone. while the It is the other as loudly declares that he hears it distinctly. is usually conspicuous by its absence. and we must believe that they do not. and you will find the one Avhose highest note has been passed by the instrument loudly declaring that it gives forth no sound at all. even among trained musicians sometimes as much as a whole octave. Nachez. and from the first impact of the bow conquers the listeners by Who shall say winch of these is the its engaging sweetness. which seems as nearly perfect in quality of tone as a violin can be. and simply let them alone. which cannot be placed. but the point of the scale at which difierent ears fail to catch the sound varies considerably. It still is possible after having read thus far that some one may be doubtful of his own powers. uses a black-looking instrument." They insist that they do not hear it. but the evidence of the actual existence of such a distinguishIt can be ing tone is too overwhelming to be thus set aside. and by sheer force carries all before it. Two notable instances are the violins used by the great The first artists Johannes Wolfie and Tivadar Nachez. and grow furious and abusive if you hint never so gently that their ear is imperfect or untrained . a woman by superior violin? sweetness . It has a tremendous volume of tone of a somewhat viola-like quality. 47 can scarcely be described in words or weighed in the finest balance of criticism. of M. and say "But I wish — . men and women are necessary to the perfect equilibrium of the world .

advertises "a fine Lupot violin country amateur nibbles at the bait. and which sounded rather well under the ear but when I took it to an orchestral practice. and then submitting the instrument to a rival firm for an opinion of its genuineness and value. in addition." that the value of a good Lupot is about £100 . how 1 wish I had brought my own fiddle. and having also heard whispers against their honest}^. and the fiddle.— 48 to THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE buy a renlly OXE. the greatest grumbler utter a whisper against the honesty of this firm . and made the buying of a violin rather a serious undertaking for one advanced in years. All experts and dealers naturally lie open to a deal of unmerited abuse. and a written opinion from Messrs William E. he adopted the plan of selecting a suitable violin from one firm. may notice a precaution taken by an old friend of mine when buying a violin. wliich I am offered at a high price. seem to swarm just now. worth thirty or It is clear that in such a case forty shillings. with soft-looking red varnish. London. the rapacity of the buyer quite equals the dishonesty of the False Lxqwt violins sellar. I own judgment. with the buyer but with the seller and in such a case I advise that if the tone of the violin be quite satisfactory. That is enough his for any prosj^ective buyer who cannot depend upon but. say ]ie £150 or £20U. I can't hear this thing at all. and a fine study in human nature. Some years ago 1 was shown a violin supposed to be about 100 years old. changes hands. The result was astonishing. knowing price £20. the violin is A sent the ticket seems all right. and both deserve our contempt. while for experience and knowledge they occupy the foremost place in the whole Avorld. any oldish violin of Slrad model. but I have never heard. 38 New Bond Street. This old gentleman had been struck with the extraordinary prices set down in the lists of the London dealers. How am I to be sure that it is genuine T To this I answer that the onus of proof does not . I had not played througli one piece Avhen I had to groan out — "Oh. but the model and tone are fair. . good violin. which must make assurance doubly sure. Some obscure foreigner. the buyer should ask a guarantee of authenticity from the seller. can be doctored into a " Lupot " to deceive the unwary. whole volume might be filled with the A tricks of fiddle cheats. Hill ik Sons. the varnish just fresh enough. . however strongly I tear . who knows the weakness of humanity. indeed. but the result was generally the purchase of a good violin at its lowest market value.

and those who in early life have had to grind away and tear at new violins." I became convinced from that moment that the violin was not above 50 years old -probably not so much and this conjecture was afterwards confirmed. are frequently noted for the largeness and breadth of their tone. and he will have less chance to be cheated. when it was discovered that the whole instrument had at sometime been soaked in oil. 10s. — A . more important still. it develops the player. and the breast had to be removed. 49 it. the mellowness of old age. but. and case surely low enough. very common price is £1 for violin. as such an instrument is bound to improve steadily.THE VIOLIN: now TO CHOOSE at ONE. Some time afterwards a slight alteration was made in the lie of the neck. he will find himself all the better able to draw forth the powers of a fine old violiu. When his tone-producing powers have been drawn forth and developed by playing for ten years upon that. Such fiddles are only for those who cannot afford better. and jii'obably sell the one he has used for double or treble what it cost him. out of which one of very fair tone may occasionally be picked. bow. Beginner's Violins. All others should from the first get a good violin by a British maker. or who feel doubtful of continuing the study. Let not the fiddle buyer expect any wondrous bai"gain. The beginner has usually no knowledge whatever of violins and though it is scarcely possible for him to be cheated at these prices. probably by the ingenious forger in an insane attempt to counterfeit — . in price may be considered a cheap beginner's violin. . The time spent upon a new violin is thus not lost . it may be to his advantage to give a small fee to some professional player. and get him to try over a dozen or two of these cheap fiddles. it develops the violin. Any German violin below £2.

or for orchestral playing 1 ? to be used. If for orchestral and solo playing. it may be laid down that the Stradivarius model gives a very silvery. or the full pi-oportions of Guarnerius. Player Buy — Tone Dependent —Lady's Violins. The sum of all. but it is of a somewhat melancholy character. sympathetic. As a general rule. Edward Betts. though willing to give £1000 or more for the violin. so masterly is their style of fingering and bowing ."satisfaction. Aha that is just the violin for which the greatest players are continually searching. the full proportions of Stradivarius at his best period. or those of Guarnerius may be chosen . but as no model gives fixed results in tone. tone. Perhaps the searcher for a violin wishes an instrument powerful enough to fill the largest hall. is that model goes for little. like the perfect woman. the model of Maggini. Richard Duke. is always to be found. the player must decide chiefly by the vojume of tone required for his work and the quality which he most admires. will give most . CHAPTER The kind of Violin to IX. with great clearness and crispness. and more poAverful .her of these. If for orchestral playing. however. and others. therefore. or their copyists. and pretty powerful tone the Guarnerius gives a sympathetic I . It must be clearly borne in mind also that every player cannot command the same tone out of the same violin. The ideal violin. and they do not always succeed in finding it. yet sweet enough to adapt itself to the smallest drawing-room. you must decide for on the Before buying a work the violin is is. Some plnyers can make almost any violin sound well. violin what kind of for use in an Is it for fii'eside playing that ordinary-sized room. while . such as those of the Amati or Ruggeri families. and inclined to hollowness.50 THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. and that the taste and requirements of the buyer are everything. though sometimes accompanied by a slight huskiness the Maggini model gives a larger tone than eif. — or for solo playing or for all three ? If for fireside playing any sweet-toned instrument will be suitable.

sold by the ventriloquist. and who can sell the veriest wreck of a violin at a good price simply by playing a few solos on it in public. all other things being equal. dei:)ending on the needs of the seller. and bow and fingers alike act as dampers or mutes. . which spoke with amazing eloquence and wisdom till it was sold.why should a weak-toned instrument be foisted upon a lady 1 Is the lady-player gifted with so powerful a muscle that she can bring a large tone out of any weak instrument Avhich may be placed in her hands ? It is exactly the reverse.ld buy it.THE VIOLiyf: now to choose one. Some trustful amateur hears him play. but these are the exception. I know a fine player in the heart of England who deals in violins. but never gets the same The violin thus sold is like the famous parrot effect again. which comes easily. This last quality is most important. full tone. but so weak and thin that no man wo\. The price of an old violin is a varying quantity. first water. The vioiin with a large. and foolishly imagining that the tone is in the violin buys it straightway. and then became for ever dumb. The violin. for the lady player ought to be the most powerful in tone that can be got compatible with freedom and ready response. is therefore the violin for a lady player. The tone produced by the lady player is smaller than that produced by a man. In advertisements of high-priceJ violins we frequently "a nice instrument for a lady. and also upon his conscience. though it sliould be a Cremona of the Instead of drawing the tone out they push it in. 51 others. Physiologists indeed tell us that there is one muscle entirely absent from the female arm. The Price to Give for a Violin. like an amateur of ray acquaintance. it is generally found to be a small-toned insti-ument of the Amati tribe. therefore. as there are many gi-and violins which yield their best tone only to the most muscular arm." When this instrument is examined. and her muscles are weaker. and that that is the reason why a woman throws a cricket ball in a fashion so peculiarly her own. A notice the phrase Lady's Violin. perhaps very fine in quality. make every violin they touch sound poor. Now. which .

by no means the highest in price. if you only go about the matter in the right way.. but I do not wish to force this opinion upon any one. according to his conscience. and when it does happen. . to 5Us. and so he buys by the ticket instead of the tone. it needs no advertising list to tell its value. which is simply an encouragement to a species of dealing not far removed from robbery. cerjnirse of the buyer. The tone of the violin will speak for itself. of course. you have. There are several foreign makers now living who have the audacity to advertise their new violins at prices from £100 to £150." so you may adopt my opinion. and also. sold at £10. all at diffei-ent prices. Seriously. which immeasurably excels all the others. I think that as good a new violin as it is possible to make may be bought for from £5 to £10. as you please but be sure that you try the two violins against each other. I do not tliink that the violin of some of these men. and judge them solely by tlieir tone. usually of an elastic nature sufficient to take in the entire The price of a well-made new violin by a British maker also varies according to the demand upon the maker's time. not even those Is o new violin ever was worth such a sum tainly. £20. that tone and nothing but tone ought to be the real criterion of value in a violin. " You pays your money and you takes your choice. The man Avho gives such a price for a new fiddle is worse than a fool. " Oh. There are dealers who have in their list new violins at £10. The only conceivable reason why a new violin should occasionally cost a little more than this sum is when the maker chances to hit upon two pieces of wood of such great age and grand acoustical quality that the violin so made commands a higher price as naturally as a genius rises above his fellows. for the credit of humanity." says the easy and trustful buyer. or that of the advertising list. and probably picks out one. and £25 as a matter of private opinion. — — . Believe no price believe list or statement attached to the different prices your own ears and those of your friends whom you call in to your assistance. will be a whit inferior to that which they sell at £25. and the others will simply be nowhere beside it which brings us back to my original statement. but I hope. that this is a mere advertising fiction. instead of by the price tickets tied to them. £15. In the same way the common German fiddles may be had at prices from 15s.52 is THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. give us the best . . but the keenwitted judge of tone tries over a dozen of these. but such an occurrence is rare.

There may have been a certain method known to the Brescian makers. and he said nothing of his violins being made according to "the secret of tlie Cremona violins. which was lost by the sudden death of the latter. 53 of Stradivarius.THE VIOLIN: now TO CHOOSE ONE. and produced a handsome competence to their maker. alas. and so may any violin maker . which would mellow into gx'and sounding boaixls in 150 years. and there is no more in it. there was no secret in it that he ever grasped. and he covered his violins with a good oil varnish. He came upon good pieces of wood occasionally. Gasparo da Salo and Maggini. but if so Stradivai-ius never re-discovered it." for. . which sold steadily for £4 a piece. Stradivarius was not an impudent man. and he never advertised.

and never for less than one or two hours on end. and the Strings. as the weight Again. but a firmer stick that is. while with a heavy bow the same amount of practice is accomplished with comparative ease. are generally far too light for modern violin ])laying. James Tubbs. be it remarked. would be quite overpowered by a heavy bow. Those of Dodd have frequenth^ the same fault. CHAPTER The Violin Bow. indeed. one weigliing 24 ounces. which comes with the lighest touch. No bow should weigh less than 2| ounces. bow and with a heavy one can only be understood and appreciated hy those accustomed to play for hours every day. the bow used by a lady ought to be heavy rather than light. not only gives more pressure. may sometimes be had of this weight. but the instrument upon which it is fine old Italian violin. which are really splendid works of art. tainty with a light bow. Avhicli. X. Those of the greatest living maker. kinds of bowing notably that which 1 have named the "Bastard Staccato. the Case. and as such have risen to enormous prices. a stick which. while a full-toned instrument. Tourte. with a tender intended to use it. when brought down smartly or suddenly upon I have the strings does not quiver. there are some of the stick does part of the pressure. A VIOLIN bow sliould be chosen to suit not only the weight of the player's hand. hand — — .54 THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE OXE. and delicate tone." in which the bow is simply thrown on the string and allowed to pick out the notes of a long run with scarce any control fi'om the fingers of the right A — — which cannot be executed with anything like cei'The bows of the French maker. and so disturb the tone. With a light bow the thumb and fore-finger of the right hand get terribly tired . but here and there one may be picked up weighing 24 ounces. ought always to be matched by a heavy bow that is. however old. even when it is intended for a lady's use . as the extra weight in the stick compensates to a certain extent for the deficient muscular power in the The difl'erence between hard work with a light female arm.

Many new bows by good makers are indeed warped from the tirst. bent to one side or the other. The cause of this warping is sometimes bad or unsuitable wood. and which is not warped that is. . 55 seen several of Tubb's bows. and unwearied patience in the forming of the graceful downward curve that curve which has done so much for the development of violin playing as compared with the clumsy upward curve of bows two centuries ago. so must the "balance" turn out all other things being equal. It is a ^wpular on idea that a bow is cut out ot the wood in its curved form the contrary. those fibres which remain cold always tend to return to their original form. so the bow after a little use becomes either springless and straight or warped. material for a tirst-class bow is Pernambuco or Brazil wood. for they left the wood pale. simple though it may appear. but which should also be perfectly even in the fibre. which have become warped after being for some time in use. and is of the full weight and length. the bow is made from a piece of wood not only perfectly straight. To make a first-class bow. which gives both weight and a lasting spring. is a treasure to the earnest violin — . and used a clear varnish. which lias a strong downward curve. well-balanced bow. so that every fibre could be distinguished . genius in the shaping. This curve and the artistic shaping of the wood give what is known as " balance " to a bow . dozen will stand this test. and then looking along the top of the Sometimes not one in a stick from the nut to the point. It is to be regretted that so many bow makers use a dark or muddy varnish to cover up bad wood. but more frequently pure The best carelessness or laziness on the part of the makers. — — A — — .THE YIOLIK. did better. who were unquestionably the greatest bow makers the world ever saw. as any one may prove by trying a dozen at any dealer's screwing them \Tp till nearly straight. Tourte and Dodd. falling exactly in the middle of the hair. liowever. It is at this most important stage of the work that the careless or lazy bow maker gets in his shoddy work for if the wood be not heated equally and to the very heart. HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. . is more difficult than to make a violin and there certainly is a grand opening for good artists at the present time artists who will exercise acumen and honesty in the selection of the wood. the necessary curve downwards towai'ds the hair being afterwards given to the stick by means of dry heat. for as it is well or ill done. and if a fault had been in the wood it would have been detected.

6d. bow is frequently warped by a loose fitting nut . The slide of the nut against the stick should work so closely that good no movement from side to side of the nut is possible. It also helps therefore may be said to help to sell the bow. it is better to hand over the bow to some patient and conscientious artist. but as few players have the necessary skill and patience for the task. 1 Railway Street. the carriage both ways being paid by the bow may be sent in a small wooden box. Southport. appli- really warped may be cured by the cation of dry heat as already described in "The Violin Playing" (price Is. and . or tied owner. quite safely by parcel post for 3d. for a fine one 5s.. and so helps to attract the eyes of those who admire pretty things not specially useful. against a piece of wood. to sell to a certain extent the buyer. but the space should never be large enough to allow of any slipping or shoggling after the back of the thumb has been turned out against the hair. kind of stick is good enough for the trifler but the foi* above ten minutes at a time for hours on end should have every advantage which wisdom or experience can suggest. . thumb calls for more space. Secrets of Son. Brookfield's charge lor an ordinary bow is 2s. for after a little wear it comes curling off. A Warped A bow which is Bow.. such as Edward Brookfield. ISTorth A The wrapping of SILVER THREAD round the stick is a fashion which dies hard among bow makers it looks pretty. Edinburgh: Kohler & Bridge). who makes a speciality of such work.. and a bow appai-ently warped is frequently cured by the substitution A A of a closer fitting slide screw in the nut. The Nut. THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE Any ONE. The width of the nut from the stick to the hair should be large carefully adjusted to the size of the player's thumb. and is a source of much trouble and .5G player. or skill and art who never plays player who works supply.

nut and screw and point. A very fine contrast is sometimes introduced by making the nut of tortoiseshell. and soar at some- Many have of late . been produced. for we have learned bone. and there is no reason why the bow maker should not so fit up his bows from the first. and neatly glued on. Gold-mounting on a bow. It was placed originally upon bows to prevent the thumb and fingers slipping from their place. like goldwhile silver does. silver. when he grudgingly complied with their wishes. reaching close up to the nut.. and plainly shows a lack of the finer artistic instincts. and so the knowing one. but safety. of a bow. partially stiffened. and that nothing else was thought of at that time is proved by Louis Panormo's bows having on them a fine wrapping of whalehave grown wiser since then. like that used for the upper part of ladies' boots. Hard. many object to its coffin-like appearance. silver-mounted. The best mounting The Violin Case. but the gold has a brassy look. An influential firm informed me lately that a bow maker positively refused to so fit up his bows. We — Mounting. or for players who do not use a valuable instrument but the moment a player becomes the owner of a really grand violin. at once cuts off the pretty silver thread and substitutes a carefully applied Avrapping of soft and thick kid leather. ingenious violin cases of leather. and thin leather is of no use it must be soft and thick. mounting on the pegs of a violin. is Gold-mounted bows may be had. and does not contrast well with polished wood. that not only something to prevent slipping is required but something soft and comforting to the thumb is necessary. which are very convenient for ladies. till they threatened to withold a large order. when he gets a fine bow. his first consideration is liowto carry it about in absolute The ordinary black wooden case does very well. which goes well with a dark stick. is only a vulgar indication of the wealth of the owner. THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE OXE. 57 annoyance. bevelled off" at each end. smooth. With a bow so fitted the hardest Avork becomes a pleasure rather than a toil.

named the " Excelsior. the violin. which results in the case being so frightfully heavy that it would almost be necessai-y to employ a poi-ter to carry it about. 69 Burlington Street.58 THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE made ONE. strings. or. and sometimes cost as high as . and they are little better than white elephants. and a sheet or two of music. the same makei'. and not so coflin-like as the black wooden case. or as a means of "showing ofl". Another case by costs 12s. and it is of no importance whether music crammed into that case should fracture the "factory fiddle" or not. 6d. resin. and covered with walnut or rosewood veneer. and weighs only 1 lb. and weighs only 2 lbs. It would be an easy matter to make the ordinary violin case with a false bottom and side.. For the boy or girl or young lady who goes to learn the violin principally because it is fashionable. and hardly so safe for a very valuable violin. leaving an opening at the top of the front side say |. An angular-shaped leather case has lately been brought out." and who generally wallops the cheap instrument about like a school satchel or a jiair of old boots.£8. which is strong. holds two bows and the violin. violin case made of pine and veneered with walnut weighs only 4J. in which there is a compartment for strings and resin. shape.lbs. Manchester. silvermounted. with the violin and bow. all adding to the weight and to the price. and tuning fork. A A — — . but that is quite enough for any one to carry about with the hand.. especially when the muscles are to be kept unstrained for solo playing. Shields. 6d. 8s. 6 oz." costs 7s. 5^ lbs. ." This case opens at the broad end.an inch wide and 14 inches long into which a few sheets of music could be slipped without being thing prettier.. 6 oz. The heavy and expensive case ought to be avoided even by the owner of the valuable violin. is secure from rain. has been brought out by R. R. Some makers in their zeal for tui-ning out a really line case make the body of walnut and put a walnut veneer of finer veining on the top of that. The best substitute is a case of the same of common pine. These socalled "superior"" cases are even fitted with wooden boxes and inside corners. any kind of case is good enough. the only advantage to be gained by its use is that a fe%v sheets of music may be carried inside along with very light and neat case of American leather. of the ordinary shape. They are often given as presents. but to makers of wooden cases I may here throw out a hint on this point. under the title of "The Eureka. but as it is quite as lieavy as the ordinary case..

very comfortable and thick handle of stitched leather. which may be had through any musicseller. fittings ONE. Kohler & Son. E. ISTethergate. and The only difficulty is to to weigh only 4 lbs. has been brought out. The case of a violin ought always to fit somewhat wide of the violin say half an inch all round. each: Edinburgh.set down that the best Second and Third strings which I have been able to get anywhere are those sold by Mr. or anything go crashing through the sides. the probability is that the case alone would suffer. the reason for which is. The handle ought also to be long enough to easily admit the four fingers of the hand. T). sold by Edward Withers. Wardour Street." and "The Secrets of Yiolin Playing" (price Is. I see no reason why a fine veneered case should not be turned out strong enough for any violin.. and fastened to any violin case. North Bridge). that should any accident befall the case. — The Handle. and noticed that the edges of the violin were becoming worn v/ith the friction. they seem to have forgotten that they have brains. I once was shown a valuable Guarnerius violin so tightly fitted into elaborate wooden fittings that I could scarcely get the instrument out. both violin and case would suff'er. get the makers to move in such matter. and the space round be filled up with a soft padding of wadding. price 6d. price 2s. — . The handle should always be on the top of the violin case. or even 3i lbs. each. whereas if the violin Avere fitted tightly. the best silver Fourth strings are those named Florentine silver. not only because the case carries better thus. A Good "Violin Strings where to get them. but as a protection against a shower of rain. Like violin makers. each. Thompson.— THE VIOLIN: now TO CHOOSE doubled. and the case would not be materially increased in size. and how to distinguish them T have already written of fully in "The Violin: How to Master It. 6d. The slightest concussion to that case might have injured the violin irretrievably. 59 The music would thus lie outside the violin case and round the back of the violin. with metal fastenings. which will penetrate when the handle is fixed to the side. London. Dundee. L. but I may here briefly .

good unpolished first." if so. surely that must come in that far distant . and which had a wretched tone. I have had strings from some of the best dealers in London which were soft as a bit of twine. and the best First strings. Some one has written that " Truth is mighty and shall prevail . . strings. which is firm and dry to the touch. the more rigidly and sternly avoid him. believe no one test for yourcompare one thing with another without compunction . and that all other living makers are worse than imposters. shun the violin maker who is a crank.60 THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. he should be let severely alone. sometimes a monomaniac good for the world if he be not a rogue as well. no matter what advertisers. may say to the contrary. Douglas. are those sold named Neapolitan unpolished by Mr. My last advice . yet they were said by the sellers to be the best in the world. He is generally a liar. Any one who would give 9d. If a string maker cannot turn out his work read}" for use. golden age when GLOWING ADVERTISING shall be no more. The first string should always be left unpolished. for it is bound to be sawn through in a few hours. as polished strings have some of the strands ground through. but I find that many makers of first strings at a fancy price have a craze for making them up no thicker than a thread of sewing silk. Edwin Race. for such a string is a poor simpleton. 6d. or told to learn his business over again. self. and especially if he declare that he is the man who can make a violin. or less most often less. Violin strings should never be oiled. the louder he may blow about his wonderful violins and his marvellous more secret methods of putting them together. avoid the faddist . a greasy and soft string gives a dull tone and is rarely durable. Isle of Man. gives a brilliant tone and lasts well . eager to sell quarter-ounce — bottles of oil at a shilling each. The violin player who believes everything that dealers tell A him will soon have more carry. If he chance to be an advertising man. Whether gut as a material is a dear article I do not know. they are also more liable to play false. and so fray out sooner . at 8s. per bundle of 30 strings. in his head than he can conveniently then is.

by cutting slips to a certain size. has long been in use with thoughtful and scientific violin makers but I am not aware that any attempt has yet been made to classify the notes given out by the plates of a well-made violin when set in vibration in the same way at different stages of dissection. and so laying the basis of a system by which the tone of a violin might be imitated with certainty. that the tone of a violin copy. of course. often is as different from that of the violin copied as night is from day. 61 CHAPTER XI. even when the model and thicknesses of the original have been followed with mathematical accuracy. especially if having a really practical bearing on the subject. and setting them in vibration with a heavy-haired bow. a slight margin for difference likely to be caused by the drying and withering process of the years to come. even with pieces taken from the same log. It has . the . and so ascertaining the density and resonance by the notes given out by the different specimens of wood. The Acoustics of Violin Making—Revelations of a Skilled Violin Maker — A sure method by which the tone of a Violin may be copied. The — : — always seemed strange to me that after so many experiments and positive assertions by both Savart and Vuillaume. to whom I have written of "The treatise to this treatise.THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. and the exact notes given out by the plates of the violin copied were studiously and patiently got at the different stages of the nu\king of the copy. as the wi-iter of the following treatise wisely explains. sends me the following reply which you refer will no doubt be interesting. it seems to me reasonable to suppose that something very near the character and body of the tone given by the violin copied would be got allowing. It is well known that the density and i-esonance of wood vaiy so much. a system such as that which follows Avere adopted. himself a skilful violin maker. however. plan of testing wood intended for violin making. If. One of the most experienced violin experts in England.

if not with riches and honour. Long may Devoney live as to practically illustrate his discoveries and researches. and the conclusion to which I have invariably come has been that in each instance. a method by which the body and character of the tone of any violin may be accurately copied. whether made according to the Savart discoveries or theories. I have done so. which only confirms what I have long most — firmly believed. and I may add that the violins made by the writer of the treatise bear out his statements. equal on all the strings. latter did not (so far as trials. by me to give his name. a question arises why? The most admired specimens of Strad and Joseph are those that in their tone appear to me nearest in quality to the two Brescian masters. and just such insti'uments as a grand soloist will delight in when age has crowned and perfected the work of the maker. and be crowned. for they are. Blackpool. with the blessings of those thrilled by the sweet strains which shall owe their being to his studious toil. By Frank Devoxey. and am not quite certain that those giants did not think more of him than of themselves. I have had Vuillaume's violins here and in London for careful trial. Can the writer of the treatise produce the tone of Gasparo da Salo or Maggini 1 I think their tone more difficult to get near than either that of Strad or Joseph. Vuillaume was as far off as any one else. the writer has with great difficulty been persuaded. Although the facts and figures here given so frankly for the benefit of violin makers and the world at lai-ge are evidently the result of a life study. and found them correct. or was it fashion made thera alter?" So far as any one. as also my own judgment from repeated that of other players go) get the Italian quality of tone. though exceptionally thick in the plates. C3 Milburn Street. As the true Brescian tone appears to have died out before 1700.62 THE VIOLIN: BOW TO CHOOSE ONE. Did they try unsuccessfully for many years to get near that tone. is that the genuine violin enthusiast is modest as he unselfish. large and free in tone. could test statements such as those of my esteemed correspondent. The violin seems to be the only instrument which nine- . THE ACOUSTICS OF VIOLITT MAKING. not a violin makei'.

or he would not have made a trapezoid Perhaps Vuillaume violin. and ])roduce a work as thrilling to the musical ear as the most finished worker. ten years since I began to note down what I am about to give. even though strings were denied it. but never revealed the knowledge. who teenth century men cannot impi-ove. and measure the millionth part of an inch.— THE VIOLIN: now TO CHOOSE ONE. who can paint a picture. and reveal the whole secret of its formation." I say it is not their tone may be copied. knowing it to be so very bad. There does not exist to-day one violin which will refuse to tell its story ay. and I wish to impress on It is all how true and certain is the result of my studies. claims the modern violin as her own. 63 Strange that we. and stars. knew. will not listen to the voice of the violin. mentioned how the i)lates were held when he got the notes during his experiments but no absolute silence. but. even though the wood be of the right kind. — . and even weigh the — though that cannot be defeated in the copying of a fiddle. it is hopeless to ti-y. tell. mediocrity generally I am not a dreamer. Otto. or make a brass-railed fender for the fireside. but a very practical man. he coolly says that there is something more which he will nob . Violin makers will not know what they have got It is not possible to until they make one or two this way. speak of the hills and what they tell us of their age and formation. and is continually at war with the diff^erent density and resonance and age of diiferent pieces of wood. who writes on the construction of the violin. Surely the giant minds that could throw the Forth Bridge across a raging sea. may get the best tone that is in the wood he is using. It was a mean omission. as revealed by themselves. and for five years I have been able to copy the tone of any violin. — it may be done. even Some say fiddle be the work of a giant mind. When I think that the commonest in the land the who fills up his time with in the bothy or the shieling the fascinating work of violin making. man — — . if intentional though I do not think he knew all the notes. I am more than rewarded for the study and toil of ten years' research. I taught myself French to see if M. to any given peculiarity of tone or string. and unless by what is called a happy hit. may have known. which can as certainly tell its own story. I shall give no Measurement has kept the violin in the rut of chance long enough. "Oh. with a selfishness quite unworthy of a real lover of the violin. Savart I shall now shovv how measurements here.

2. w^e get these notes cramp the lower bout — G sharp and A — at Fig. The bow. make one witli a. G the point of the cramp strongly. Suppose now does very well. We affix a violin cramp in the centre of the upper bout thus Bow notes. This bow is our callipers. experiment with a plate of metal or glass and sprinkled violin maker must first provide himself with a stout such as teachers of natural philosophy use in the double bass bow sand to show the sphere of vibration. a great Joseph. let us hear its A message. bow again. and we $ -1^ . and sharp E and A — we get these — ^=g^ i 7) Now. They must not vary above or below even a quarter of a tone. "we have a Guarnerius violin.— 64 — - THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. bad tone if they keep to these notes. It is a grand thing when a maker knows that he is getting the best tone that is in the wood.

w . and we get these notes E. and bow the cramp. Now.— Now. affix —— ONE. E." But wait and see how in those very variations there is a gi-and harmony. thus Here . and in our search take off the breast. and bow strongly across the edge of the sides first in the centre of the upper bout. why have we such a sameness in these notes? whence do they cornel I fancy I hear some one answer. and G sharp thus — — 122: Surely a great change in position. "Oh.to the 65 tail piece as it will go. and the note produced is B flat. We dispense with the cramp. thus L^- W These notes have the same timbre as if they came from the strings. they vary so. and see what sounds it gives out now. there is nothing in that. the lower octaves by pressure in an old violin the reverse is the case. E and A. yet still the sameness let me state that in a new violin the higher tones come most easily. Now. "We now unstring the violin. bow the edge of the ribs in the centre of the lower bout. — ! THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE the cramp as neai. with the ribs still on the back. and we get _r.

the thumb keeping it firmly in position thus Bow the lower. held in the same position. and bow on the outer edge and A. and we get the notes chord. but separately with difi"erent pressure of the bow on the same place A ^ E . with the bottom resting on the bench. 1 but bowing at the button. not as a of the lower block. we take the back from the ribs. to get at the foundation of these. will be This the tailpiece. and you get E. and see what it has to say for itself. . 2s o. THE VIOLIX: HOW TO CHOOSE Next grasp the neck firmly. and bow the under edge of the lower block. 2 . that is for reference we may call Xo. thus Then rest the ])ack on a bit of wood or cork about opposite to where the sound-post should be. Next.— Q6 — — ONE.s. the button end held on the bench thus . vesting on a bench. end of the back. opposite to where the sound-post should be. Pirst rest the back on a bit of cork or wood.

but in passing. and 12. is A : — . 8. and direct through the sound-post. KEEP TO THE XOTES It will be observed that the notes of the only sure guide.— — THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE . G7 and bowing on the lower end will be No. I may remark. The four-footed bridge only lengthens the circuit to unite the vibrations lower down. 6 (Fig. 3 the lower end held in this ])osition. that is. 1 and 3 by scraping some wood from the button end. With good wood these notes are got quite easily . the upper note naturally and they can be controlled individually. You may lower No. 2. the vibrations being conveyed from the bi-idge. 5 and the back held by the lower end and bowed The same positions at the button will be No. an octave lower than the back circle about the First and Second strings . the back held in the finger at the button. therefore is for the First and Second strings. 3 gives two notes easily. and E. which may be demonstrated thus Nos. 10. resting on a bit of wood in the centre and bowincr at end thus No. OXE. but . for the bi-east may be named Nos. 11. 9. hightoned wood requires heavy pressure. 4 .5). bowing at the button will be No. hard. that it is here that good wood may be known. . No. and I shall show how. The violin dissected will now give these notes will be . The violin has a peculiar reflex You can lower vibration. 7. the back of the violin. 1 or raise No.

the bass bar on. When No. If you are copying the tone of an old violin the copy should be thicker in wood. E. gives the notes G. sharp thus C sharp. you may produce this nasal By bringing No. to allow for the shrinkage of years. The one before us with the /' holes cut. experience will soon guide you. and the purfling in. at and 5 are the same in B natural — thus — reverse. D. and begin to record your notes when the wood is \ of an inch thick. look sharply for inequalities witli a strong light behind your work. 2 and Nos. D D — ' V '^ . The wood for back and breast must be f of an inch thick to allow for the rise. 2 down to Now let us begin with our weaker and better half. breast of the violin. I believe the air space of a violin that is made perfect increases slightly and sinks about a semitone. and don't be content with any other notes than those I have given. the tone. in the selection of which be. Bv the time vou are at these notes you will know how to bring them out and govern them. 1 is _j. which brings a nasal tone to many violins whose air space was right at first. G. as the back is near the finish.• G8 THE YIOLIX: HOW TO CHOOSE OXE. which continues fairly from the place where the purfiing will Get the best wood you can.

and we must reject the modern bass bar. E flat. E. When No. 6. and E. thus— __ ^^_ be found to have lost an octave since the _/ holes Nos.— — THE VIOLIX: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. thus f=l -9 G> iS>- Observe. Now.?" $ Here we see only these notes which are given at the lower end. D. 5.^ or 7 inches long. let him put on the bass bar. A. D. G. and put on one only 6. 8 will were cut. D. going nearly the whole length of the violin. peculiarly sensitive. C. and No. .inches apart between the upper get to copy. That brings the affected notes into line again. 11. This phenomenon is worth the violin maker's attention in toning the breast. Let him take more wood off the upper end of the bass bar. — G9 tt -2^" Now. again. for part of their work is to deflect the vibrations from Examine the notes now. D. and D. turns. E. G. even to depress the lower notes. and get them to G. G. let liim cut the /' holes from the best model he can Let them be li. 1 is B. the breast gives F. This will be found to have sent up the notes again to about A. thus No. thus 22—^ a "a:. about f of an inch deep and -f\ thick. E. and 12 are 11 one tone. With the F holes cut the back. that it is the lower notes which are affected.

thus — D A -^ — . A. The lower notes are governed by the centre . D. F sharp.' — THE VIOLIN: now TO CHOOSE ONE. D. the man Avho does not must get a chromatic pitch pipe. T> above B flat (not as a chord). made by John Lett G sharp. here are the notes of a Guarnerius' co^^y. B flat. and C. and this is really the only certain way to measure a violin so as to know what sort of tone it is to have when finished. C. 11 is They are all like pointers for the others. thus- . E. C sharp. — the upper (or bottom end) by the edges. With the sides of the pipe in sympathy with the mass of air. The man who knows the finger-board a little has a great advantage . Let the violin maker now start to work with the edges fairlv thick the notes will make him thin them how much they (the notes) will tell him. C. 70 No. above (not as a chord).

when the pitch had not risen quite so high. and at the same time made strong enough to bear the increased pressure —-which is only another singular proof that music and science always harmonise. or Guarnerius be got without taking the violin to pieces. gives at positions 7 and 8 these notes i wWith 't^~ plates of the proper thickness and notes will be these my bass bar. all finished and with the / holes cut and a modern bass bar. for though he worked nearly a 100 years ago. The breast of a Strad. the tt "z:p" Without the bar the notes will be these- V with the bar they are these Vincenzo Panormo seems to have realised this fact. may of the back of a Strad. They may thus be tuned to our modern concert pitch. or Maggini. by taking a firm grip of the neck and bowing on the peg of the First and The notes . whom he copied so beautifully.— TEE VIOLIN: — HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. — 71 by making the plates thicker. he certainly made the plates of his violins thicker than those of Stradivarius.

The . The movable nodal lines are the edges of the centre bout and bass bar. as the neck helps the upper. and it was an utter failure so let us respect the great Dieffopruchar and give glory to the man who gave T think he must have got a the violin its present shape. inclining to the trapezoid. and with the chords coming clear and bell-like. Second string. and using an ordinary Guarnerius outline. from the First peg these two notes A The high note will come easily. quite free of the nasal quality. Here is The Finest Comeixation' which I have yet struck upon. outside of the regular models and thicknesses. the low note by The peg of the Second string will give this note pressure. Working the thicknesses so as to give at the various positions the notes given below produces a violin with a lovely tone. I think. — . The notes of the back— _^ .ares of Chaldini. i^ fixed nodal lines in a violin are the six blocks the most important is the lower block. suggestion from the tie. very full and rich.72 THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. The centre of the violin should be exactly as much in front I made a violin of the bridge as the sound post is behind it. once with the centre to be at the sound post that is. Strad treated thus will give.

) — The note to its thickness it is a little hard to set into vibrabouts. at the same half-way stage of finish. . H. with the f holes cut and no bass :^S2. 73 The notes of the bar breast. and the inside it gives this note -^ tr(Owing tion. Modern Cremona. W^^ _fl_ 7 '-B' The notes of the breast."— W.J How Hard wood toned . gives this The upper i5: 7) The centre of the lower bouts gives this combination. to Distinguish Wood.— — —— THE VIOLIX: now TO CHOOSE — OXE. at the centre. finished outside. not as a chord. back. give the same note. soft wood lowis usually high-toned wood but should the maker be in doubt he may distinguish . with the bass bar on and the breast entirely finished 8^ \--—r::^— 9 10 11 w When flat :22: =1 still 12 the breast is wood and quite untouched. but one note coming easily and the other by more pressure on the bow [I suggest that this example should be known as "Devoney's C.

Think not that I wish to grasp the earth. In copying the tones of an old breast it is well to look carefully for double notes. If. 7 should be natural. There is the way a sure way— a fixed and scientific method follow it and the Avorld shall bless you and the result of your labours through all time. The result should be an exact copy. and he must work very cautiously in taking off more. . but as 1 have hinted. but it is better to leave it on from the first. one of which will come easily. the other by hard pressure of the bow. the whole school of tone for modern violins adapted to modern concert 2:)itch and modern requirements has yet to be created. as these are a double guide to the exact quality of tone. then the Bass Bar put on again. mark you. as he may be at the other notes before the finish is all on the plate.— 74 — ONE. ye violin makers Avho love the labour and do not grudge thought and study and ceaseless experimenting. — SECRECY IS KOW DEAD. and that in turn will not only allow the breast to vibrate more freely. but distribute the pressure more equally over the whole instrument. Here then is a chance to distinguish yourselves. thus is high-toned wood. and the notes in their altered condition again recorded. . is them by When the first note which he will get at position No. and before he the other notes correct at the other positions the plates will be comparatively' thin. THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE this test. It is true that even if he chanced to take oft" too much wood he could patch it up again to a given tone . to bear the increased pressure. But. the first note which he gets at position No. or keep any secret or lord it over any one. 7 F natural. When it is possible to do so the Bass Bar should be removed from the old breast and the notes jotted down. on the contrary. which will allow of the Bass Bar being left smaller and lighter. thus the wood he is working on will have got all D the wood is low-toned. for it is clear that the plates must be made thicker.

system or he could not have designed the violin to give the Then came Gasparo perfect fifths which the plates do give. The Shakespere of Aiolin makers was undoubtedly this Dieftbpruchar. their exact notes recorded by the acute copyist and the same effect repeated by the humblest in the land. and had our concert pitch not risen so much we could not have done But after him came men better to-day than copy his work. No crowds came from every foreign court to keep him busy at the bench rather than sitting in the wine shop to ])ass the time or shut out regrets and despair. in appearance and tone. and make a violin for bread which. their work falls away in tone no matter how nice their outside finish. or cared only for beauty of outline. 7. who either did not understand his system. and lovely finish. there is a weary blank in violin making. Then came Joseph Guarnerius. the saddest and most admirable of all violin makers most admirable. can scarcely be told from one by his successful rival as if some imperious patron had said "Make — — — . because the beauty of his outline is got at the expense of sacrificing some of the best notes which the plates demand. and so perhaps had not time to give the secret to Every another. da Salo. maker seems to have been groping in the dark for a system hopelessly lost. and 9. and failed. until Maggini pulled them up shar[)ly and thought the notes out again or got them from his master. because he tried hard to fit his outline to the best echoes and tones of Brescia and the saddest because he lived next door to a popular maker. and by altering a note in the plates he j^erfected the Avork of his master. as in the case of the back. After Maggini. 4.THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. who is said to have died suddenly of the plague. and shape. and by leaving out the notes got at the positions which I have numbered 2. the man who grasped the true theory that the strings do not vibrate indiscriminately over the plates but are confined to that part which either gives its own tone. They all try different notes and fail Even Stradivarius thought and thought till his life was nearly gone. 75 There can now be no hiding of a particular tone or quality of tone in a violiii. and all the time felt that he himself was making grander works. the Burns of violin makers. for the best violins that can thus be constructed may now be taken to pieces. or its own tone and harmony as in That man must liave had this very the case of the breast. Sadder still we see him foi'ced at times to sink his superior knowledge.

• 76 THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. me one like those of Stradivarius or you don't get my money. he only really nothing — knew to take the notes from the lower ends of the plates. 3 and No." From Guarnei'ius to Vuillaume is a long jump. gives these wonderfully low notes Take a (first D — f — r. The mass of air will be found nearly two notes lower. take off a little more and all sound from the u])per end is lost. He and Savart knew some of the notes but not all. or heard by closing the holes.of viol which is perfect only for two strings. upper end of the breast putting the third string into vibration. but omitted to say that one was a seventh lower than the other. . compare the sound of No. a form. That is the mass of air. and blowing in at the tail pin hole as in sounding a flute. and it will be found to be more in sympathy with the What I think Savart did. with its high rise in the centre of the plates and scoop towards the edges. 7. but there is worth noting between them. and the button cut off the upper end. you soon get at the octave of the lower end. and may be felt in a silent vibration. and it will echo about Men Avill space below the treble stave) or C sharp. Vuillaume depended more upon his wood than his notes that is. If a plate of any standard model be taken. In the face of that will any one assert that Savart knew all about it 1 violin and sing at the _/ holes. for had Savart known that the front of the plates give a fifth higher in tone than the lower. It is not it is simply the say. The Stainer model. was to back than the breast. he never would have gone to the trapezoid.

4. which causes it to principally set in vibration the lower half this string not being powerful enough in its of the breast vibrations to ati'ect the back to any appreciable extent. tuned their plates to the four strings. The Stainers and Klotzes started a Fifth lower than the sound of the open strings. the old chapel pitch was nearly a tone lower. Whether I have given the most perfect notes or not. The Cremona makers. as I think it is the back which gives this power to tlie violin. 5 and ti are dependent more on the cheeks and The same rules apply to the breast. I think. I am pleased to begin the work. Any violin maker who can get a grand-toned violin which — — . The Third string is more in sympathy with the back than is the Fourth. or of being easily modulated in tone. and that gives the tone of difierence between their backs and breasts.THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE OXE. and thus the Fourth string may stand out and not partake of the character of the other strings at all. with the resultant notes low. with high I'esultant tones. . is due to the bass bar. the back the same treatment in reverse. so must thicknesses vary. Nos. and that may come out by and by. The best modern violins are those which are tuned to — A . G should be too near each other in tone. like a band of brothers. singular thing in the back puzzles me I am not sure wJiether the First string vibrates on the piate notes A or E Lhey are so mixed up on the back that it is very difficult to decide . 2. I consider that I have only opened up this method. I hope makers will direct all their powers to getting these notes wood varies in density and resonance. centre. I think. as it may be named. we should unite and work for the one grand purpose to produce the best violin tone by the most certain method. concei't pitch in course of construction. for position No. and firmly believe that violin making will never be in such a rut again. or their vibrations would be roused simultaneously. 77 from the cheeks to the edges of the upper or button end . but keep to the exact tones at the different stages of construction and the result can never be doubtful. and. when they would find none more willing to learn than myself Every personal feeling should be sunk . and I wish that all really scientific and enthusiastic violin makers whose hearts and souls are in the good work would take it up and carry it further. but I don't think ISTos. or School of Violin Tone. and this. 1. and the violin would not be capable of producing very soft or piano tones.


78

THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE OXE.

he can dissect, the character and body of tone of which he wishes to reproduce, may do so by thus testing tlae notes given out by the plates at the different stages when set in The result is not vibration in tlie metliod I have laid down. absolutely certain, as he is working with new wood, while the plates of the violin which he is copying may be very old, and blocks and side linings differ slightly in weight and density, but with due allowance for these differences, we can come very near to the same tone, and so the grand work of reproducing those violins of the great makers, which for 200 years have been the wonder of the connoisseur and the delight of the musical world, will flourish and advance. F. D.

Before giving Devoney's treatise, I stated that his violins bear out his statements, and I may now, in conclusion, give my idea of how they differ in tone from the ordinary new violin. They have not the tone of a violin 150 years old that subtle quality of tone which might be named " The Essence of Time," cannot be imitated. The tone of Devoney's violins is not an old tone, nor an imitation of an old tone; but, nevertheless, it has a peculiarity which I have never noted in such marked distinctness in any new violin. Clearness and freedom of tone might be roughly set down as the quality to which I allude. In testing an ordinary new violin there are certain chords which come with diftcult}', and in sounding which some of the woody fibres seem to be struggling hard against vibration ; for example, the subjoined chords on the Third Position
3
•J.

a

4

--m-

f^—

Even old violins sometimes refuse to give these chords at that position with a flute-like clearness and freedom. The violins of Devoney tested by me are entirely free from that stiflhess, or "fibre resistance," as I may name it. The tones come clearly and freely on every position and with any chord. Whether these violins will "break in," as it is called, more rapidly than those not made on this system is, of course, a question for time to settle, but I myself liave not a doubt but that with such a long start they will. system built upon such a solid and scientific basis cannot fail to produce something

A

THE
like

VIOLIX:

now

TO CHOOSE ONE.

79

a revolution in. violin making. The very best tone is in the wood can always be got, for whether tlie wood be hard or soft will never concern the maker. He gets the notes from the plates at the different stages, and the plate takes its thickness from that strange tuning instead of from a mechanical pair of callipers and a little guess work on the part of the maker, as of old. Thus some of Devoney's violins made of soft wood have plates three-sixteenths thick, while others made of hard wood have thinner plates, but the the peculiar quality which I have effect is always the same tried to describe is always their characteristic. The making of violin plates thick or thin according to the softness or hardness of the wood is as old as violin making, but a fixed and unerring rule for so gauging them has never been given. " Facts are chief's that winna ding, and Science cannot lie. downa be disputed." Devoney does not believe that the notes for the most perfect and thrilling tone have yet been discovered, but undoubtedly he has laid bare a method of working which ought to be followed up and carried on by every enthusiastic violin maker, the final result of which may eclipse the imaginings of the wildest dreamer who
that

now

lives.

80

THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE

OXE.

TO

VIOLIN
A

MAKERS.

Friendly Warning.

Before giving the subjoined list of British violin makers as a guide to violin players let me utter a friendly warning to the British violin maker. Within the last 15 or 20 years this delicate art has sprung into life again in this country, and there is only one thing which is likely to crush it that Nearly a century ago English violin makers is, rapacity. gradually screwed up the prices till Dodd and others were The natural getting .£25 for violins and £50 for 'cellos. result was the death of the industry under the competition of cheap German work. Germany is still in existence and violin manufacture in that country has vastly improved, so it bids even moi*e loudly for the patronage of the British violin player, and it will undoubtedly gain it if the old cause should Oil varnish and carefully step in to help on the disaster. selected wood are now the last hold which the British maker has against the German manufacturer, who has even learned (Many of to use a soft s])irit varnish instead of a hard one. the second class old Italian makers did the same.) It is also painfully signiticant that the best dealers in the land now sell Let the British violin these German made instruments. maker, therefore, beware of Kapacity. He may fancy that he is being benefited by charging exorbitant prices, but it is a delusion. The policy is simply suicidal. In compiling the following list, from which I have carefully excluded both prices and criticism, nothing has amused me more than the prices of the ditferent instruments submitted to me, some of which prices were simply horrifying. The fun did not come to me from the value put upon the violins by these makers, but from the fact that the violins, which were charged at very moderate prices, were almost invariably far superior in tone and in finish to the dear ones. If I were to name the highest prices stated by some of the makers, my readers would amazedly gasp out, " What Are they worth itf To

!

and competing with him in price and he will not accuse me of advocating a niggardly policy. and about 100 yeai's old which had never been fractured and had a large and telling tone. for that particular kind of work 1 namely. Where is the ordinary orchestral player who can afford to give more than £10 for his violin? I have seen an old violin large in model. The amateur who often wishes more for an instrument pretty to look at and chiefly for drawing-room playing is not so particular. 81 having seen and carefully tested the instruments. playing in a theatre orchestra. If the principles laid down in Devoney's treatise he sound thei-e is no reason why eveiy violin now produced should not be good. and was covered with a fine oil varnish. A-iolin maker be reasonable in his prices and he will prosper. and chai'ging <£10. and which when fresh from the maker's hands was pronounced by the testers. for his works the violin maker should get a good return for If he cannot produce a good violin at that price his labour. When the violin is of the right kind. sold Would the best to one of these professional players for £1 new violin that could be produced beat that. Let him also remember the ever increasing thousands of old violins. thick in wood. and if the tone sound large under his own ear he usually troubles himself little about its carrying powers. he should learn his business over again. who were all experienced judges. which was exquisitely made and finished with a lovely and lustrous oil varnish. — — . Let our violin makers put on their thinking caps and decide whether this artistic industry is to live or to languish.THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE this question. age adds immensely to its value to the professional player. ONE. Vuillaume which belonged to one of the judges. and under. well preserved. which are constantly in the market." says Brougham. But even to leave out the competition of old violins and instance a new one I have seen a violin produced and sold for £10. better than a well preserved violin by J. "Facts pinch. . B. I answer THEY ARE Let the British NOT.

Guarnerius and Stradivarius. William. using oil varnish. original. red and N. 1 Railway Street. reddish-brown. and a copy of their tickets. varnish.— 82 ) THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE OJE. orange. yellow and orange-red. for insertion in future editions of this w^ork. AN ALPHABETICAL LIST OF LIVING BRITISH VIOLIN MAKERS WHO USE OIL VARNISH. Tottenham. characters Ticket. Varnish. London. Model. restorers of violin bows. Ticket. 13 Church Eoad. Tottenham 189S. lithographed in large semi-writing WiUiam Athbison hi port. SouthModels. hand-wi-itten— Oft-tt^e^-it^ '^'i . and Son. Whitelaw's colours. (The author will be glad to receive the names of any skilled British violin makers. yellow. Also makers and . with brief particulars as to models. Edward-. Varnish. Atkinson. Brookfield. and colour of varnish.

yellow and red. Stradivarins. 1893. BucKMAN. William. Whitelaw's and Dr. Wentworth. yellow. hand-written yellow. in Roman Capitals JOSEPH GUARNERIUS + I. and Stradivarius. Guarnerius. Stradivarius and Guarnerius.S. Models. Ticket. Varnish. Ticket. and small Guarnerius. VONEY. ruddy brown. Gasparo da Solo. Stradivarius. Rotherham. London. l^rit ^ini0. Yorkshire.. Varnish. hand-written. Varnish. Clark's. Models. Whitelaw's . Varnish. George. colours.H. Frank. in Roman capitals GEO. George H. 189 DOVER. Ticket printed in old English characters with monogram at right side — CiicGrgcs Cbiinot ^^ouboir. 2 Prioiy Grove. BY FRANK DE. 18 Devoney. and orange-red. . Amati. Chanot. tinted with red. 157 Wardour Street. orange-yellow to dark orange. BUCKMAN. G3 Milburn Street. colours. Blackpool. Ticket. H. Models. printed from types.— THE VIOLIN: — MOW — S3 TO CHOOSE ONE. Dover. Model. W. Dickie.

Jolm. sac to. Model. Glasgow. red. Whitelaw's colour. ticket. Varnish. brownishModels. Saltcoats. THE VIOLIN HOW TO CHOOSE Ervine. Partick. 15 Broomhill Avenue. GoRRlE. Model. C^fO^. Guarnerius. ///. Varnish. Stradivarius and Guarnerius. Models. Stradivarius and Guarnerius. back JOHN FLEMING. reddish-yellow. Stradivarius. Ticket. Ticket. Ticket. Samuel. but stamped on bare wood on the inside of the . Fleming. James 05 ui (borrif. Whitelaw's colours. with a border . James. Varnish. 39 Frank Street. Ko 2 Hamilton Street. at left side FiNGLAND. Belfast. Glasgow. hand-written on parchment paper Act'/ /S^^. Eobert. yellow and red. Mountpottinger. printed in written characters from an engraved plate. IS9 . witli monogram Ireland. printed from types. Varnish. Whitelaw's. 214 Cambridge Street. yellow and ruby mixed.— 84 : — — ONE.

brown. < . W. yellow. Mnggini. EDINBURGH. Stradivarius. Guarnerius. LONDON. Varnish. and others. orange to red. 28 Wardour Street. yellow. MAKER. Models. with a border. and ruby. Ticket JAMES HARDIE & SON. Ticket for violins in written characters. red. and pale red. Hart k Son. 38 New Bond Street. Guarnerius. printed from an engraved block. Edinburgh. W. yellow. London. Models. THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE 85 Haudie. and Ruggerius. and old red. Varnish. 117 Nicolson Street. Stradivarius and Joseph and Petrus Guarnerius. Thomas E. 1890. red. Models. Berr/onzi. and Stradivarius. Ticket handVarnish. the year of century being filled in on right side of " London " HART 18 &. Stradivarius. amber colours. Ticket. k Sons.. William Ebsworth. printed from an engraved block on a banner flanked by violins and bows. Hill. London. brown-red. Guarnerius. Models. Hesketh. with an Irish harp and a fife above the centre Cti^^^^ ^2^^'/^ aiftt/ ( -^t^-nd^ Q^t?-^^W 'e^c^ /^(ti/ieid^ (yf^ t/ ^^/f. Amati. Sh^-n-cu^-n- . SON. James.S.— — — — ONE. Varnish. 57 Lower Mosley Street. 28 Wardour Street. 117 NicoLSON Street. Manchester. written a-y^iO-cid Also a maker of bows.

. J.W. MANCHESTER. Ticket. Yarnish. Merton. AT DALSTON. 1893. yellow to reddish-yellow. Stradivarius. yellow. Walter H. with date written in full Deus adsit. CUMBERLAND. Colour of varnish. Models. Manchester. /cf Maghie. printed from types.D. rerU Maysox. 62 Oxford vStreet. A. printed from types. K. Model. s. 6 Acton Terrace. Surrey. ruby. red. with border Stradivarius on some written characters. near Carlisle. THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE Ticket for 'cellos in plate. John Fisher. Merton. H. MAYSON. yellow. Ticket. Giiarnerius. deep red. Models. and a cross between these two.- MAKER. . obsit Mundus. WALTER No. Stradivarius. large Ticket.— 86 — — — ONE. and brown. Monk. Yarnish. the name in written characters J. ^- H>9l5. orange. Surrey.. Dalston. Stradivarius. and others. printed from copper of pattern of inlaid work used by of his 'cellos ^^ti/fi'^Z'. printed from types in small Roman capitals JOHN FISHER MAGHIE. Guarnerius. and brown.

printed Patersox. . Petherick is CROYDON. yellow. colour. Wliitelaw'. ST. . Andrews. Edinburgh. in written characters upon pink paper 87 Model. combining those of Gasparo da Solo and Maggini. Jumes. Yarnish. THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE Stradivarius. J. and the heads peering over each end original. Largoward. 25 Havelock Road. with dark border. OuMOND. a skilled expert and judge of violins. GuarSt. James. Edinburgh. Clark. P. i8gj. Horace. Models. ANDREWS. LARGOWARD. printed from types. Edinburgh. Orkney. golden-yellow. Pethertck.. HORACE PETHERICK. colour. on round black seal at right side Stradivarius. Model. amber oil.—— - — OKE. IN Mr. printed in Roman characters from an engraved plate. Yarnish. JOHN RAEBURN. MAKER. made by Dr. 1891-3. and bearing white monogram. Caffyn's Stradivarius and the Aviatis. Model. Ticket. 9 Richmond Terrace. — Ticket. with a border Raeburn. John. the hands holding the ticket. feet to feet. Ticket. Ticket. Yarnish. showing two satyrs. nerius. Croydon. reddish-yellow. printed from an engraved block. Brescian brown.s. Yarnish. James Paterson. Fecit. Kirkbuston. Stromness.

Edward. hand-written. Falkirk. Glasgow. Whitelaw's colours. Varnisli. Colours of varnish. Ritchie. reddish-yellow. 22 Wardour Street. Models. Models. Ticket. Stradivarius and Guarnerius. Loudon. London. Varnish. John. F A L It I li k:. Dundee. Ticket. and dark orange-red. Wlntelaw's . W." Smillie. Whitelaw's colour. yellow. Stradivarius and Guarnerius. JOHN SMITH. Stradivarius. printed from types on yellow paper . printed from an engraved copperplate. Ritchie. 28 Cockburn Street.— 88 — — — THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. Ticket. Ticket. Alexander. reddish-yellow. light and dark amber. the inscription on the back of the wings of a fantastic bat Edward Withers. ruby. red. Also stainjicd on each side of the inside of the back "A. iu Old English characters %. colours. 514 Victoria Road. Crossbill. No 1893. in written characters . and brown. Smith. . MADE BY Withers. Varnish. 22 Wardour Street. Model. large Guarnerius. Model. and Strad red. reddish-yellow. 84 Commercial Street. printed from an engraved block. Ai-chibald. yellow. Ilxttbic.

Stradivarius. yellow. printed from aa engraved block. George. LIMITED. BELI. Ticket. Model. the inscription placed on the back of the wings of a fantastic bat. GLASGOW. same as that of Edward Withers — LONDON. OMD BAIN. PRINTERS. Varnish. 22 Leicester Square. .• THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. S9 WiTHEns. London.

the pathetic. M'Govan has gauged the depth The stories are graphic. that we have found it diiEcult to lay the book down without — We Liverpool Albion." or poor little 'Aileen O'Reilly's Task. LONDON: SIMPKIN. " Here and there we get a sketch of the humorous. and intensely of human feeling. "Kowhere M "SOLVED MYSTERIES" (sixth edition). and the graphic and occasionally eloquent style which characterises the method of their relation." "M'Govan possesses much literary ability. but many sketches have invited a second Pictorial World. is the best book of the kind I have ever read. are there any detective stories whicli can equal these for interest and genuine ability. and then some pathetic storj'.' are of a character to awaken the best and kindliest feelings of our nature. nor have we fascinating. M'Govan is equally at home. to draw out our sympathies towards the characters described. (FIFTEENTH EDITION). so for as we know. reading it " Many EDINBURGH and GLASGOW: JOHN MENZIES & CO." The Graphic. ' ' That trutli is stranger than fiction is daily proved by the episodes which come under the notice of the detective force .i detective. OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. like that of the 'Harvest Mystery."' " So f. . and the experiences of . HAMILTON & CO. the humorous. many of his scenes being highly realistic . as detailed by Mr. which sliows how well Mr. with their alternatives of the tragic. vigorous. MARSHALL." South Atistralian Advertiser. DOWN" "STRANGE CLUES" (TWELFTH EDITION).— — — — — READ *' BROUGHT TO BAY" ''HUNTED (FIFTEENTH EDITION). Pripp 7^ OU. his insight into human nature. in pathos and humour Mr." of the incidents recorded. indeed. It Newcastle Chronicle. his graphic descriptions. straight through. have we found these stories. M'Govan for his sense of humour. and our admiration towards Mr. and it is quite evident that he must have been personally brought into contact with the characters whose lives he so vividly portrays. and the lot of good human nature with which this keen-eyed Edinburgh detective is charged. in tlie Eiiglisli language. his mastery of pathos. rnue A^. The stories are intensely interesting. have taken the book up again and again . M'Govan.)scinating. been satisfied with one perusal. inspection. "TRACED AND TRACKED" (NINTH EDITION)." Scotsmrni.may vie for variety and excitement with the most startling creations of a sensational novel.

and whose understanding of the instrument is as nearly as possible perfect. The reader feels as if being talked to by a teacher whose sympathies are keenly alive to every possible doubt and difficulty as if a violin and bow were being put into his hand.. well packed. " very handy. 31st EDITION. —"It wonderful. tuning. and should be in the hands of all who desire to become really proficient players. and practical guide to any branch of study is quite a rarity. in the hands of every one who either plays or means to play the violin. and his every act therewith under strictest surveillance. furnishing much valuable infonnation about the king of the orchestra." Dundee Advertiser. OPINIONS OF THE PRESS. In the present work.— — — WITH NEW APPENDIX. There are good observations on the choice of an instrument salutary cautions against the tricks of unscrupulous manufacturers many practical hints respecting holding. Harmonic playing. instructive. THE " To VIOLIN: find a really plain HOW TO MASTER IT. and many of the difficulties will be instantly smoothed away. The author has contrived to make his work readable and interesting as well ao . bowing. Teachers will do well to put it in the hands of their pupils. as often to puzzle the most skilful expert. Lady s Pictorial.' too. ——— — ts. "The writer of this book has accomplished a task of no common difficulty with uncommon ability and singidar success that of giving such verbal instruction in an art as the student can clearly understand and put to practical use with certainty and safety. He leaves no point untouched. while the pupils will be more apt to receive instruction. such as Spohr's and Loder's. " Full of shrewd practical advice and instruction. U. Cloth. the author places his instniction in such a way before his pupil as to render his meaning clear at a first glance. but do not know how to master it." Musical Times. ". stringing. and to profit largely by it. 6i." Evening Telegraph. and some very useful directions as to the course of study to be pursued. practical. The observations on bowing are most clear and to the point. KOHLER & SON. comprehensive." Scotsman. The choice and preservation of an instrument. and indeed will be. "The work deserves to be known by all players. and thoroughly teaching popularised by one whom we know to be a proficient and skilful player. and many other topics connected with its mastery and care. is He treats his theme with real enthusiasm. A ' ' ' handled. being the most comprehensive. the most precise. BY A PROFESSIONAL PLAYER. To this he adds a style of lucid exposition which enables him to make every line and sentence understood The work is thorough in treatment and exhaustive in scope. . "The very questions students constantly desire to ask are here more plainly answered than in works of the greatest authorities upon the instrument. It is violin " EDINBURGH : E. and withal the least costly of any book of instruction in violin playing ever issued. for generally so-called guides are so filled with technical terms and ambiguous phrases. sensible book." Norivich Weekly Journal. and a very valuable supplement to the regidar manuals. " Musical Standard. It is a book that ought to be. is dealt with with admirable lucidity. NORTH BRIDGE. are equally well — . &c. Many students will thank the author for his labours on their behalf. . To all who love the violin. we would say. however. the standard books being recommended in systematic order. It will enable them to teach more intelligently. procure this little book." Pictorial World.

Chapter VI. the management of the bow. THE SECRETS OF VIOLIN BEING FULL INSTRUCTIONS AND PLAYING." Dundee Advertiser." &c. Holding the Violin Variations of the Position of the Left Hand (Illustrated) I'he Normal Position The Firm Position The Free Position The Chaptrr I." People's Friend. and cautions and lessons. Select. — Adjusting the Violin —The Bridge—The Sound Post— The Strings The Bass Bar— Resetting the Neck and Finger Board — Lining or 'Sandwiching' The Pegs—The Patent Holdfast Peg— he New Peg Turner. author well understands the method of making a technical subject Violinists will find the book a complete repertory on the most styles of holding the violin. KOHLER & SON. A "A book which which conveys its forcible language. Spoon.d Violins. Forced and Developed — Getting beyond Rules— Consolation to the Solo Player— The Close Shake: How to Master Chapter IX. — — — — Anticipating Position. though no violinist will scan its pages save with both pleasure and profit. The Violin: How to Master it. Voigt's Shoulder. Spohr. &c. with 20 Engravings from Photos. ' ' "The approved selection interesting. and in such a felicitous style. — Violins. and the whole work will be found both interesting and instructive. — Cloth. The subject is dealt with very fully. NORTH BRIDGE.—The purpose of the Work — Violin Players — The Trifler—The Showy Player— The Model Player— Holding the Violin— Chin-Rests (Illustrated)— The — — — — The Management of the Bow—The Action of the Fourth Finger Fingering: (Illustrated)— The Position of the Thumb — The Left Hand — Flexible How to attain — Cork Stretching (Illustrated) — New Finger Stretching Exercise The best Exercise ever written for the Violin^Stretching the Thumb. Chapter VIII. CONTENTS. Chapter VII. Double Ridge. and New Vulcanite ChinRests Their Advantages and Disadvantages Analysed and Explained. that the book may be read with interest by any one. Chapter V. Old and New—The Adjuster— Rusty Cremonas— Frauds for the Experienced — Mixed Cremonas — False Tickets and Real — The most reliable Experts — How to Judge C. and Preserve a Bow — Restoring the Spring of a Bow — Cleaning the Hair of the Bow. EDINBURGH : E. —Tone. and the first part contains a large number of practical illustrations. in such clear. the and care of strings. Is. Chapter II..^How to Judge and Select Strings — How to Keep and Improve — Preparing Strings — The Points of a Good String — The Fourth String: How to use Strings for Solo Playing — The A Spring Catcher. — Appendix Women as Instrumentalists. — Concluding Advice—The Earless Scraper— Common Faults of Advanced Players — Duet Playing — Orchestral Playing — Solo Playing — List of Effective Solos — The Powers of the Violin. Adjustaljle. and tips and hints. The chapters dealing with the sale and purchase of old violins are amusing. — Frauds for the Inexperienced — Frauds in Bows — How to Judge. will be greatly relished by violin players everywhere.— 9tli Edition. " book which we confidently recommend to both amateur and professional performers. the best method of practice. Chapter III. it it ' ' 1 it. Chapter IV. — 6d. iS:c. HINTS TO VIOIJN PLAYERS For the Perfect Mastery By the Author of " of the Instrument. ." Whitehaven News. — Is.

Exercise in Shifting on Two Strings. A BY THE AUTHOR OF "THE VIOLIN: The principles HOW TO MASTER IT. Giving him more melodies and pleasing airs than exercises. Exercise oa First Scale of E Flat. Cuppie Shell. and their Equivalent Xlests. — Mermaid's Song. Daily Exercise in Legato Bowing. Second Exercise in Slurring.. Scale of F Major. KOHLER & SON. Swing Song.' Andante from the 'Surprise' Symphony. Training him to use the fourth finger without shiftiness of the hand by always giving him a grip of the violin with the first or second finger.Twenty-First Edition. with simple Scales and Progressive Exercises. Exercise in Slurring Fifths. F'irst Melody. Legato Study Meditation. power. The Keel Row. First Exercise in Slurring.— IV. Second Study in Stretched Notes. A Slajor. Easy Melody on the First Scale of C Major. Exercise in Sharply Defining Semitones. Be Kind to thy Father. Grandfather's Clock.' Flora M'Donald's Lament. Ten Little Niggers. Oberon. Easy Melody for Setting the Hand to B Flat. Extended Scale of G Major. The book is arranged as a First Tutor or Primer. and Teacher the whole arranged on an entirely new principle. Life Let us Cherish. pupil. The Blue Bells of Scotland (arranged as an Easy Solo. II. Even advanced students will find many of the Duets an agreeable means of passing a pleasant hour. Annie Laurie. Diagram of Finger-Board for Extended Scale of D Major. Nelly Ely. Home Sweet Home. — VI. III. Scale of G Major. V. Now Ready.— VII. Making him early to play upon the shift by giving him easy melodies. When the Kye Comes Hame. and tone in orchestral playing. A Highland Lad. Pupil. March of the Men of Harlech. and though — — — — specially designed for the young. Daily Legato Exercise. Open String Exercises. Staccato Study. introducing the Third and Fifth positions. with Easy Variation. Silver Bell Schottische (introducing Melody by Spohr). Exercise in Linked Dotted Notes. is eminently suitable for beginners of any age. German Song Exercise in Fingering the Imperfect Fifth of C Major. THE YOUNG VIOLINIST'S TUTOR DUET^BOOK: Collection o( Easy Airs. harmonised as Duets for Two Violins. for the use of Beginners. Scale Exercise in G JIajor. to teach the art of playing the Violin and the reading of music by the simplest and surest steps ever devised. NORTH BRIDGE. are adapted for teacher and two pupils practising together. Pleyel's First Duet. Tlie Blue Bells of Scotland. introducing the Third Position. which form a leading feature of the work. Full Music Siz2. The Wounded Hussar.' Extended Scale of D Major. and full directions lor Parents." Plxtended Scale of A Major. thus setting the hand and thumb properly to the upper as well as the lower part of the finger-board. and taking him gradually backwards on the strings till he can command the whole four. with Va. First Study in crossing the Strings. Extended Scale of D Major. Blucher's March. Daily Exercise. Giving him the easiest scales in fingering and for setting well the hand. the Extended Scale of A Major. Lannigan's Ball. AVest End Hornpipe. Second Study in Crossing the Strings. The Duets. Shells of Ocean. Duet from 'Don Pasquale. Olg. Prl33 2. Ye Banks and Braes. Easy Jlelody. Study in Notes Air. Conclusion. Rouseau's Hymn. I Know a Bank. To Mary in Heaven. First Scale of C Major. Extended Scale of D Major. thereby training the ear and laying the foundation for future firmness. Operatic Selections. Duet from Rigoletto. First Study in the Shake.j Waltz. Teaching him the notes alphabetically and only to the extent required at each stage. for CONTENTS. Easy Melody on the Third and Fiftli Positions. Extended Scale of C Major. Wae's Me for Prince First Exercise in Shifting. First Exercise for the Fourth Finger. upon which this book is arranged may be summarised thus — I. John and Ann. INTRODUCTION Hints to Parents and Beginners. Scale of D Major. Second Study in the Shake. VIII. Diagram of Finger-Board for Scale of G Major. introducing the Fifth Position. from ' Charlie. First Diagram of Finger-Board for First Scale. Placing only the two strings most easily reached by little hands and short fingers — the first and second — before him at first. Coal Black Kose. . in a pleasing and attractive manner. Giving the young pupil more practice than theory. Accustoming him from the first to play concerted music. Melody from Loder (Harmonised). ' ' EDINBURGH : E. . and Familiar Jlelodies. or for one pupil more advanced than another superintending the younger player's studies." ETC. Scale of B Flat Major. Toddum's Polka. Indian Scale. Duet from 'La Traviata. Little Liza's Hornpipe.riations).

— Postage lid." No." Price of the whole. and less distracting to the untrained Little has ear than much of that having a pianoforte accompaniment. " are carefully marked throughout with technical directions. &c. 3. a Second Violin Part to the above Fantasias. introducing "To Mary in Heaven. as they selection is "The excellent. find suitable study in these Fantasias. The music capable of being prodyced by two JVoie by the Atithor. ducing the novel and pleasing eflects of two quartettes. ." Peoples Friend." &c." and " Rob Roy MacGregor. 2. one SHILLING." &c. a flute accompanied harp.— — — Size. Full Music THREE EASY FANTASIAS ON SCOTTISH AIRS For the VIOLIN. Price Is- Postage IJd- THREE BRILLIANT VIOLIN DUETS On Scottish and Irish Airs. — Price Is. I. Violinist's No. I have only shown by a harp." "The arrangement and will prove good practice on both instruDaily Review. Professional Players. is pleasing. violins is delightfully sv/eet and pure. and I have been induced by the enthusiasm with which they have invariably In introbeen received when perlormed in public by myself and my girl. "The Violin : Author of How to Master it. with ati Accompaniment for the Pianoforte. " — Graphic." "The Flowers of the Forest. published. and capital pieces for performance either in public or the family circle." " Hielant Lad. Author of By a professional PLAYER." "Auld Robin Gray. " Admirers of easily-set popular melodies will be pleased with these Fantasias. and the fingering well within the capacity IVonuich Weekly Journal." Courant." "Young violinists in search of easy compositions in a popular style will Glasgow Mail. "The Violin: How to Master it. O!" No." and "The Keel Row. By a professional PLAYER.ful exercises for young violinists. With such pieces players are also quite independent of a bad accompanist and undismayed by the absence of a pianoforte. of young students of the violin. KOHLER & SON. and indicated how others with more time and ability than I can command may follow up my efforts. Pull Music Size. a tenor singer accompanied by a feebly the power of two violins. Seventh Edition. "Delighl." "Ye Banks and Braes o' Bonnie Doon. Just Price 6d.. by composers. ments for iuveniles." "The Young Tutor and Duet Book. been done as yet in this direction — to publish these duets EDINBURGH: E. NORTH BRIDGE. arranged for the use of Amateur and {Without Accompaniment). with accompaniment." and "The Fairy Dance." "There's nae luck about the Hoose. introducing "Logic o' Buchan. "These Fantasias are well adapted for players at an early stage. introducing "Comin thro* the Rye. Second Edition.

and the pieces are thus industrious student. EDIXBURGII: E." darling. Accompaniment for the Pianoforte* DY THE AUTHOR OF "THE VIOLIN: HOW TO MASTER IT." " I ne'er o' lo'ed a laddie but ane. The extraordinary success of " Three Easy Fantasias ON Scottish Airs. — Introducing " John Anderson. KOHLER & SON. the my "The violin part has been carefully fingered throughout and noted with expression marks. 2.— Introducing is "The Blue Bells of Scotland. . No." and "The Wind that Shakes the Barley." Dundee Advertiser. while well within. Full Music Size." and New Reel. No." and repeated requests from Players in all parts of the Country." dc. the powers of ordinary Amateurs." the musical reader will be able to appreciate their value either for exercise or display. a my jo. Tmo Easy "With an Violin Solos OK SCOTTISH AIRS. 1." "The Braes Gleniffer. NORTH BRIDGE. Just Published. have induced the Popular Pieces to Compose and Arrange another will Author of these Set. which be found to be even more brilliant.— WORKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR. made When it is : said that these pieces intelligible to any have been arranged by the author of "The Violin how to master it." "Jessie. Price One Shilling." "Charlie Flower o' Dunblane." " Neivie-Nicknack.

EDINBURGH and GLASGOW: JOHN MENZIES & LONDON SIMPKIN. & CO. : CO.— — UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY Los Angeles This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. UBS ^^^ l4)AN26lb/2 REtTD LD-ORf '' 6 1981 AUG those to 1 5 i Form L9-75m-7. brimful of humour and broad farce." Leith suitable for fireside Burghs Pilot. They are well calculated to excite merriment in whom they maybe narrated. MARSHALL." Banffshire Jottmal. . '61 (0143784)444 for readings or recitals. and eminently and public entertainment. " Screamingly comical.

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