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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.

C. 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. N. thank every one who has thus cheered me in my task. \fit. while these papers have been appearing. HONEYMAK 1S93. Awjust Fifk. During the last six months. 1. Cremona Villa. and the papers now appear as a book.. I have received from six to twelve letters daily. The majority.PEEFACE.. have carried the day. therefore.1707D . 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 so carries with it its own yjalliation.B. therefore. Let them extend the same feeling to me. Newport. Simple though the work may appear. Their opposition will only excite my admiration. it has cost me more labour than a six-month story. all of which were couched in terms of praise and delight except two. is not infallible. One of these was only carping and scornful. Let me. for it springs from love of the grandest musical instrument which ever cheered the heart of man. the other was so horribly abusive that I had not strength to read more than six lines before dropping it into the waste basket. and assure them that if they have derived pleasure and increased their knowledge enjoyed l)y studying these pages the pleasure was them. This book these pages.

.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. when he preferred coarse." Paganini was one. as the combination of crisp. and say. This brings us to consider -what model or shape of violin produces the best tone. Vieuxtemps was another. "Ye gods. " I think you are mistaken. clumsyworking Storioni to all these . a great violin player has been found who has retained enough sanity to stand aside from this scrambling and panting crowd. 13 CHAPTER Model. when he set Gasparo da Salo above them all. And whyl simply because there are violins whose model would send some gushing cranks into hysterics. when both were the fashion . and Ole Bull was another. so long as the tone is grand and thrilling. and before that Amatis and the gaping crowd of wealthy connoisseurs hearing the cry blindly follow. clear tone and depth as well is so satisfying to the performer.. remarked "An old dealer in violins once told me that when a player once took to using a Mu(j'jini. De Beriot was another. when Stradivarius alone was the fashion . III. when he preferred Guarnerius to Stradivarius. or what "resplendent amber sheen " may glow from its varnish. exclaiming. just as last century it was Stainers and Jacobs and Dukes. however. so the man whose mind is already made up on this trifling point had better read no further. and just now the fashion is Strads and Josephs. and here I mean to utter lieresy upon heresy.' Notwithstanding the fine qualities of the sue- — A ' . The truth is. what fiddles!" Here and there. nothing else would suit. when he preferred Maggini to both Stradivarius and Guarnerius. THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. skilled judge of violins writing to me. there are fashions in fiddles as there are in ladies' bonnets. the tone of which equals or outshines that of many of the violins of Stradivarius or Guarnerius for which high prices have been paid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ought to be the criterion of value in a violin. and. no matter what the model or who the maker. and has been brought about chiefly by our unhanged criminal. 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. T^^E VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. which. above all. and tone alone. nevertheless." and often do not bring above £5 or £10 on that account.. And here I have a heavenly message for hiui it is that there are numbers of old violins in existence. are often better than many Stradivariuses and Guameriuses for which from £300 to £500 is asked. by makers who perhaps made few — . even outside of the cheap Mirecourt frauds. TONE. They are violins which have been " hit upon. 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. of the amount of varnish which still clings to its body. They are known as "nameless violins. 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. and resolutely shut out everything else as so much palaver. In estimating the price at which a genuine Stradivarius or Guarnerius violin should be sold dealers talk learnedly of the state of preservatiou. whose makers cannot be named by the most skilful expert." as I have described. the history of the instrument. 29 CHAPTER V. The violin player in search of a grand violin should keep before him that simple word of four letters. — — — Having followed me thus far.

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

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

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

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

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

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

If violin making. To every violin )naker I would therefore shout ^" Leave plenty of wood in your violins. the wood could not have room to vibrate. The wood was of the right kind. way. I may observe in passing. and elasticity." That is a mistake. A . and they His will shortly rank with the best violins of Stradivarius. particularly for the breast for I have tried violins very thick of wood and fresh from the maker the tone of which was faultless. ay. but in some of his violins he left enough wood to satisfy the most exacting. more wisdom. but the effect may sometimes be neutralized by making the opposite plate of very . 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. even with He had also the that used by the elder Joseph Guarnerius.3G THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. It is always a hazardous experiment to put hard wood into the breast or back of a violin. It must be noted. 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. we dare not leave much wood in our violins. ribs of the best of these out of violins are now very valuable . however. rare wisdom to leave his violins very thick in wood. Panormo is in good company. in leaving the wood too thin. but that to me was invariably a proof that the wrong kind of wood had been used. an old billiard-table. — — . In some cases he tried to amend the error by gluing on a thin slip. transparence. the tone will be both thin and shrill. I have indeed tried new violins which were thick of wood and which sounded harsh. and these violins are now the most valuable of his works in existence." Oh. — — — . but that is Guarnerius at times erred in the same a limping expedient. will compare with that on the best Cremonas. that if the wood be left thick the model must be large. and generally on the wrong side that is. frequently erred in his thicknesses. 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. Thin wood gives a thin tone. Stradivarius. the wood be hard as well as thin." Some violin makers reply. or they would not sell well. varnisli . and these but Panormo was a genius in and on some of his instruments vised an oil which for brilliant lustre. 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.

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

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

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

c-^* V .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 player should constantly test every violin which he can lay his bow upon. Who but the man with the trained ear can Alhanis. The faculty is to a certain extent inborn. but it may be developed by constant practice. and . then.

able to detect the modern German or Mirecourt tiddle. — . the wear." and the true violin lover simply puts them aside with a sigh. The tone of these — y . the violin being hiing on the Avail instead ot kept in a case. and a new one put on a matter of regret. and cleancut build. an old scroll was often thrown away instead of being carefully "bushed" and mended. though tJie amateur may thus get a violin for £10 which with the orifjinal breast would bring £50. and the internal patching. as if turned out of a mould. and being of softer wood was moi'e liable to injury. which seriously affects and changes the tone. It generally has a wildly incoherent Cremona ticket inside.THE VIOLIN: now TO CHOOSE OXE. which may be revealed by using a small reflector. fastened holes. Training the Eye. is no other method of training the eye but to constantly examine every violin. and though only the veriest tyro is thus deceived. The breast in olden times was most exposed. with its varnish scraped off at the corners and in the centre of the back. In the same way. which may come in the player's way the varnish. 41 CHAPTER There VII. 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. the build. and also whether the whole of the original violin be before him. and violin repairers 50 years ago often tossed aside an old breast and made a bran new one. 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 state of preservation. it is high time that the law stepped in and made the selling of any violin falsely ticketed a crime. hard tone. old or new. 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 tickets. as if with the nails of the maker . These violins may be named " mongrels. its sooty appearance between the /' holes its harsh. but not so serious as the throwing away of an old breast.

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

and then went in and said " You have a '. as it had cost him only a few shillings. and the broker took the violin out the window intending to get my opinion of its value.': )1 II — . a gentleman stopped at the window. inspection. 43 and tried the tone. or possibly by Jacob Fendt. lor it. ''Oh. but "Will you ." answered take less than £5 for that old fiddle?" " I'll give you " I am not to sell it at all now. noticed the misof the fallen ticket. and the ticket from that One day Iiad fallen down and lay on the top of the violin. . and I fear that to this dny Mr. it's not a Strad. but he did nothing but discant on the beauty of the bow (a fine Dodd). Again the -7.1 few days back came the gentleman and said "No." broker.THE VIOLIN: now TO CHOOSE I took it out of tlie case ONE. The ticket also was transparently spurious. but as we could not see him we left the violin. Mr." was the answer. price marked on the instrument. looked at the violin long and earnestly. but it chanced that above it was hung a silver Avatch marked £o. 10s. and the violin iiot unlike one of those copies made by Crask. and showed the lin. Sanguine believes that I secretly The^fidl value of the violin was not ])rompted the words. !ited the secret.. for his As we turned away. please. and wondered a trained ear could ever have been in doubt. without a word. it's very violin?" was the owner's impatient remark.inlin in the window marked £5 let me see it. broker had an old Another case amused me greatly. and a good deal scaled o&. Sanguine. getting excited. common. who Instantly the broker iiied to know what he was about. of course. good. violin in his window for which he would gladly have taken There was no 10s. of Manchester." The ker started and examined the window. and ])romptly declined to take less than No bargain was made. I said " Now. "I'll give you £4 for it. how any one with — '•' A — — -. as I proved to him by comparison Avith two genuine labels. for the tone was full of " wood.iliove £5. 'It's not a Strad?^" that he had taken out the violin and tried it. Dut what do you think of the which he oflered to buy. 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. when we go back you will find his first words will "When we did get back we found be." and the violin The varnish was quite certainly not more than 50 years old." said the stranger." said the gentleman. Still he was not convinced. but said nothing.

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

with an ear and an eye so trained. and that too without giving an exorbitant price for it. 45 CHAPTER Yin. 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. 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. possesses the finest acoustic properties for the making of violins. It is not easy to answer this question in an off-hand manner. the fine warm sun and clear air of Italy being allowed to count for something.— THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. violins is the study of a lifetime. and the reason why that magical bit of wood was not always hit upon by Italian makers was sometimes ignorance. but in the fact that the player. 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. but they were often too careless to exert . known as the Southern Tyrol. Are ITALIAN VIOLINS SUPERIOR to all others 1 is a question frequently asked by the puzzled chooser of a violin." 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. as the same ethereal and crystalline quality of tone is found in instruments covered indifferently Avith oil and spirit vui-nish . The "Italian Tone" — Power against Sweetness How to Test Experts. All the Italian makers knew that. but hung on the wall like pictures. This is due almost entirely to the wood of which they are made. but it is one which itself. not only in the innocent pleasure which it affords. All Italian violins have not this quality. especially as violins before the present century were not usually shut up in boxes. but more often pure laziness. players differ so much in opinion as to what is " superior .

themselv^es to search for the best kind. but it must be remembered that these violins were new. the violins of Stradivarius had also improved and matured and grown picturesque in appearance with wear. but to sell them. A dishonest violin maker in other words. dry air. and that violin were exposed for years to warm. nay. were returned as unsaleable. to be sold at the modest price of i.6 each. the same tone which came — — to those of Stradivarius only after both cases write him down a liar. They were new and woody and it is a fairly skilful artist following results. sent to London. and cover it with a fine amber oil varnish. In the last paragraph lies the whole SECRET OF THE CREMOXA MAKERS. and make a good instrument. for it and any duce the same . seeing that he has not to play upon his violins. I have not a shadow of a doubt but it would have the Italian tone. 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. while the players who looked at them had the choice of old English and old German violins by the score. no matter where it were made. and a Strad with the red varnish whole has rather a vulgar look. when fresh from his hands. Good and grand violins have been made in many other countries. up the hint may promust be distinctly borne in mind that the great Cremonas when newly made did not sound as they sound now. This seems astonishing to us. which mellowing power and of hard playing —in 150 yeai's of time's . and declare to you that his works give. By the time that education had been accomplished. historical fact that a consignment of violins by Stradivarius. and invite you to pay him an enormous sum for his works on that account . and took what laynearest their hands. he may even go further. and the love of the subtle sweetness of the Italian tone had yet to be created. To return to the Italian Tone. and could not be distinguished a few yards off from a cheap French fiddle.4G THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. consequently the tone suffered somewhat. a quack may hint darkly at some mystery in his method which turns his new violins into old ones. and so found a ready sale. instead of shut up in a box. but with the best of them this subtle quality of tone.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

against a piece of wood. thumb calls for more space. . 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. such as Edward Brookfield. and is a source of much trouble and . for after a little wear it comes curling off.5G player. the carriage both ways being paid by the bow may be sent in a small wooden box. or skill and art who never plays player who works supply. who makes a speciality of such work.. Secrets of Son. ISTorth A The wrapping of SILVER THREAD round the stick is a fashion which dies hard among bow makers it looks pretty. A Warped A bow which is Bow. and so helps to attract the eyes of those who admire pretty things not specially useful. 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. The Nut. Brookfield's charge lor an ordinary bow is 2s. The width of the nut from the stick to the hair should be large carefully adjusted to the size of the player's thumb. Southport. THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE Any ONE. but as few players have the necessary skill and patience for the task. 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. 1 Railway Street... for a fine one 5s. and a bow appai-ently warped is frequently cured by the substitution A A of a closer fitting slide screw in the nut. or tied owner. It also helps therefore may be said to help to sell the bow. bow is frequently warped by a loose fitting nut . appli- really warped may be cured by the cation of dry heat as already described in "The Violin Playing" (price Is. it is better to hand over the bow to some patient and conscientious artist. quite safely by parcel post for 3d. and . Edinburgh: Kohler & Bridge). 6d.

It was placed originally upon bows to prevent the thumb and fingers slipping from their place. when he grudgingly complied with their wishes. that not only something to prevent slipping is required but something soft and comforting to the thumb is necessary. bevelled off" at each end. for we have learned bone. or for players who do not use a valuable instrument but the moment a player becomes the owner of a really grand violin. silver-mounted. ingenious violin cases of leather. been produced. mounting on the pegs of a violin. The best mounting The Violin Case. silver. which goes well with a dark stick. 57 annoyance. We — Mounting. many object to its coffin-like appearance. like goldwhile silver does. till they threatened to withold a large order. Gold-mounting on a bow. at once cuts off the pretty silver thread and substitutes a carefully applied Avrapping of soft and thick kid leather. when he gets a fine bow. which are very convenient for ladies. and soar at some- Many have of late . and does not contrast well with polished wood. his first consideration is liowto carry it about in absolute The ordinary black wooden case does very well. partially stiffened. smooth. 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. but the gold has a brassy look. and thin leather is of no use it must be soft and thick. and neatly glued on.. nut and screw and point. With a bow so fitted the hardest Avork becomes a pleasure rather than a toil. and plainly shows a lack of the finer artistic instincts. and so the knowing one. An influential firm informed me lately that a bow maker positively refused to so fit up his bows. and there is no reason why the bow maker should not so fit up his bows from the first. but safety. reaching close up to the nut. is only a vulgar indication of the wealth of the owner. is Gold-mounted bows may be had. of a bow. THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE OXE. Hard. A very fine contrast is sometimes introduced by making the nut of tortoiseshell. like that used for the upper part of ladies' boots.

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

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

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

and setting them in vibration with a heavy-haired bow. If. even when the model and thicknesses of the original have been followed with mathematical accuracy. however. It has . 61 CHAPTER XI. plan of testing wood intended for violin making. by cutting slips to a certain size. sends me the following reply which you refer will no doubt be interesting. One of the most experienced violin experts in England. especially if having a really practical bearing on the subject. It is well known that the density and i-esonance of wood vaiy so much. The — : — always seemed strange to me that after so many experiments and positive assertions by both Savart and Vuillaume. 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. and so ascertaining the density and resonance by the notes given out by the different specimens of wood. often is as different from that of the violin copied as night is from day. himself a skilful violin maker. of course.THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. the . 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. that the tone of a violin copy. even with pieces taken from the same log. a system such as that which follows Avere adopted. to whom I have written of "The treatise to this treatise. The Acoustics of Violin Making—Revelations of a Skilled Violin Maker — A sure method by which the tone of a Violin may be copied. a slight margin for difference likely to be caused by the drying and withering process of the years to come. 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. as the wi-iter of the following treatise wisely explains. and so laying the basis of a system by which the tone of a violin might be imitated with certainty.

or was it fashion made thera alter?" So far as any one. whether made according to the Savart discoveries or theories. I have done so. and the conclusion to which I have invariably come has been that in each instance. I have had Vuillaume's violins here and in London for careful trial. Long may Devoney live as to practically illustrate his discoveries and researches. is that the genuine violin enthusiast is modest as he unselfish. if not with riches and honour. By Frank Devoxey. and be crowned. Did they try unsuccessfully for many years to get near that tone. equal on all the strings. The violin seems to be the only instrument which nine- . by me to give his name. As the true Brescian tone appears to have died out before 1700. 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.62 THE VIOLIN: BOW TO CHOOSE ONE. though exceptionally thick in the plates. with the blessings of those thrilled by the sweet strains which shall owe their being to his studious toil. 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. for they are. a method by which the body and character of the tone of any violin may be accurately copied. and am not quite certain that those giants did not think more of him than of themselves. and just such insti'uments as a grand soloist will delight in when age has crowned and perfected the work of the maker. Vuillaume was as far off as any one else. could test statements such as those of my esteemed correspondent. C3 Milburn Street. large and free in tone. Blackpool. latter did not (so far as trials. and found them correct. THE ACOUSTICS OF VIOLITT MAKING. 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. as also my own judgment from repeated that of other players go) get the Italian quality of tone. the writer has with great difficulty been persuaded. 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. not a violin makei'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

70 No. T> above B flat (not as a chord). The lower notes are governed by the centre . B flat. — the upper (or bottom end) by the edges. With the sides of the pipe in sympathy with the mass of air. 11 is They are all like pointers for the others. E. thus — D A -^ — . D. The man who knows the finger-board a little has a great advantage .' — THE VIOLIN: now TO CHOOSE ONE. F sharp. A. and C. here are the notes of a Guarnerius' co^^y. C. C. C sharp. 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. the man Avho does not must get a chromatic pitch pipe. 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. above (not as a chord). made by John Lett G sharp. D. thus- .

gives at positions 7 and 8 these notes i wWith 't^~ plates of the proper thickness and notes will be these my bass bar.— TEE VIOLIN: — HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. by taking a firm grip of the neck and bowing on the peg of the First and The notes . he certainly made the plates of his violins thicker than those of Stradivarius. They may thus be tuned to our modern concert pitch. may of the back of a Strad. when the pitch had not risen quite so high. all finished and with the / holes cut and a modern bass bar. whom he copied so beautifully. — 71 by making the plates thicker. for though he worked nearly a 100 years ago. The breast of a Strad. 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 Maggini. 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. or Guarnerius be got without taking the violin to pieces.

Here is The Finest Comeixation' which I have yet struck upon. Second string. i^ fixed nodal lines in a violin are the six blocks the most important is the lower block. the low note by The peg of the Second string will give this note pressure. outside of the regular models and thicknesses. inclining to the trapezoid. — . very full and rich.ares of Chaldini. suggestion from the tie. 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. The . The movable nodal lines are the edges of the centre bout and bass bar. Strad treated thus will give. once with the centre to be at the sound post that is. 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. as the neck helps the upper. I think. quite free of the nasal quality. and with the chords coming clear and bell-like. from the First peg these two notes A The high note will come easily. and using an ordinary Guarnerius outline. The notes of the back— _^ . Working the thicknesses so as to give at the various positions the notes given below produces a violin with a lovely tone.72 THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE.

with the f holes cut and no bass :^S2. at the centre.J How Hard wood toned . to Distinguish Wood. not as a chord. and the inside it gives this note -^ tr(Owing tion.) — The note to its thickness it is a little hard to set into vibrabouts. finished outside. 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. Modern Cremona. give the same note. H. 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. 73 The notes of the bar breast.— — —— THE VIOLIX: now TO CHOOSE — OXE. W^^ _fl_ 7 '-B' The notes of the breast. at the same half-way stage of finish. . back. gives this The upper i5: 7) The centre of the lower bouts gives this combination."— W. soft wood lowis usually high-toned wood but should the maker be in doubt he may distinguish .

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

Then came Joseph Guarnerius. system or he could not have designed the violin to give the Then came Gasparo perfect fifths which the plates do give. or its own tone and harmony as in That man must liave had this very the case of the breast. who either did not understand his system. 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. da Salo. After Maggini. They all try different notes and fail Even Stradivarius thought and thought till his life was nearly gone. 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. until Maggini pulled them up shar[)ly and thought the notes out again or got them from his master. in appearance and tone. who is said to have died suddenly of the plague. and lovely finish. 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. there is a weary blank in violin making. 75 There can now be no hiding of a particular tone or quality of tone in a violiii. for the best violins that can thus be constructed may now be taken to pieces. and make a violin for bread which. and failed. maker seems to have been groping in the dark for a system hopelessly lost. the Burns of violin makers. and all the time felt that he himself was making grander works. and so perhaps had not time to give the secret to Every another. 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.THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE. and by leaving out the notes got at the positions which I have numbered 2. and shape. as in the case of the back. or cared only for beauty of outline. the saddest and most admirable of all violin makers most admirable. Sadder still we see him foi'ced at times to sink his superior knowledge. 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. their exact notes recorded by the acute copyist and the same effect repeated by the humblest in the land. 7. their work falls away in tone no matter how nice their outside finish. 4. The Shakespere of Aiolin makers was undoubtedly this Dieftbpruchar. and by altering a note in the plates he j^erfected the Avork of his master. and 9.

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

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


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

!

he should learn his business over again. "Facts pinch. and competing with him in price and he will not accuse me of advocating a niggardly policy. ONE. 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. well preserved. thick in wood. sold Would the best to one of these professional players for £1 new violin that could be produced beat that. . age adds immensely to its value to the professional player. and which when fresh from the maker's hands was pronounced by the testers. and if the tone sound large under his own ear he usually troubles himself little about its carrying powers. and chai'ging <£10. I answer THEY ARE Let the British NOT. Vuillaume which belonged to one of the judges. which are constantly in the market. A-iolin maker be reasonable in his prices and he will prosper. for that particular kind of work 1 namely. The amateur who often wishes more for an instrument pretty to look at and chiefly for drawing-room playing is not so particular. — — . better than a well preserved violin by J. When the violin is of the right kind." says Brougham. Let our violin makers put on their thinking caps and decide whether this artistic industry is to live or to languish. and was covered with a fine oil varnish. 81 having seen and carefully tested the instruments. who were all experienced judges. 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 about 100 yeai's old which had never been fractured and had a large and telling tone.THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE this question. 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. playing in a theatre orchestra. which was exquisitely made and finished with a lovely and lustrous oil varnish. for his works the violin maker should get a good return for If he cannot produce a good violin at that price his labour. B. and under. Let him also remember the ever increasing thousands of old violins.

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

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

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

orange to red. William Ebsworth. Hart k Son. W. EDINBURGH. and old red. red. THE VIOLIN: HOW TO CHOOSE 85 Haudie. Manchester. < . Sh^-n-cu^-n- . Models. Guarnerius. Edinburgh. Hill. Ticket handVarnish. 38 New Bond Street. 117 NicoLSON Street. Ticket for violins in written characters. Guarnerius. Models. Mnggini. MAKER. Models. written a-y^iO-cid Also a maker of bows. Amati. 117 Nicolson Street. LONDON. yellow. Models. Ticket. and Ruggerius. 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. and ruby. printed from an engraved block. 28 Wardour Street. London. yellow. the year of century being filled in on right side of " London " HART 18 &.. Ticket JAMES HARDIE & SON. Berr/onzi. brown. brown-red. 1890. Stradivarius. Varnish. James. 28 Wardour Street. W. London. amber colours. SON.S. and others. Hesketh. yellow. Guarnerius. 57 Lower Mosley Street. and Stradivarius. Stradivarius and Joseph and Petrus Guarnerius. Varnish.— — — — ONE. Stradivarius. with a border. printed from an engraved block on a banner flanked by violins and bows. k Sons. and pale red. Varnish. red. Thomas E.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chapter VII. Double Ridge. NORTH BRIDGE. — Cloth. . Adjustaljle. that the book may be read with interest by any one. Chapter VIII. and the first part contains a large number of practical illustrations. The Violin: How to Master it.—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." Whitehaven News. Chapter IV. ' ' "The approved selection interesting. 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. Chapter V. — Appendix Women as Instrumentalists. the best method of practice. and New Vulcanite ChinRests Their Advantages and Disadvantages Analysed and Explained. &c.. A "A book which which conveys its forcible language. it it ' ' 1 it. and cautions and lessons. and tips and hints. —Tone. though no violinist will scan its pages save with both pleasure and profit. Chapter II. — Frauds for the Inexperienced — Frauds in Bows — How to Judge. — Is. Select. — — — — Anticipating Position.^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. Forced and Developed — Getting beyond Rules— Consolation to the Solo Player— The Close Shake: How to Master Chapter IX. Voigt's Shoulder. HINTS TO VIOIJN PLAYERS For the Perfect Mastery By the Author of " of the Instrument. The chapters dealing with the sale and purchase of old violins are amusing. Chapter VI. and Preserve a Bow — Restoring the Spring of a Bow — Cleaning the Hair of the Bow. — 6d. EDINBURGH : E. with 20 Engravings from Photos. the management of the bow. " book which we confidently recommend to both amateur and professional performers." Dundee Advertiser. Is. Spoon. — 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. iS:c.— 9tli Edition. will be greatly relished by violin players everywhere. 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. THE SECRETS OF VIOLIN BEING FULL INSTRUCTIONS AND PLAYING. 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 the whole work will be found both interesting and instructive. in such clear. and in such a felicitous style. The subject is dealt with very fully." People's Friend. CONTENTS. — 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. KOHLER & SON. Spohr. the and care of strings.d Violins." &c. Chapter III. — Violins.

First Study in crossing the Strings. Daily Legato Exercise. John and Ann. The book is arranged as a First Tutor or Primer. Teaching him the notes alphabetically and only to the extent required at each stage. Scale of B Flat Major.' Flora M'Donald's Lament. Second Study in the Shake.riations). AVest End Hornpipe. Easy Melody for Setting the Hand to B Flat. Swing Song. KOHLER & SON. for the use of Beginners. Making him early to play upon the shift by giving him easy melodies. Wae's Me for Prince First Exercise in Shifting. Easy Melody on the First Scale of C Major. . and Teacher the whole arranged on an entirely new principle. ' ' EDINBURGH : E. Diagram of Finger-Board for Scale of G Major. upon which this book is arranged may be summarised thus — I. and tone in orchestral playing. Lannigan's Ball.' Extended Scale of D Major. Operatic Selections. Annie Laurie. which form a leading feature of the work. Extended Scale of G Major. introducing the Fifth Position. Duet from 'La Traviata. Extended Scale of C Major. from ' Charlie." Plxtended Scale of A Major. introducing the Third Position. To Mary in Heaven. to teach the art of playing the Violin and the reading of music by the simplest and surest steps ever devised. Ten Little Niggers. Scale Exercise in G JIajor. Conclusion. Shells of Ocean.j Waltz. Giving him more melodies and pleasing airs than exercises. Second Study in Stretched Notes. Prl33 2. Ye Banks and Braes. Scale of F Major. Extended Scale of D Major. First Diagram of Finger-Board for First Scale. F'irst Melody. Melody from Loder (Harmonised). thereby training the ear and laying the foundation for future firmness. Open String Exercises. harmonised as Duets for Two Violins. Easy Melody on the Third and Fiftli Positions.. Full Music Siz2. Study in Notes Air. Scale of G Major. A BY THE AUTHOR OF "THE VIOLIN: The principles HOW TO MASTER IT. INTRODUCTION Hints to Parents and Beginners. First Scale of C Major. and Familiar Jlelodies. and full directions lor Parents. and their Equivalent Xlests. — VI. When the Kye Comes Hame. I Know a Bank. Now Ready. Diagram of Finger-Board for Extended Scale of D Major. First Exercise in Slurring. Home Sweet Home. Duet from Rigoletto. Be Kind to thy Father. thus setting the hand and thumb properly to the upper as well as the lower part of the finger-board. Second Exercise in Slurring. Staccato Study. Rouseau's Hymn. March of the Men of Harlech. in a pleasing and attractive manner. Even advanced students will find many of the Duets an agreeable means of passing a pleasant hour. Accustoming him from the first to play concerted music. Life Let us Cherish. 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. Placing only the two strings most easily reached by little hands and short fingers — the first and second — before him at first. First Exercise for the Fourth Finger. The Wounded Hussar. Oberon. NORTH BRIDGE. . with Easy Variation. Second Study in Crossing the Strings. The Blue Bells of Scotland (arranged as an Easy Solo. Tlie Blue Bells of Scotland. Coal Black Kose.— IV. Extended Scale of D Major. power. the Extended Scale of A Major. Grandfather's Clock. Pupil. Olg. Exercise in Linked Dotted Notes. and though — — — — specially designed for the young. Cuppie Shell. Nelly Ely. or for one pupil more advanced than another superintending the younger player's studies. with Va. Pleyel's First Duet. — Mermaid's Song.— VII. VIII. First Study in the Shake. The Keel Row. German Song Exercise in Fingering the Imperfect Fifth of C Major. Blucher's March. THE YOUNG VIOLINIST'S TUTOR DUET^BOOK: Collection o( Easy Airs. are adapted for teacher and two pupils practising together. Toddum's Polka. is eminently suitable for beginners of any age." ETC. V. Exercise in Slurring Fifths. Giving him the easiest scales in fingering and for setting well the hand. and taking him gradually backwards on the strings till he can command the whole four. Little Liza's Hornpipe. Silver Bell Schottische (introducing Melody by Spohr). Exercise oa First Scale of E Flat. A Slajor.Twenty-First Edition. Scale of D Major. Giving the young pupil more practice than theory. introducing the Third and Fifth positions. Easy Jlelody. Exercise in Sharply Defining Semitones. The Duets. Exercise in Shifting on Two Strings. pupil. with simple Scales and Progressive Exercises. Indian Scale. III. Daily Exercise in Legato Bowing.' Andante from the 'Surprise' Symphony. Daily Exercise. Duet from 'Don Pasquale. Legato Study Meditation. for CONTENTS. A Highland Lad. II.

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

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

They are well calculated to excite merriment in whom they maybe narrated." Leith suitable for fireside Burghs Pilot. 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." Banffshire Jottmal. .— — UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA LIBRARY Los Angeles This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. '61 (0143784)444 for readings or recitals. and eminently and public entertainment. : CO. EDINBURGH and GLASGOW: JOHN MENZIES & LONDON SIMPKIN. & CO. MARSHALL. " Screamingly comical.

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