Printer-friendly version

Higher strings/Composition updates

Joshua Iyer

Written by
Published: July 31, 2015 at 9:15 PM [UTC]

A couple weeks ago, the strings were digging into my bridge and I wanted to get my violin all fixed up before I went to Augustana (since I plan on playing in the orchestra and possibly lessons at some point, so I will be playing quite a bit), so I took it into the shop to get it checked out. They sanded down the wood on the fingerboard, and then got a higher bridge (from France, it's apparently a Despiau bridge!), which they had to custom-fit onto my violin. For the week I played with a rental that had a muted yet ringing sound, kind of like the right pedal on a piano. I'll play with my violin more this afternoon, and I'm sure I'll grow attached to the ringing sound it seems to make from when I tried it out a little in the shop. I also took off all three fine tuners, and I've been learning to tune with the pegs. It's great to have my personal violin back to enjoy playing.

Lately, I've been watching a lot of videos on the construction of a violin, from the trees to picking out the perfect pieces of wood to bending long strips and cutting the violin shape outline into those pieces to put together this fantastic object. I'm not really sure why, but wooden things make me very happy inside, like a winter fireplace, and going into a shop and seeing all the violins on the walls makes me feel very at home. Taking a block of wood and building such a marvelous object, one that can enlighten, amaze, and is used on hundreds amongst thousands of different pieces of music, amongst four centuries, is just a really happy thought, almost as if this object is crafted by Mother Nature herself and all her trees. It almost makes me want to learn the craft of violin-making... Almost.

I have also spent all summer writing! I have finished my string quartet and have been editing it, but I am also beginning a short piece for viola and piano, one for my friend for her Solo and Ensemble contest next year if she wants, and also just because I really want to spend some time digging into the deeper viola tones, as I had discovered a little of with the quartet whenever the viola part was prominent. We are going on vacation next week to Niagara Falls and some other parks, and I'm really looking forward to composing there whilst inspired by nature.

I'll leave you with some videos that I enjoyed watching during the past week before I head off to play with my violin for a while. Also, it's Harry Potter's birthday! A violin is so similar to a wand... It's filled with magical qualities, and each one is so unique to the next, due to the different varnish or woods or sound or even craftsmanship. There are just so many aspects to this one thing you could study... performance, composition, building, even science! Anyways. I'll also put up some fun Harry Potter quotes, cause I know you all want them. :)

Violin Making - a String Quartet - from the first shaving of wood to the inaugural gala concerts.
The Violin: Common Woods
Modern Masters: Sam Zygmuntowicz, Violin Maker

“Ah, music,” [Dumbledore] said, wiping his eyes. “A magic beyond all we do here!" [PS 12]

“I’d want some peace and quiet, if it were me,” [Luna] said. [DH 36] (That's where you get the most inspiration to practice, for me at least. Also, Luna's always been my favorite character.)

This entry has been archived and is no longer accepting comments.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

JR Judd Violins
JR Judd Violins

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases Shopping Guide Shopping Guide

Metzler Violin Shop

Southwest Strings

Bobelock Cases

Johnson String Instrument/Carriage House Violins

Jargar Strings

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop


Los Angeles Violin Shop


String Masters

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine