A few days ago one of my students handed me her violin to tune at the beginning of her lesson, and to my great dismay I found a couple of very deep cracks running out of the right f-hole.
It was clearly a new injury; I am very familiar with her fiddle. It is a nice-quality student instrument that the family had recently purchased, which made it all the more painful. What happened? It could have been the school field trip, in which the violin had been transported with a lot of other instruments, possibly jostled around, possibly left in a too-cold or too-warm vehicle.
But I found another possible culprit: her violin case, in which the violin is quite elevated and the spinner for the bow is awfully low. She'd placed a cloth underneath the violin, elevating it further, and I could easily see a scenario where the lid came down and the spinner intersected with the wood. Thank goodness, they will take it to a good luthier, who should be able to diagnose the problem and fix the crack quite well. And possibly hook her up with a new case!
But it is very, very upsetting when one finds damage on one's instrument, whether it is caused by blunt trauma, injury in transport, or the long-term use of something like a case or a tuner that cuts down into the wood. Most often, a good violin maker can fix most problems -- I've even heard of resurrecting a violin after it's been driven over by a car! But still, we want to avoid the damage in the first place!
Have you ever damaged your violin, or had it damaged by something or someone else? Let us know what happened. Maybe your story will help someone else avoid the same fate!
Thank you to Morgan Watkins for sending me this vote idea! I invite you to e-mail me with your ideas!
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