Violins on the wall

December 3, 2006 at 08:30 PM · I have 3 violins and only 2 violin cases so i put one on the wall to keep it safe, cus i have seen many violins hanging on the wall. is this

"unhealthy" for the violin? if not is there a correct way to hang it? are there other better options than to put it on the wall? i usually just have it on a shelf or a chair.. or even the sofa but once i almost sat down on one of my violins so i know that's a bad place to put a violin.

Replies (19)

December 3, 2006 at 09:44 PM · I would say, as long as your home isn't too dry or damp (so too much or too little humidity, drafts from doors or windows, or even someone walking by and knocking it off etc.) where it's not going to bother it, it's probably okay. I've been in luthier shops where they had wires and had the violins hanging on the wires, outside of any cases.

If you get some spare $$ to spend, there are violin stands you can buy, Or you can look into buying a cheap case eventually too... the SKW ones are pretty cheap and do the job for something hanging out at home.

December 3, 2006 at 09:51 PM · if your fiddle is touching the wall, it's not a good thing for it will move and then start scratching against the wall.

Just buy a cheap case for it. There are some for under $100 even on Ebay.

December 3, 2006 at 10:06 PM · Sarah,

IMO the absolute best place to keep a volin is on a wall-hanger, assuming it is out of harm's way and also not touching anything (re Gennady's point.) -Also assuming your room has decent humidity control (but that's a big assumption)


Here's why:

1: When stored in a case with a humidifier, and then taken out for practise into a very dry room, there is more potential for cracks to occur.

2: Since It is always in the (humidity) environment that you will practice in, (again, assuming a well-controlled room) there will be less tuning required, and that means longer string life.

3: Perhaps most important, at least to me: With my violin hanging nearby, I find I practise more. I like to practise for short periods, but many times a day. If my violin is tucked away in a case somewhere, it takes much more effort to get going with it.

4: Using a stand accomplishes the same as #3, but is MUCH more dangerous. I would never leave an expensive instrument on a floor stand, unless it were in a protected corner of a room, with some substantial barrier blocking the way.

5: I hang my two "young" violins right next to my big audio speakers. I am hopeful that the constant vibration will help them break in faster. Maybe yes, maybe no, but it can't hurt.

I like to play Menuhin solo performances, and then I say to my violins, "See? Sound like that!" I often say the same thing to my hands, but so far it has not worked.

6: Violins make nice decorations. I keep spotlights on mine.

7: My violins are my friends. I find myself talking to them during the day. I don't know if they are actually listening, but it's a lot cheaper than therapy.

December 3, 2006 at 10:21 PM · I hung my Grandmother's 1920s Sear's violin on the wall. That violin spent sixty years in a Pennsylvania country farm house attic, cooking in the summer and freezing in the winter, so it is pretty much ruined. Not that it was great in the first place! I keep my good violin in the case when not in use.

December 4, 2006 at 08:19 AM · Just make sure the sunlight never reaches it - any time of day and any time of year. What is an OK position in summer could become sun-filled at another time of year.

December 4, 2006 at 09:57 PM · You know the expression "Nature abhors a vacuum". Just think of all the moths, flies, ants etc that could make a home of your violin if it hung on the wall. (Spiders are OK though because they eat all of the above).

I had a mouse running round my flat this summer, and the thought that he probably ran over my violin case is revolting. Mice are good climbers, and they get everywhere. A mouse can squeeze through a hole equivalent to the diameter of a biro pen because they don't have bones, just cartlidge. They are really amazing creatures, but really I wouldn't want one crawling over my violin. Yuk!

December 5, 2006 at 02:17 AM · Quote: I like to play Menuhin solo performances, and then I say to my violins, "See? Sound like that!"

Alan, that really cracked me up!

December 5, 2006 at 11:53 PM · The advice that hanging your violin is fine "assuming the humidity is in a good range" means, for all practical purposes, keep it in a case.

Also, the idea that changes in humidity resulting from moving it in and out of a case will cause cracks I think is overstating that danger; and according to one theory, the changes in humidity caused by seasonal changes over the years or more rapid changes over a shorter time contributes to the desirable tone of many older instruments.

December 6, 2006 at 12:48 AM · Peter,

I own many expensive instruments, therefor the humidity in my studio is controlled to stay within 40 - 45% humidity at all times. many people that own expensive pianos do the same. It is not all that difficult to do, and well worth the investment. Additionally, as I wrote, you will then need to re-tune less, which increases the useful life of your strings. Thus, such an investment can pay for itself in the long-run. (it's also better for your health)

As for humidity-cyling, that is only a theory, though I happen to believe in it. Still, that's not the same as a quick humidity change. The latter has much more chance of causing cracks & open seams. Additionally, how many instruments have been damaged because a small humidifier was kept in the case, during the winter, and the water dried-out? keeping the whole room stable is actually much easier, and much safer.

Ask anyone who owns a violin store (where, BTW, there are rarely instances of moths or mice living inside the f-holes)

December 7, 2006 at 02:40 PM · Interesting. My daughter and I have thought about doing this, but I never thought about the humidity issue. We were just thinking about it as a convenience factor. You can grab it and play all day!

December 7, 2006 at 08:35 PM · Yup.

-but heed the advice of others about drafts & direct sunlight. (and don't even THINK about it unless you have humidity contol for the entire room.)

Don't worry about that other stuff, if that were true, every violin store in the world would be overrun with mice & moths, battling it out for their favorite f-hole. Not gonna' happen.

December 8, 2006 at 08:47 AM · Well, late Lord Menuhin recommends keeping the violin in the case all the time, except when you´re playing. The body should be put in a silkbag, according to the same source. He was apparently not a fan of wallhanged violins at all. Have heard the same from luthiers. The pressure on the scroll and the neck, from holding the weight of the body is not healthy for the instrument, and the ideal, (according to my previous luthier)is that the violin be kept horisontally, in almost the same position it has when you´re playing it. Most people don´t reflect on this, but your violin is constantly carrying a "weight" upon the body, frontpiece and soundpost, equivalent to an average of around 8 kilos per string, tuned after A=440. Of course there are individual differences, depending on the kind of strings you use. Some gutstrings are made to have the same pressure on all strings, and then the "stringweight" probably is even heavier for the violin to carry. Some luthiers mean that the hanging on the wall add more tensions to the violinbody, due to the above.


December 8, 2006 at 09:57 AM · Ok, let's look at this problem with clear vision. She's got three violins and two cases. That means the odd one out isn't some kind of Guarneri del Spaghettio. The wall is the safest place for it. She won't drop anything on it, and the rats can't get to it there. P.S. When considering what Lord Menhuin says about violins, it's often important to realize he's talking about million dollar violins. He didn't even know there was any other kind.

December 8, 2006 at 11:00 AM · Thanks to everyone for your advice. I think i'm gonna keep it on the wall until i get the money for a new case.

December 8, 2006 at 04:06 PM · Many shops keep their instruments hanging.

I have 3 or 4 violins at a time out and hanging (besides a number of guitars). I have a piece of wood with padded, soft material glued to it behind the lower bout of each instrument. I have a hygrometer and a vaporizer. It works for me.

I spend a lot of time in my studio. This time of year is often very dry, so using the vaporizer is helpful for my body as well as the instruments. It's win-win.

December 8, 2006 at 09:22 PM · I keep my instrument hanging.

Did I just say that


December 9, 2006 at 12:58 AM · That's why you're such a success. The rest of us are just hung by our instrument.

December 12, 2006 at 05:19 PM · I have two violins right now and one case. I've noticed that the violin out of the case stays in tune just fine, but I often fear that spiders might find it and crawl inside to make it often gets moved to another surface.

The only problem (other than it being an invitation to spiderwebs) is that after playing the one that is left out, my fingertips are all black. This is because the violin collects dust while it's out. A good wipedown ever so often will minimize the dust.

Mom, if you're reading this, I need a hardshell case for Christmas.

December 13, 2006 at 08:15 PM · Many violin shops have instruments hanging on the wall. They keep the shop at a constant humidity. If you keep your violin in a case, watch for bow bugs.

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