I was pondering the whole old vs new violin question today on the stationary bike....what else does one do on a stationary bike anyway???
My question: how did the violin/viola/cello become an object of antique collectors and largely a collectors' marketplace rather than remain a utilitarian marketplace? Nobody (at least to my knowledge) is going around seeking out old oboes or trumpets. For $50 grand, you can pretty much get the ne plus ultra vintage archtop guitar and certainly any strat or telecaster.
The result of the violin market being an antique market is profound. Innovation has been essentially completely arrested. Even "modern" makers still make a violin with all the ridiculous ornamentation from the 16th century, and many are now gravitating to making exact copies of old instruments, essentially reducing the profession to that of a human transducer. My sincere apologies to modern violin makers on this point -- I don't mean to take anything away from the vast skill and art that the profession requires.
In all fairness I have to say that I am a pretty crappy violinist. I do enjoy playing nevertheless and am curious about the heritage.
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