Love and the Violin

February 22, 2008 at 04:56 PM · I've heard of people falling for singers when they hear them sing, but do violinists ever leave their audience with such a strong attraction?

Replies (56)

February 22, 2008 at 05:01 PM · I think there is indeed a relation between beautiful music and strong attraction. Hearing wondrous music in person can elevate the spirit and mind, and raise the emotions to a sort of peaceful, warm, comforting nirvana that is akin to love.

I believe the mind can associate this feeling to that person, much like it can misunderstand the adrenaline and chemical responses of fear, for the emotion of love.

February 22, 2008 at 05:52 PM · Hmm, in a situation like that, in my opinion it's less love and more obsession than anything else.

February 22, 2008 at 06:21 PM · I think my wife is falling out of love with me due to my playing.

February 22, 2008 at 06:53 PM · Back in college, a teacher of mine gave a recital that featured the Strauss sonata. He sounded so good, with a gorgeous, lush sound that made you want to fall over and have the vapors. At the post-recital party, I was chatting with his lovely wife, and we were talking about how nice the Strauss was. She told me that she fell in love with him when she heard him play that piece years earlier. That sonata meant a lot to her. I never forgot that story...Isn't that sweet?

February 23, 2008 at 04:44 AM · Greetings,

yes, but I couldn`t stand her. Isn`t thta horrible?



February 23, 2008 at 05:40 AM · Yes. sigh...

February 23, 2008 at 05:49 AM · Nobody loves me when I play. Least of all my family. I am officially a closet violinist.

February 23, 2008 at 05:57 AM · Aw, Catherine, but some love is done secretely without you knowing it...

February 23, 2008 at 07:06 AM · This might sort of count:

I once struck up a conversation with a man who lived in my apartment building. He said he'd heard someone practicing the flute (my instrument, sorry, I know I don't belong here), but didn't know who it was. I said "Well, that would be me." He confessed he'd thought it was a woman and had daydreamed about the romantic possibilities. I think he really was a little disappointed.

February 23, 2008 at 09:45 AM · I travel a lot and very often I have melting girls knocking at my door. Sometimes I have to put a 'don't disturb' note.

February 23, 2008 at 01:30 PM · Yes. Every time I play the violin, I am constantly falling in love with myself, but that's usually because I'm not listening very carefully.

:) Sandy

February 23, 2008 at 03:03 PM · A girl liked me at a music camp after hearing me perform the Saint Saens third concerto. Unfortunately, I turned her down and she is now stalking me via text message and is trying to audition for my orchestra to see me. Lol.

As I recall, Gil Shaham's wife also fell in love with him when she first heard him play.

February 23, 2008 at 03:11 PM · Brian: LMAO

February 23, 2008 at 03:53 PM · Well, when I was thirteen, I developed a rather enormous crush on Maxim Vengerov after first hearing one of his recordings...

February 23, 2008 at 08:58 PM · Amen to what Sandy said. Anyone who falls in love with me after hearing me play violin is certainly doing so in spite of my playing rather than because of it. So far, I have not noticed anyone on whom I have had such a magic effect. I met my wife in a bar, and it may be fortunate that she did not hear me play until well into our marriage (although she would never admit this and has stated that she was surprised when she first heard me that anyone who had not touched the instrument in 25 years could immeidately play recognizable classical music).

February 23, 2008 at 11:19 PM · I only played the violin for my wife *after* she married me!

February 23, 2008 at 11:48 PM · This is reminding me of something I read by Steven Pinker (now there's a writer I have a love-hate relationship with...) in "The Blank Slate", about how the arts are basically just an mate-attracting mechanism. He started out by comparing artistic/musical virtuosity to a peacock's plumage display, and I got a chuckle out of it (recalling the aforementioned crush on Vengerov) but then he kept going on and on and on about how all arts are little more than an evolutionary quirk and no different from those weird crows that gather shiny objects to decorate their nests, and by the time he snidely remarked that while human artists may protest this reductionist argument, the collecting crows too would probably go off on some monologue (if they could speak!) about how offended they were that their "expressions of powerful and sublime inner impulses" were being explained as crude mate-attracting instincts, the Romantic Artist in me rebelled and I got so pissed off that I chucked the book across the room. Anyway, digression, sorry guys...

February 24, 2008 at 12:03 AM · That's Freud's take on it as well.

February 24, 2008 at 03:13 AM · Mara, no offense, but when I look at your profile pic, I can see you and Vengerov together.

Again-take it as a compliment.

February 24, 2008 at 03:22 AM · In answer to the initial question, I would say yes, although, it would probably be more ephemeral lust than everlasting love.

My alliteration is to die for, I know.

PS - Brian, there is NO WAY Mara will take what you said as an insult! Also, I agree with you about that. ;)

February 24, 2008 at 03:47 AM · Eeeeee, Sydney's right. :) Thanks Brian! :) LOL

February 24, 2008 at 04:17 AM · Mara, I believe you have a bit of a misperception about what evolutionary theory actually says. It doesn't say that your *motive* gives you an edge. It simply says that your ability does give you an edge, it doesn't matter for what reason you have aspired to and acquired the ability, it only matters that you have the ability.

Therefore, there is no reason to be offended. An individual with musical genes will most certainly not pursue musical activity because they think "Wow, this is going to get me a mating advantage". However, they will still get that mating advantage (evolutionary speaking) even though it wasn't on their mind, a side effect so to speak. That's how evolution works.

February 24, 2008 at 04:32 AM · Well, I've got no pretensions to being an evolutionary biologist, but I do know that, what you just clarified. It was more Pinker's snide tone that bothered me, which is a problem I have with his writing in general.

February 24, 2008 at 04:40 AM · fair enough :)

February 24, 2008 at 06:11 AM · Come to think of it, I did turn down some otherwise perfectly wonderful guys because they didn’t display to me their motive to improve their music taste. Only that I don't know evolutionarily speaking, who is the loser here:-(

February 24, 2008 at 07:51 AM · Take this with a grain of salt maybe, I know I did: a lady violinist once, during my earlier days of learning the violin as an adult, errm, I don't quite know how to put this delicately.....laid a-hold of her breasts and then her..........I cannot say what else for fear of offending....and said my playing had a good effect on her. I'm sorry - I can't tell you what she meant. I didn't know myself. I was rather touched, though.

February 24, 2008 at 07:22 AM · When I was teaching at a college I had a student who fell for me. It must have been my playing because I'm not very good looking.

February 24, 2008 at 08:00 AM · I once had a date with a very charming, good looking guy, and I wondered whether he was just a piece of fluff. On the second date, he asked me whether I'd like to hear him play the cello. Of course, I said yes. He played from memory part of one of Bach's works for unaccompanied cello, and he played it beautifully. That told me that he was not just a piece of fluff. We dated for a while, although we did not fall in love with each other.

I had a relationship with another guy whom I met at a jam session, and we both fell in love. He told me that one of the things he especially liked about me was that I'm a spirited violinist.

One more story: I met a guy in a jam session who was very caring, good looking, and a really, really good mandolin player. We dated and fell in love with each other. After all his proclamations of love for me (he was telling the truth) he very suddenly dumped me.

February 24, 2008 at 08:00 AM · Is it just me, or does Vengerov have a really big head?

February 24, 2008 at 12:29 PM · Marty, that was the general feeling I had too, that it must have been the playing in my case too. I am a nerd, I suspect. Maybe violin geek is a better way to put it.

February 24, 2008 at 02:13 PM · Vengerov? I don't think so. All I know is that he moves it so much during his playing that you could think that, due to the blur.

February 25, 2008 at 05:40 AM · Well, I play bad on purpose for now until my Aanakin AKA Hayden Christiansen comes through the recital hall doors any month now.

February 26, 2008 at 05:20 PM · Yeah,that's how I wound up married...RUN!..WHILE YOU STILL CAN!...SHE'S NUT'S!!!!!.....

February 26, 2008 at 07:34 PM · Does this mean you are the nut that possesses her?

February 26, 2008 at 08:15 PM · Nah,I divorced her after she spent her way through all my savings.I had to move 3 states away to get away from her.That was 9 years ago and I still have nightmares about it.Another time,back in the 80's I had one that stalked me, and my roomates thought it would be funny to let her into my room.I got home after a gig about 5 a.m. and she was in my bed.She actually went through the ceiling once into the men's room over the wall from the ladies room at a gig.The guys in the band blocked the door shut so I couldn't get out.I don't see how she did it without taking the ceiling track out as she was,uh,rather LARGE.

As far as possessing goes,we can never truly possess anything.It's only ours to have for a while,and it always inevitably belongs to someone else.

February 26, 2008 at 09:40 PM · Jeez Jay, maybe you need to consider changing instruments, given the effect you seem to have on women. Any woman who would stalk me for my violin playing would probably have a gun or knife and be intent on doing me in before I could do more damage in the world.

February 27, 2008 at 03:28 AM · I think I've gotten my fair share of admirers because of my being a violinist --not so much because of my skill per se, but because of what (they think) it says about me: that I'm either sensitive or patient enough to undertake this very difficult instrument. Those are excellent qualities in anyone's book, I suppose.

Of course, they never considered the third option: that I'm just plain crazy!

In any case, I've always believed that life experiences lend depth to one's playing the violin... and I'd like to think that these come out whenever I play, regardless of how *well* I play.

If these resonate with someone and it makes them happy, even if just for a moment, then I've accomplished what I set out to do as an amateur violinist.

February 27, 2008 at 03:15 AM · I am not prettiest girl, but my violin does a great job of attracting the handsomest guys. I don't know what it is. I do not even play that well. But maybe I am like a "siren" (you know, the weird ladies who would sing and hypnotize pitiful sailors and then kill them and suck their brains out, well maybe not that) or something.

Anyways, I do not fall for the performer. I fall for the composer. Last week, I loved Beethoven. This week, I'm diggin' Shostakovich.

February 27, 2008 at 03:24 AM · You have great taste. Who wouldn't love someone who rebelled against the Russian government by writing a string quartet? 'Tis a great work....

I am NOT a good looking guy; I'm pudgy, with big glasses, and a WIDE face. I am surprised at the number of girls who've liked me. And yes, they all liked me after hearing me play though. (Maybe it's my serious facial expressions-gotta do them more often).

Sadly, I've turned them all down. The one I was with for a short while broke up with me because I didn't have any time to go out because of my competitions, concerts, etc. And sadly, the one girl I'm chasing right now (not stalking, mind you, just trying to impress,) is not working out. I am only succeeding in impressing her friends. Any advice is greatly appreciated! :-D

February 27, 2008 at 03:48 AM · @Brian,

How about dedicating one of your performances to her? Or surprise her with a lunchtime serenade!

The worst that can happen is that she turns you down, but everyone else will applaud you for being the proverbial romantic guy left out in the rain.

That's sure to attract other people to you, and who knows? Maybe THE ONE is among them! ;-)

February 27, 2008 at 06:22 AM · Sadly, no one has fallen in love with me because of my playing. But there are those who have wanted to take up the violin because they have seen me play. I don't know if that is a complement though.

February 27, 2008 at 04:04 PM · No,Tom,that was back when I was playing guitar for a living....and since I've switched to violin,I don't even have BUGS (or bowbugs either,I looked) in my house....probably the ONLY thing I've accomplished on the infernal thing.

February 27, 2008 at 04:44 PM · No not fallen in love, but I do worry my wife may divorce me if I don't stop... :)

February 27, 2008 at 05:12 PM · I don't know about anybody falling in love with me specifically because of my playing, but those of you who have heard me are welcome to let me know, discretely of course so as not to alarm my wife.

I once fell in love with a woman because of her Suzuki teaching... no kidding.

February 27, 2008 at 10:42 PM · because she doesn`t read a book while you are playing with her?

February 28, 2008 at 12:10 AM · I fell out of love with myself due to my playing.

February 28, 2008 at 01:02 AM · So sad, Adam. :...( It was like that moment in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night when Anthony says, I too once was loved. Everything gets all serious. Poor guy. And then the comedy starts again. A sad moment in a comedic forum.

February 28, 2008 at 01:25 AM · My husband tells me that it was watching me play one day that attracted him to me in the first place.

February 28, 2008 at 04:12 AM · It isn't really love per se, but I began my teaching career when an elementary school girl came to me with her mom after I performed with my high school Fiddle group concert one night. She was begging me for private lessons because, "I want to be just like you when I grow up!"

February 28, 2008 at 06:28 AM · Personally, I would prefer that my own charm and personality attracted the opposite sex. Sadly, neither that nor my ability to play do :(


February 28, 2008 at 08:38 AM · My wife fell in love with me because of my fiddling. It was at a mutual friends wedding where she played too :)

February 28, 2008 at 08:56 AM · Mattias, you're so lucky. I'd like to have some good luck like yours.

February 28, 2008 at 10:32 AM · It is never too late to start playing at weddings :)

February 28, 2008 at 11:25 AM · I googled up an old friend from around 1975. Got in contact. "I remember you. The music Romeo."

February 28, 2008 at 08:27 PM · No, but I have had many people run away screaming.

February 29, 2008 at 07:33 PM · there's a difference between just playing the violin and really PLAYING. I mean everyone is attracted to talent regardless of what kind of talent it is. If you're not goodlooking like brad pitt then u have to be really good at something. Joshua bell would be nothing without his violin, under normal circumstances he's not actually all THAT (sorry to say) lol. I mean i would fall inlove with evgeny kissin and look past his goofyness because he's such an amazing pianist(btw is he autistic?)

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