Violin Naming..... it's personal right?

July 29, 2008 at 09:55 PM · I've found the clever barrier between the dedicated and passionate, and those players who play because it's the only thing they know how to do.

It's all in the naming of their instrument.

"So what's your violin's name?"

I have two responses to the above stated question:

- "What are you talking about? You mean YOU actually named your instrument?"

(I've found these people are the violin players that are just along for the ride...)

-"Yeah, my baby's name is _________. What's your violin's name?"

(These people are the people who consider their violin slightly less precious than their children)

Do y'all think this is true.

I've found that it's really very frequently true.

I'm about to get a new violin, a new italian violin, and it's been taking me the last two months to try and decide on the name.

Am I obsessed- or just another passionate, and personal violinist?

(Btw- Any suggestions for Italian Violin Names?)

AND

What's your violin's name?

Replies (53)

July 29, 2008 at 09:23 PM · I'm currently fretting between these names:

Leonardo

Carlo

Michel

Dante

Francesco

Paulo

I'm pretty sure it's a boy.

That's another issue to discuss later....

masculinity and femininity in (frankly speaking)inanimate wooden objects.

July 29, 2008 at 10:15 PM · Hi! Samurais used to give a name to their (katana)sword, their cup of tea and their musical instrument.

I'm more a violin maker than a player so most of the times I give names to my instruments when I glue the ticket iside them.

My preferred violin is based on Del Gesù and I named it "Cellini", after Benvenuto Cellini. The viola I most like now is "Nannerl", after Mozart's beloved sister, you can see pics of it on my site:

www.manfio.com

July 29, 2008 at 10:44 PM · I think it's totally true :)

My darling's name is Franky, and I don't have any kids but if I did, I'm not sure that if I did my violin wouldn't be more prized...

July 29, 2008 at 10:53 PM · I named my violin "Guido".

July 30, 2008 at 12:40 AM · My Anakin (violin) is more important to me than all the cute guys on earth put together. If I had to choose between the real Anakin (Hayden Episodes 2 and 3 of star wars) and Anakin. I'd choose Anakin.

July 30, 2008 at 12:49 AM · My children are way more precious to me than my violin. Even if I had "The Messiah" Stradivarius I would recue my kids in a fire and let the violin burn....no question. I mean, c'mon. That being said I am passionate about my violin. When I was a romantic teenager I called it "Enchantress". As I have aged and realized a deeper, more satisfying relationship with my violin I call her "Eve". Still tempting after all these years.

July 30, 2008 at 01:43 AM · well me and my kids named all our violins

red handmade germany strad copy 1940

thunder no label about 1900

the king excellent sounding contemporary

grizzly my sons half size scott cao

blondie handmade american violin circa 1930

tigger my daughters practice and school violin

alexis my daughters commissioned violin soon to be completed!!!

three others which i have not decided to keep or not those are called by the luthiers name. its a sickness :P

July 30, 2008 at 01:53 AM · my c.1880 british instrument: dark red, guarneri-like sound, gorgeous f-holes, man's face carved into back of scroll...

APOLLO

Before that:

German 2007 Guarneri copy: Zenzi

Bulgarian 2005 Sofia Grande: Dante

c.1920 Conservatory violin: Thea

2000 Bulgarian violin: Tristan

July 30, 2008 at 02:00 AM · I'm a bit skeptical of this "line" that separates passionate and non-passionate players. I know many dedicated violinists who simply choose not to name their violin, partially because the idea seems silly to them and partially because they don't want to become emotionally attached to the instrument. As passionate as they are, they believe that the violinists themselves hold the key to unlocking great music and that the violin is simply a tool used to express their emotions.

On the other hand, yes, there are those who become attached to their instruments and can end up naming them.

Because the violin I have right now is of such a lesser quality (until I get a nicer one), I think I named mine out of fun rather than out of attachment or value.

Everyone say hi to Gilgamesh...

*Violin case just sits there*

...

I'm sorry, he's grumpy because I was away on vacation.

: )

July 30, 2008 at 02:05 AM · I wrote about this a long time ago on my blog.

And I must respectfully but vehemently disagree; I find that the OPPOSITE is true for me.

I actually tried naming my violin, but I realized that I couldn't because it's so much a part of me that it seems as ridiculous as giving a name to your own body.

Over some twenty years, I've become so familiar with every little detail of my instrument that I can almost say that I literally know it even more than the back of my hand. (My hand is named "George", by the way... NOT! Haha)

July 30, 2008 at 02:12 AM · #b

July 30, 2008 at 03:08 AM · Haha I love this topic. My violin reminds me of my deceased cat Misty so I named it that - no, just joking thank goodness (Oh those supressed memories :().

This topic is curious itself, naming your violin is almost like going out as a different alias, maybe it helps with some peformers fight against nerves as they decide to call themselves.. George or something :P (What ever their violin name is), but does it make sense what I am saying atleast? Its almost like wearing a mask to hide some aspects - but also bring out other aspects (Or highlight them).

My violins previous name was Vanessa Mae (Bite me!), but now its a nameless child who grew up in an orphanage and I adopted it for life.

Great, now everyone knows im insane.

July 30, 2008 at 03:27 AM · Naw! You are truly, deeply...normal!

I had the audacity to name my Jay Haide: "The Haide"

and my Nicholas Darche, "The Darche".

Life is supposed to be fun!

July 30, 2008 at 03:32 AM · I name all kinds of inanimates, anything that looms large in my life, mostly cars. It fills the world around me with friends and personalities. I had a '52 Plymouth(in the late 70s)I called Maudie, a '65 Austin Healy called Aero and my 73 VW bug convert is Gnomon. The Buick I got for mom was Dino(dinosaur).

Home made red strad copy was Red,

vso from a garage sale was Itchy,

my baby is Blondie, see pic on profile...

I'm currently trying to find a name for the new (old)camper, all the comforts and a huge gas guzzling V8, I got to carry me and the cats and the dog and stuff and, of course, Blondie, back home to Calif by way of Galviston and a week on the beach...bye bye snow country;>) 4 ever!

July 30, 2008 at 05:01 AM · My Romanian violin is named Nadia, for the perfect 10 Olympic gymnast. Isn't it crazy how attached we get to these wooden boxes?

July 30, 2008 at 05:20 AM · Maybe I need to rename mine... after all, when she is missing the note, it is more often my fault than anything else.

So, I'll follow this thread if anyone has any suggestions for a good name for a fiddle. It must be feminine, but no other rules. Whimsey is OK, puns appreciated, so go ahead and let 'er rip!

But, that said....

If you name your violin, do you also name your bow?

If not, why not?

July 30, 2008 at 05:18 AM · Jose sometimes cries when I put him back in his case. He gets claustrophobic and is afraid of the dark, you see.

When he misbehaves, I often threaten him with the fire, but he knows I never mean it. What he needs is some rivalry. After all, he is an only child.

July 30, 2008 at 07:47 AM · Johannes the violin finds it hard to type on these new-fangled lap-tops (his scroll keeps hitting the backspace key instead of return) so he has asked me to tell you that Johannes is his name and he is a very old and distinguished gentleman who nevertheless still has a twinkle in his eye...

July 30, 2008 at 08:01 AM · My "sword" is named Maggie (short for Mag), my "cup of tea" is named Joe, and my piano is named Atticus. (My students are thankful he's a good lawyer.)

My violin, Luciano, sings quite well.

July 30, 2008 at 09:10 AM · Hi, my violin don't have a name. It's only a instrument...

July 30, 2008 at 09:16 AM · Your no fun!

July 30, 2008 at 12:50 PM · Iorghu

(He's Romanian)

July 30, 2008 at 01:24 PM · No, you are healthy and perfectly normal. Or if you are crazy, then so are the rest of us. :o) May I suggest...

Maybe you should wait on picking a definite name right away. Give it time to happen naturally, unforced until you better understand your new violin's uniqueness and personality. I've had my new violin and bow now for almost a year and their names still have not made themselves obvious.

My old violin was named Ashgrove and my old bow, Ajija. Best of luck!

July 30, 2008 at 02:32 PM · I don't agree that passionate players name their instruments and players who are "along for the ride" don't. I think it boils down to individual personality. Some do - some don't.

That being said my baby's name is Ari Lishka. Ari means 'strong', and my violin has to be to put up with my playing for the last 24 years. :-)

July 30, 2008 at 02:47 PM · I say it's the violin, not the owner, who shouts out its name. You get a violin that refuses to be named, well, try as you might, the moniker you force upon it is just never going to feel right.

I tried forcing a name on a car once, after replacing my 8 year old car who named himself. (Horace. Horace the Taurus.) The name didn't stick. And I felt stupid trying. We both agreed to settle with "Car."

July 30, 2008 at 04:25 PM · Itchy, vso from garage sale, had a bow named...

Scratchy, of course;)

They found a new home together. Couldn't break up a tight team like that..

July 30, 2008 at 04:29 PM · I named my car after one of my childhood babysitters, Corolla.

"Corolla Corolla".

July 30, 2008 at 06:12 PM · I love the name Atticus for a piano!!! Is his last name "Finch?"

July 30, 2008 at 07:33 PM · I know she is a fine and elegant lady, my grandfather never told me her name.

July 30, 2008 at 08:02 PM · Mine are:

*OM for my Henry Von Myer 1941 hand made violin. He has the roughest varnish but my MOST forgiving one. Love him to death.

*REACHER for my Guarneri one, from a Jack Reacher series bk by L. Child. Bad a** but has a volume that really can speak!like the instrument.

*PIKE for my Bohemian made in Germany violin, who has this beautiful mother of pearl inlays. I gave that name to my violin cause the character has a tatoos from R. Crais bk Elvis Cole series..very dark personality like my vn.

That's all the 3 that I can share right now, and they all can sings, as obviously I named them to the characters of the books that I enjoy reading.

I know I am crazy..what else can I say?

this is a fun thread ..thank's for doing this..

July 30, 2008 at 11:25 PM · If I were to name my violin I think I would name her after my first teacher. In my mind she has been exalted. I started violin when I was 10 years old and I used to think I had tricked my teacher into thinking that I was a "real" person....someone who was really important. The lessons were so much more than just learning to play music and I loved her with all my heart. Her name is Kristina.

July 31, 2008 at 01:34 AM · One of my violins that I made, I call "Michael" The name of my son,

that I lost many years ago

July 31, 2008 at 01:07 PM · I haven't come up with a name that fits my violin just yet. "Riccardo" reminds me too much of "I Love Lucy." (violin was made by Riccardo Bergonzi) My daughter plays my old Collin-Mezin and calls her "Colleen." She has never said, "I'm going to practice," in fact; she says, "I'm going to practice Colleen." If a name is perfect, I'll know it when I hear it.

I recently had occasion to buy a bicycle for $5. It was a white Huffy, labeled as a "12-speed" but that was just for show. It was a 1-speed, 2-speed, max. (Sarah said "maybe 12-speed is actually the brand name??") Anyway, her name was obvious. Bianca. Exciting, but on further reflection, exciting because she was cheap. (apologies to any Biancas on v.com!)

Still thinking about my violin...

July 31, 2008 at 01:30 PM · My outdoor instrument, a 2004 Doetsch, is Ezekial.

My concert/solo instrument, a c.1915 Caressa & Francois, is Virginia. She was the product of a yearlong search for the perfect professional level fiddle for a college music major - I was visiting family in Virginia with this fiddle and 3 other trial instruments when I made the decision to purchase this one, so I figured Virginia was a fitting name.

July 31, 2008 at 02:38 PM · No, I haven't named my violin. I have named our dogs, our cats, our children, my email address, and a few other things. But I haven't named my violin (or, for that matter, my bow). I also haven't named my various body parts, our dishwasher, or our pillowcases. However, come to think of it, I have indeed named my cake of rosin....."Sticky." Good ol' Sticky and I have been together a long time. He's now broken into 3 large chunks, and I don't have the heart to get rid of him yet. Maybe next week.

:) Sandy

July 31, 2008 at 03:15 PM · I call my Chappuy "Chappuisha"

July 31, 2008 at 11:46 PM · Her name is Scarlet.

The first Italian name I think of is Mario.

August 1, 2008 at 01:38 AM · Here are some Italian names

Sophia Bellissima

Madonna

Donna Cantante

August 1, 2008 at 05:51 AM · ...Luigi ? ;)

August 9, 2008 at 11:04 PM · my violins name is gabriella... slightly italian, sort of.

how about adriano, angelo, beppe?

August 9, 2008 at 11:08 PM · Violin in Italian is a masculine substantive, viola is feminine, cello is masculine, as well as bass. So I name my violas with girl's names.

www.manfio.com

August 9, 2008 at 11:28 PM · I have a boy violin, named Napoleon after his maker. He's a handful. :o)

August 9, 2008 at 11:29 PM · How about Bella for your violin? Oh wait. That's a girl name....

August 10, 2008 at 05:36 PM · Wait untill you see, touch, hold, hear, smell and spend some time with your new baby. Then a good name will come.

August 10, 2008 at 07:12 PM · One of my daughter's violins that she has for playing at school is named "clunky" and one of her other violins that someone gave her is named Wet Cardboard.

August 11, 2008 at 02:48 AM · My luthier allowed me to name mine....Jacomus

August 17, 2008 at 09:13 AM · This thread reminds me of a friend who named her cello Squeaky.

My violin feels nameless, but I think I would e able to identify it from a lineup.

August 20, 2008 at 12:53 AM · I absolutely LOVE my new violin.

He's beautiful, and has a deep rich G string, and gorgeous other strings, with amazing overtones.

I'm in Love.

It's true.

With a piece of old wood. haha

His name is Dantes Ivan.

The maker studied in Rome, Cremona, and Paris,

so it's kind of a mixture of nationalities in hte name.

He's definately a boy though... :)

August 20, 2008 at 02:02 AM · The Old Man - 1900's german E. Martin 15" viola (he has a few battle scars)

Hilda - 2002 John Hill 16" viola (small shoulders, narrow waist, large hips)

Goliath - Chinese cello (year unknown)

Max - Baby Grand Piano (Yamaha)

August 20, 2008 at 02:27 AM · Miloš. I'm not gonna bother with his full name again, it's not worth the ridicule.

August 20, 2008 at 06:07 PM · I named my violin when I started teaching groups of beginning violin students. I asked them to name their violin as a way to get them to connect to this strange new instrument. I introduce mine as Aphrodite to my class, always have.

Although I don't find it necessary to name instruments, I feel quite sure that my violin is female.

August 22, 2008 at 08:35 PM · My good fiddle doesn't have a name, becuase I have yet to find one that fits with him. He's a picky old soul, though. Hm. Sol actually seems like it might fit...

My travelling fiddle is Chip, after the disney character in Beauty & the Beast because some previous owner chipped all of the varnish off from the purfling out to the edges on both top and bottom plates. It gives him quite the unique look. :)

August 23, 2008 at 12:52 AM · My mom named her first cello "Elsie." She was brown and sounded like a cow.

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