Should You Hang Your Violin on a Music Stand?

May 31, 2009 at 03:36 AM ·

  I need a good answer.

     DO     or     DO NOT

I want to know people's opinion on this:
Do you, or do you not, hang your violin on your music stand?
I see it as something very dangerous to do, but I also see it once in a while as fairly handy. So.... Yes     or      No???

Replies (98)

May 31, 2009 at 03:40 AM ·

I have never have done that!  But I purchased a 'string swing' which is a wood hanger that attaches to the wall.  It keeps the violin stable.

May 31, 2009 at 03:53 AM ·

What happens if your stand falls over??? BOOM there goes your instrument with the stand.

May 31, 2009 at 07:46 AM ·

As that great violinist and pedagogue D.H.Callahan once said "Are you feeling lucky? Well are ya?"

about as risky as putting the instrument on a chair or in back of the rear wheel of a car?


May 31, 2009 at 04:46 AM ·

May 31, 2009 at 04:52 AM ·

I hang my cello on the same line as the laundry, but only after I've been playing it in the pool on a hot rainy day.

May 31, 2009 at 05:03 AM ·

I'm a pianist and even I don't see this as a particularly good idea. It seems slightly less wise than leaving a piano with one leg overhanging the stage.

On the other hand:

May 31, 2009 at 10:01 AM ·


I suppose you could save time and just jump up and down on it.   I have to say that i have an intense dislike of even leaving instruments out on chairs during rehearsal breaks. It is one of the firts things I teach the childrens orchestras I work with.   Basic care of isntrument.  I cannot honestly imagine any situaiton where hanging a violin on a stand is remotely acceptable.  

Good clear question though;)



May 31, 2009 at 10:20 AM ·

Oh Sam, that picture nearly put me off my breakfast!!!!  Arrgh.

I don't think hanging a violin on a music stand is a very clever idea - especially not if you have anyone else apart from you around - such as animals, children, adults etc.  Definitely a recipe for disaster.

Having said that, when the Vienna Philharmonic play, if you look closely, you'll see "spare" vioins hanging on one of the front stands, just as a precaution should someone's instrument have a malfunction.  But there again, you'd not expect these players to run amok on the platform, knocking instruments on the floor...

May 31, 2009 at 02:56 PM ·

Please, do not.

May 31, 2009 at 03:07 PM ·

It is a space saving idea. Especially when drilling holes in the wall is not an option (eg rental houses).  But I agree with the risk of knocking it over, especially with kids around. What about table top stands? They should be more stable?

May 31, 2009 at 03:20 PM ·

I've always thinking about this question too, when you want to put your violin somewhere, but there seems to be nowhere you can safely put your violin except inside the case.

I think this is one of the workaround you can do - prepare an extra cloth, keep it in the pouch or compartment. So when you want to take a rest, temporary put your violin inside the case, and cover your violin with that cloth, follow by your regular cover/blanket. Because you don't want the rosin on the strings to stick some on your regular cover/blanket that'll fall on the finish, you want another extra layer to take care the temporary situation, and that way you don't need to wipe off the rosins on the strings and re-rosin your bow again.

May 31, 2009 at 03:26 PM ·

The problem  is the shoulder rest. If we put the violin back into the case, the rest has to come out, and reattached later.

May 31, 2009 at 04:32 PM ·

Is the cost of your instrument not worth the 20 seconds of time it takes to remove the shoulder rest and put it back in its case?

 This is a pet peeve of mine -- seeing violins sitting on chairs, hanging from stands or even sitting on top of (but not in) cases. I know that it seems convenient to leave it out and not have to take off the shoulder rest, but I've seen too many violins come into my shop with cracks, broken necks, punctured ribs, and once with a soundpost driven through the top of the instrument because of falls and other mishaps that stem from leaving it out while taking a break.

 The simple answer is the best -- the violin either belongs in your hand or in its case. If you make a habit of putting it there every time, it'll become second nature. And I promise you won't miss those 20 seconds!


May 31, 2009 at 05:06 PM ·

Hanging your violin on a stand is just as bad as dangling your violin on a wire hanger out of an eighth floor either case, if it does fall, the results will be remarkably similar.

DON'T DO IT. please? please please?

May 31, 2009 at 06:03 PM · 

Here's a pic of a string swing, violin wall hanger. Works great for me.  I leave the shoulder rest attached.

May 31, 2009 at 10:48 PM ·

"Anything than can go wrong, will go wrong." 

That's Murphy's Law, not Murphy's Theorem ;-)

May 31, 2009 at 11:24 PM ·

 DO NOT!  (hang it on a stand, put it on your chair, etc.)

Unless you hate your violin or it's a junker.

It doesn't matter what the high-profile players may do. We have repaired plenty of their violins too. :-)

Avagliano said it well: A violin belongs in your hand, or in the case. Be careful of where you put the case too.

There are a few other home and commercial storage options, but covering the "does and don'ts" of these would require several pages.

June 1, 2009 at 12:57 AM ·


I see people do this all the time in orchestra rehearsals.   All that has to happen is that you (or someone else) walk by and not notice/forget, or misjudge the distance, or lose their balance & stumble, or misjudge the size of their butt, and there you are with a destroyed instrument.

Do not park your bow on the stand, either. 

June 1, 2009 at 01:17 AM ·

"misjudge the size of their butt".


June 1, 2009 at 09:17 AM ·

Slightly on a tangent but still related.  You know the thing that really really annoys me at rehearsals?  It is when cellists and basses leave their instruments on their side by their seats during breaks etc.  The number of times I've tripped or nearly tripped over the necks of the instruments or seen other people do so is ridiculous.

I expect David and his colleagues have seen quite a few of these kind of repairs as well...

June 1, 2009 at 09:54 AM ·

My advice?  NEVER EVER EVER hang your violin on a stand.  If putting it back safely in a case is not an option, for $20 or $30 you can get a violin stand and put it off in a corner out of the way.

June 1, 2009 at 01:51 PM ·

I'm with Rosalind, that drives me nuts as well. even if it's a 10-15 minute break. put the (violin, cello, bass) back in its case.

hanging it on the stand (even if the stand is a hamilton or similar sturdy stand), putting it (and bow) on the chair... not smart. People do this all the time at my orchestra.

Now, here's something that I think is generally less dangerous - most of us won't put our violins on the chair or hang it off our stand.. what about placing your bow on the stand? anyone have thoughts on this?


June 1, 2009 at 02:01 PM ·


RE that swing... is the violin supported by the scrollbox or pegs? I've seen people use that sort of holder for electric guitar and bass... one must be very careful with even those. I've seen a bass twist and fall a few feet to the floor, and that's without anyone touching it. 

June 1, 2009 at 02:43 PM ·

My kids just completed a chamber camp. Cellos and endpins poking everywhere. Scary.. My heart skips a beat everytime my kids have to walk pass one of those.

June 1, 2009 at 03:13 PM ·

Allan Chu asked:

"What about placing your bow on the stand? anyone have thoughts on this?"


That's reasonbly safe, as long as it's a very short bow which doesn't protrude from the sides of the stand. (insert smiley)

June 1, 2009 at 03:45 PM ·

Allan:  putting your bow on the stand is safer, because bows are less expensive.  :-P

Actually the tip of a bow protruding from the edge of a stand is hard to see amidst all the visual clutter of a crowded stage.  Think of stands, big black orchestra folders on the stands, probably black chairs, cases/purses/etc. on the floor, coats on the back of chairs, people moving around... some of them holding dinky styrofoam cups of nasty instant coffee... it's dangerous. 

I'm talking about this as a flute player who has to wade through the string section to get on & off stage.  (Wind instrument players who leave their instruments on their chairs, or on stands beside their chairs, are asking for trouble too.)

Even if you're only talking about your own practice room (and even if you live alone), it's safer but still not safe.  I think of it like riding a motorcycle without a helmet:  you're fine as long as nothing goes wrong.

That violin swing thingy looks like it'd be OK as long as it's somewhere that would be just about impossible to bump into, e.g. above a desk.

June 1, 2009 at 05:18 PM ·

June 1, 2009 at 05:17 PM ·

This seems like a silly question to me.  I've never come across this in all my years playing... of course I play in professional orchestras where people pay dearly for their instruments so you'd never see this sort of thing.  Is this really happening in youth orchestras and amateur groups?  Unbelieveable.

June 2, 2009 at 06:27 AM ·

Marina:  Not all the time, but yes some people do it.  There are several people in my professional orchestra who leave their instruments on chairs (and bows on stands) during breaks.

June 2, 2009 at 01:18 PM ·

<<Allan:  putting your bow on the stand is safer, because bows are less expensive.  :-P>>

Bruce, I know people that have spent more on their bows than their violins.

June 2, 2009 at 03:00 PM ·

OK, then for those people it's OK to hang their violins on their stands, as long as the bow goes in the case.  :-P

June 2, 2009 at 02:40 PM ·


I worked at at violin/viola/cello shop for a year, and we would have this constant inflow of broken cellos - for that very reason. :-) 

June 2, 2009 at 03:46 PM ·

>Bruce, I know people that have spent more on their bows than their violins.

My teacher plays a $12,000 violin.  He has 4 bows.  The cheapest is $15,000.  I think when you get to pro level, the bow is more important than the violin.  At least, that is what most pros will tell you.

June 2, 2009 at 04:25 PM ·

Smiley are you hinting at a price range for your new bow acquisition?


June 2, 2009 at 06:57 PM ·

Having said that, when the Vienna Philharmonic play, if you look closely, you'll see "spare" vioins hanging on one of the front stands, just as a precaution should someone's instrument have a malfunction.  But there again, you'd not expect these players to run amok on the platform, knocking instruments on the floor...

Rosalind, I am SO glad you posted that. My daughter and I went to see the Vienna Phil recently and we were completely perplexed at the sight of the spare violins. Afterwards asked everyone we could think of what was going on with those hanging violins-- even a music student from Vienna who apparently has never noticed them. It was a standard program, so there was no need to have a detuned violin around-- we could not figure out why those poor instruments were hanging so vulnerably. The idea that they were spares didn't make sense to us, but I guess that's exactly what they were.

June 2, 2009 at 08:01 PM ·

Smiley are you hinting at a price range for your new bow acquisition?

Allan, gosh no.  I probably do have more money than sense, but not that much more.  I've started a bow thread, but I guess it is still pending approval.  I've noticed that sometimes it can take several days (even a week) from the time you create a new topic, to the time it gets displayed. Perhaps Laurie reads them first before allowing them out to the public.


June 2, 2009 at 08:12 PM ·

By the way, I would never, ever hang my violin on a music stand.  I've only had it for a few weeks now, but I was telling my wife, I'd rather have my car stolen, than my new fiddle.  In fact, I'd rather have both our cars stolen.  Cars can be replaced.  But a violin, that's almost like a family member.  It's amazing how attached one can get to a musical instrument.  Hopefully, not all violinists are as loco as I am :-)

June 2, 2009 at 08:16 PM ·

"Hopefully, not all violinists are as loco as I am :-)"

Of COURSE we are Smiley!!!!

June 2, 2009 at 10:30 PM ·

we`ve been waiting for you to get loco for a long time....

June 3, 2009 at 12:13 AM ·


you are not at all loco...We do not own our instruments; we are merely caregivers. I go nuts when I see instruments abused or being put in harms way. I am very protective of my instruments. The last time I went to New York (1995) to get some items appraised by Jacques Francais, I was not only carrying a double violin case and a viola case, both packed with instruments and bows, I  was also packing  "my leettle friend".

June 3, 2009 at 12:02 AM ·

E. Smith - pleased to solve the mystery for you.  The Philharmonikern have a full-time luthier with a workshop in the Musikverein - great place to visit if you make a trip there, who will also travel with the band on tours, and he is the guy who is responsible for making sure the "extra" instruments are ready to use if needed.   Many of the string instruments played are actually owned by the private association of the orchestra, (often funded by the Austrian National Bank - including 5 Strads - 4 violins and a cello,) so new members, or even regular  trusted "extras" who don't have an instrument of sufficient quality will be told to borrow one of the orchestra's collection. 


June 3, 2009 at 01:52 PM ·

Thanks, Rosalind. We've never seen anything like that-- very interesting.  

June 3, 2009 at 03:34 PM ·

Oh, I've been doing it wrong - I've been hanging my violin stand on my violin. (Silly me)

June 6, 2009 at 10:37 PM ·

Many years ago, my teacher's old orchestra did Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand...  During a break, he left his precious Vuillaume (complete with Kun Rest) inside his open case, which was left on the handlebars of a chair in the concert hall where his rehearsal was taking place.  After going outside for a quick smoke, he saw that two little girls (from the Children's Chorus) were using his now-closed violin case as a handy bench.  With the instrument still inside.

He habitually used a KUN original rest on its lowest setting, which thankfully reduced the damage done to the instrument.  A bow spinner had penetrated the face of the instrument, which had cracked into several pieces, and the bridge and soundpost had collapsed.  Fortunately, some corporate sponsors paid for the repair and restoration of the instrument, which was part of Moscow's state collection.

From then on, he refused to play the instrument ever again, after what he had let happen to it!

June 7, 2009 at 12:37 AM ·


correct...what HE had let happen to it!

June 7, 2009 at 01:35 AM ·

What about hanging your violin off your body piercings???  Or if your kid has one of those magnum hole's in the earlobe, could you hang it through that????

Come on Sam let's see some animations!!!!!

June 7, 2009 at 05:29 AM ·

Royce, the care and preservation of instruments is not something I joke about. I take it very seriously, whether it be a $100 fiddle or a priceless antique. There is no excuse for the professional musician who leaves a violin unattended in an open case. That goes beyond carelessness and laziness. It is just flat out  stupifity.  His actions disgust me!

June 7, 2009 at 11:39 AM ·


An instrument only belongs inside a closed case or in your hands...

Or in the case of one of Oberlin's professors, on the wall in her dedicated room which has, amongst other things, auto-closing fire doors as I understand it.   Even on the chair or on a table makes me feel uncomfortable...

June 7, 2009 at 12:42 PM ·

Sam- You're right, carelessness is no joking matter.  The one faithful in the least is faithful in much.  I saw Sandy's post and I let it put me in a goofy mood.

June 7, 2009 at 02:37 PM ·

Buri wrote: "It is one of the firts things I teach"

When we teach instrument care as one of the very first things, we do much more than teach instrument care.  We are initiating a relationship between the student and the instrument.  The instrument is the treasured object of loving care.  This is profoundly important in the quality of the violinist's performing.  When one listens to Mischa Elman's playing, this attitude, which was likely formed very early in his life, is generously apparent in every note.

June 8, 2009 at 07:01 PM ·


  I am grateful for all of your answers: which were all DON'TS. I will no longer hang my violin in that terrible and bad way anymore!!   But please give me some slack.  My fellow orchestra members had no idea this was such a wrong way to treat our fiddles. We just did it because everyone else did it because their stand-partners did it.  Peer pressure, if you will.

  I have only been playing a year, so my violin is a student model, but that doesn't give me an excuse.  Soon I will be getting an expensive violin, so now is the time for me to get in the habit of taking very good care of my fiddle now, so it will be like breathing later.

June 9, 2009 at 02:32 PM ·

June 9, 2009 at 02:49 PM ·

LOL-Good One!!!!!  Now have one hanging from some kid with the tribal ear lobes!!!! Hook the scroll in it!!!

June 9, 2009 at 09:38 PM ·

Notice that the two gents on the left have very diligently kept one safely in it's case.

June 9, 2009 at 09:59 PM ·

Hi Autumn,

I haven't yet posted on your thread but I've followed it.  It must seem like people are really adamant about not hanging a violin on the stand and I can only speak for myself, and guess for others, when I say that it's only because we've seen what can happen when a violin falls or gets knocked off the stand.

You've most likely heard about every "don't" there is and I haven't much to add on other "do" options - except sometimes I've been known to set my fiddle on the top the piano lid (when it's down) during breaks. But even then I'm usually standing right next to the piano the whole time. The only other option is to carry it around when you're socializing.  I've gotten very good at handling a dixie cup of seltzer water, 1 (or more) Oreo cookies and my fiddle without hurting anything.  :-)

But once a violinist gets into the habit of putting it away in their case when they're not playing,  it does provide a great sense of security.

Welcome to



September 23, 2009 at 03:40 AM ·


January 20, 2010 at 02:41 PM ·

Yes if your violin is a VSO or a Luis and Clark.

Yes if you are a billionaire.

Otherwise NOOOOOOOOO...

January 20, 2010 at 03:39 PM ·

"Many years ago, my teacher's old orchestra did Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand...  During a break, he left his precious Vuillaume (complete with Kun Rest) inside his open case, which was left on the handlebars of a chair in the concert hall where his rehearsal was taking place.  After going outside for a quick smoke, he saw that two little girls (from the Children's Chorus) were using his now-closed violin case as a handy bench.  With the instrument still inside."


Does anyone else think it is absolutely outrageous and incredibly rude that these kids would even think to do this to someone else's property whether or not they knew what was inside???? Jeez, talk about poor manners!!!!!!!!!


And, I hate to say it, but I do have a music stand hanger, and I hang both my violin and my bow off of it. After reading all of the discussions on cheap v. quality violins, I guess I just can't get past the fact that it's a real cheapie so who cares?  However, after reading all of your responses, I'll try to start forming better habits for when I do eventually get the "good one."



January 20, 2010 at 05:14 PM ·

Keep your violin in your case when you are not using it.  Inconvenience yourself a bit if you have to. (period)

January 21, 2010 at 03:10 AM ·

Well, I like to tell all the students I encounter is that "your" violin, no matter what the value does not really belong to you. You are just the caretaker while you have it in your possession. The violin I am currently taking care of is close to 400 years old and still going strong. I hope that I can protect it to my best ability so that the next caretaker can use it for another 20 or so years before he/she passes it on.

January 21, 2010 at 03:54 AM ·


It's never to early to start forming good habits. Take care of your student instrument the same as you would "the good one." Just because it's not as valuable doesn't mean you should leave it out or clean it less frequently, etc. If you care about it, you should care for it. And that way you won't feel like you're going out of your way when you upgrade your violin.


January 21, 2010 at 02:37 PM ·


Good point--thank you!  And welcome to I'm both new here and to the violin. Hope you'll find it as helpful as I have.


January 22, 2010 at 03:50 AM ·

Well, I'm a fiddler, so I tend to think a little differently.

It may be OK to hang your fiddle, but I usually don't want to go through the extra proceedings to do so; I find that without the extra Due Process, i can just subject it to Solitary Confinement much more easily.

One of the side effects is that it tends to get worse the longer I confine it! I can't understand why it would not see the error of it's ways, and start to obligingly make the sounds I want!

Because of that response, call me weak, but I tend to then make it spend time on Work Release. This does seem to help, but it does take a lot more of my time too, so this can only be considered a mixed success.

January 22, 2010 at 07:53 PM ·

I know of a lady who used to lay her Strad on her chair during orchestra breaks. One day, a couple of other musicians switched it with a cheapy and then one of them sat on that violin just when the lady was returning to her seat. Thank God she didn't have a heart attack, but she did break her bad habit that day.

When I worked in a repair shop, I used to comsider leaving business cards on violins that were hanging on stands or lying on chairs.

January 23, 2010 at 01:50 AM ·

Hianging the violin on a music stand is too dangerous and rather  disrespectful to the instrument. Just my opinion

January 24, 2010 at 01:09 PM ·

 NO! If you feel tired in play breaks, just hold it in your hands. Otherwise, the scroll is a delicate structure and it may be damaged if you hang the violin from the note stand. There is a reason for why violin cases exist and that is to protect the instrument. When not in use, put it inside and close the case (not just bang the lid over... also zip it!). If walking 10 feet back stage to your case is so much trouble, you are either lazy or rude towards your instrument.

January 10, 2011 at 11:36 AM ·

I was thinking of having a hanger on the wall above my Mrs Organ for my Violin, until I read this post.  Then decided, due to heat, cold, humidity, mainly, it wouldn't be worth it for a few seconds packing/unpacking and fitting the shoulder rest.

Then decided a hanger was a good idea, so got the size of the hanger, measured the violin and bow, with shoulder rest fitted, then started planning with my brother (joiner).  The result was going to be a wall mounted case, varnished in the same colour as my Violin.  The wall hanger was going to be inside the case, and the case lined with velvet covered foam, cut to the size and shape of the Violin and bow, to supply full allround support.  Then a glass fronted door added to supply insulation against rapid temperature changes, and humididty.

After all was planned, I decided, it was a lot of hassle for what would save me approx 10 seconds taking it out of the existing zipped case, so went no further with it, but It would look good though, particularly if the velvet lining was in a cream colour, and the top of the case had a small display light mounted inside. 

I'm sure that you ALL on here would agree, that type of wall hanging would be ok, for even the most expensive of instruments, as it would be a solid, vertical, fixed version of the thing you carry around, but you'd also get the joy of seeing it there anytime you look.


January 11, 2011 at 01:22 AM ·

Slide the shoulder rest off the violin, and place the shoulder rest on the music stand

Place the violin in the case

Place the bow where you like; possibly velcro it vertically against the shaft of the music stand, so it does not overhang?

January 11, 2011 at 01:48 AM ·

"Should you hang you violin on a music stand?"


CERTAINLY NOT - only conductors ...

January 11, 2011 at 02:45 AM ·

 You all write as if most (orchestral) music stands are tight enough to take the weight of a violin to begin with.  Ours often won't support  the music.

"only conductors...."
I like that....or foot-tappers in front of you, the ones who can't tap in tempo.

January 11, 2011 at 05:51 AM ·

 Absolutely not.  Too much chance for damage to the instrument if it falls off.  I've seen at least one violin fall off of the music stand and either go out of tune or worse.  A better alternative is to put it on top of your case temporarily (if you have it under your chair or near your stand).  Or better yet, just ask your stand partner to hold it for you; I've done this many times and have returned the favor as well.  Much safer than hanging it from your music stand!

January 11, 2011 at 07:00 AM ·

I have a hanger, the type that mount on the music stand and I put my violin on that quite often. No problems so far. But I have to carefully put the stand out of the way in my tiny apartment so nobody/doggie may accidentally hit the stand.

My teacher has the habit of mounting the scroll to the edge of his music stand, as you usually see in the store they hand it with wire. Every time he does that with my violin, I politely grab it and hold it on my own hands. And he has not realized that I don't like it that way. How insensitive haha!

January 11, 2011 at 04:43 PM ·

 Just to answer the original question (because I can't be bothered looking through any other questions that have popped up along the way), I NEVER EVER EVER hang my violin off the music stand. I once saw someone in orchestra who did that and it was knocked off and the bridge came flying off which then resulted in the sound post falling! It was pretty scary for the lot of us to be honest!

January 11, 2011 at 05:06 PM ·

 My cello teacher told me that once when he was playing in a private recital of Early Music being given in a great mansion, during the interval one of the musicians left his priceless original viola d'amore on an upholstered chair. A titled lady, equally well upholstered so I was given to understand, sat down in that chair. The instrument was irreparable.

January 11, 2011 at 06:35 PM ·

What, this old thread, again?!!

It is the Darwin Award for Violinists.

January 12, 2011 at 12:13 AM ·

I have a big printer back in a corner where it won't be bumped into, with a rather flat top.I have an extra thick t-shirt spread over it and set my violin on that, when I am not actually playing it.

A music stand makes me think of something in the public, meaning with other people around who might run into it, so, no, never, it would be in my hand, or in a closed case, period.

February 2, 2011 at 08:18 AM ·

 When I used to use a $100 violin for my school orchestra, I'd hang it on the stand...i hated that violin

However with my OTHER violin, completely different story.

February 2, 2011 at 08:20 AM ·

I agree totally with John. I did it growing up, at school, because nobody stopped me. I had an old klunker. The idea of doing that with my violin today sends a shiver down my spine!

It is dangerous to do because someone has only to bump it and it's on the floor.  It's just hanging there in mid air.  Plus, the edge of the stand can knick the inside of the scroll (I have the old klunker as proof). Plus, to me it's like leaving a baby alone in a car. Why would you do something that could cause it harm?

February 2, 2011 at 08:41 AM ·

I do it with my violin, I feel its safer than sitting on a chair with the neck sticking out waiting for somebody to walk into it.  90% of the time I am sitting right there though.

February 2, 2011 at 02:43 PM ·

Music stands are NOT designed for hanging instruments or bows on!

In the barn dance band I play in the fiddle players use violin stands alongside or just underneath their music stand to park their instruments when not playing. Here is a typical violin stand (there are many others advertised on the web):

Anyone who has played in a band (as opposed to an orchestra), will know that it is a crowded and hazardous working environment, often on a small stage, with microphone, PA and other electric cables all over the place, microphone and music stands, PA monitors, chairs, a mixing desk, a solitary table (mixing desk for the use of), instrument cases, boxes of sheet music, and bottles or glasses of much-needed refreshment. The good news is that barn dance and ceili bands do not have a conductor – one less hazardous item on the stage. 

In a band there is usually nowhere for a violinist or guitarist to have their case near where they are playing, and during a break it can be a hazardous business carrying an instrument to the safety of its case at the back or side of the stage. Instrument stands are therefore essential items in bands, and I would recommend them as possibilities for orchestral playing. 

February 2, 2011 at 10:09 PM ·

Kevin, I never would put my on a chair and walk away. Yikes. I bring it with me. I can't think of a circumstance where I would ever do that. If I'm at rehearsal once it's starts, you don't get up. You certainly don't get up at a concert! And if I have to get up for some reason I can just hand it to another violinist or go put it in the case.

Then there is what Trevor suggested and I agree. I have a violin stand that I use if I'm playing in a non-classical setting. But, even then, I put it as far away from the open as possible, where no feet are going to  kick it. Hanging on a music stand is the last place a violin should ever be.

February 2, 2011 at 10:42 PM ·

Would someone please describe to me a situation where you were in such a hurry that you didn't have time to take off the shoulder rest, put the violin in the case, and close the latch (if not zip the zipper)? A few months ago my metronome malfunctioned and began to smoke. For all I knew, it could have started on fire any second. But even so, I still took off the shoulder rest, put the violin in the case, and closed the latch. It takes what, five seconds? What in heaven's name is happening to people that they can't spare five seconds? Heart attacks? Strokes? Seriously, I'm drawing a blank.

I think all of us should treat our violins like Strads. There's no good reason not to.

February 3, 2011 at 12:45 AM ·

I don't know about in an orchestra setting -- most of those people just bring the things with them when they walk on stage, and carry them off.  Even if we're talking about people who are careful, I'd hate to have 104 people filing past instrument stands on the floor.  Someone is going to trip or kick something over even by mistake.

My only concern for my viola is that it be cat-proofed when I'm not holding it.  My kitty likes to sleep in the chair the arms of which usually has my open case propped across them.  (It's one of those big wagon-wheel chairs, so it's quite stable.)  I don't want her or my roommate's cat to knock viola or case over, but I also don't want cat hair in the case.  It'll be there until Doomsday.

February 3, 2011 at 05:32 AM ·

Your violin, your choice. I wouldn't do it.

February 3, 2011 at 10:34 AM ·

...depends on whether you want to claim on your insurance or not...


February 3, 2011 at 11:56 AM ·

The CLOSED case is the ONLY safe place to put your violin....if you need to leave the stage for any reason, take it with you and put it in the case till you go back on stage or back to what ever you were doing....taking the shoulder rest off and putting it in the case only takes a minute....the decision not to take that minute could cause you a great deal of heartache....

February 3, 2011 at 12:19 PM ·

Okay, for those of us who do not only play in one kind of setting, do our thing, then get up and leave, but also perform in front of an audience or in a small group (and play multiple instruments) ...

It's not really polite to ask the audience to hang on a sec while you take off your shoulder rest, put your violin in it's case (providing you have the space for all this), close the case, and zip it up because you have to change instruments. It's not polite to the other musicians, and rather a silly thing to do. What are they to do...hold a note while you do all this if you have to change instruments during a tune?

The point is, the solution is NOT to hang your violin from the music stand or lay it and the bow across a chair. There are instrument stands made just for these occasions.

As  far as playing in an orchestra, I am not sure what you are referring to, Janis, when you said "most of those people just bring the things with them when they walk on stage, and carry them off". The only things we bring on stage are our instruments and sheet music. I guess I missed your meaning!

February 3, 2011 at 05:25 PM ·

Precisely what you said -- orchestra players generally bring their instruments with them on stage and walk off carrying them.  Sometimes the bigger ones, like the basses, will be leaned on a chair during intermission, but not often.  I just can't see how a large number of instruments stands with violins propped in them would be safe with 104 people filing past them.

February 3, 2011 at 05:37 PM ·

I think this should have a simple answer. Don't hang it on your stand. Take it with you or put it in your case. Or both.

February 3, 2011 at 06:23 PM ·

A side comment: that's one of the nice things about playing a piano.  When people mistakenly kick that, they usually limp afterwards.  :-)

February 4, 2011 at 09:16 AM ·

I see Janis, thanks for answering. And, that was really cute what you said about pianos!

February 4, 2011 at 01:15 PM ·

that's one of the nice things about playing a piano.  When people mistakenly kick that, they usually limp afterwards.  :-)

I have often pondered that it's easier to carry and store your instrument when you are in a choir.

I sometimes try that one on a bass player, while he/she is loading up the car after a rehearsal.

February 4, 2011 at 01:53 PM ·

Yes John - but violins are less susceptible to seasonal infections....

February 4, 2011 at 02:14 PM ·

 Wow, I guess I'm in the minority.  The only instance of my leaving it hanging unattended is playing at the church.  During communion we play two tunes, I play one, go to communion and come back and slip in for the second.  There are only three of us, pianist, flute player and me.  That way I can play right away as soon as I come back.

February 4, 2011 at 05:06 PM ·

John, they only get one set of strings to last them the rest of their lives, though ... *shiver*

February 5, 2011 at 07:46 AM ·

when is the "BAZINGA" coming?

February 5, 2011 at 08:19 AM ·



February 5, 2011 at 10:51 AM ·

Which raises the question: what CAN one hang off one's music stand?

(doing my bit here)

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