How many violins do you own?

March 21, 2013 at 05:08 PM · Just for fun:

How many violins do you own at the moment?

How many violins have you owned in total over the course of your playing lifetime?

Currently I own two violins.

Including those two, I have owned a total of five violins in my brief time so far as a violinist. Interesting to experience the different characters of each.

EDIT: I also have two violas....

Replies (59)

March 21, 2013 at 05:27 PM · I currently own three violins : two acoustic and one electric which I use for silent late night practice. I have probably owned about 15 violins in total. Is that regarded as promiscuous ? I usually play one of my acoustic violins for a few weeks and then switch to the other one for a few weeks.

March 21, 2013 at 05:28 PM · I have 8 violins (one is in pieces, one is a baroque replica) and a 16" viola. I only play one of the violins and viola.

March 21, 2013 at 05:42 PM · After only fiddling around for under a year with my first violin 20+ years ago I started taking lessons March 24 two years ago.

I still have the Knilling (VSO) and one I bought last August 27 (UCWV).

I can see wanting a better fiddle (I immediately put a rattle snake rattle in the Knilling last August) and probably will eventually return to early music so will want a baroque violin someday. Though right now I kind of stuck on Piazzolla and Rihm so perhaps early music will mainly be a memory.

But in any case a beginner with two violins and lots of flutes, recorders, guitars, a mandolin, a lyre harp, a glockenspiel,a shofar, couple of cow horns, keyboards and I know there more but the memory is going so who knows what else. But I am not a collector.


Pat T.

Addendum: I own four bows, though only two deserve the name. I could burn the bow that came with the Knilling and no one would bat an eye except perhaps the EPA. Another bow that I picked up years ago in a clearance bin is not good enough to burn.

So put me down for two bows, a Marco Raposo and an A Carvalho, both pernambuco with nickel &c. My luthier could not figure out what type of wood my original bow was made from, the clearance bow has a cracked plastic frog.

March 21, 2013 at 05:54 PM · I have five violins.. four of which are for sale (a 1954 Karl August Berger, one incredible Chinese violin, one decent Romanian violin, and one inexpensive Chinese violin plays well but is rather plain looking). I used to use my primary violin for all my practising and chamber music, and my Berger and my better Chinese violin for orchestral work, but my teacher told me to stick to using one violin for everything except for perhaps orchestra.

Ironically, I don't own any bows besides my backup carbon fiber bow; I play exclusively on bows that are on loan to me.

March 21, 2013 at 06:54 PM · I guess that's another subtopic for this thread:

How many bows do you have as well?

And how many have passed through your possession?

March 21, 2013 at 07:38 PM · Not a collector or hoarder -- just like to have a wider variety of tone and string combos.

4 older hand-made violins here. I play on 3 of them each day -- 2 from Germany, 1 from France. The 4th is the 2nd 4/4-size fiddle that I acquired as a student. I handed down my 1st 4/4-size instrument to my 2nd nephew when he was about 11 y/o.

Since you've opened up the thread to bows, too: 5 bows here -- 4 for violin, 1 for viola. No idea how I acquired the viola bow, since I don't own or play a viola. I definitely didn't steal it.

March 21, 2013 at 08:25 PM · Half a violin. I am not joking.

March 21, 2013 at 08:49 PM · I guess I have to say I have 2 violins + two bows. My first violin, fabricated by my grandfather, a carpenter, got me "started", but its acoustic quality (and build) is more akin to that of a 2x4, so I only play the instrument I first bought when I started taking lessons (a circa 1920 Bohemian instrument). I have one cheap ($70) bow that I keep as a spare, and one good permambuco bow for everyday use.

March 21, 2013 at 08:55 PM · Eric: top or bottom half?

Four. My primary violin - 2010. The violin my father bought me when I was ~10 (Wolf brothers); a late C18s Mittenvald lion's head violin I was conned into in New Orleans back in ~2003; and my original half sized one I used from age 6-10. The first two are in great shape.

Bows? 2 old useless ones; a cheap Chinese carbon fiber for playing outside or defending the homestead; a fairly good but slow EL Herrmann; a nice factory Busch - but with a tip repair; and a 1910 Tubbs factory copy which I now use all the time.

March 21, 2013 at 11:27 PM · Elise, don't know but maybe I should call the violin Arthur!

March 22, 2013 at 03:22 AM · Monogamous lol... I only have one but a very nice one.

If I played outdoors or in risky places for dammage, I would cheat on my actual violin and buy another one :)

March 22, 2013 at 11:15 AM · I don't actually own the violin that I am playing. It is borrowed from my instructor indefinitely. I do own my bow though, an Arcos Brasil carbon fiber model. I bought it because there was no point doing a rehair on the glasser fiberglass bow that came with the violin.

March 22, 2013 at 11:47 AM · I own one violin and one viola both made by the same maker.

March 22, 2013 at 12:41 PM · I currently have 10 violins, 17 bows, and various other instruments! With mixed feelings, one violin - by Peter Lam, 2009 - is for sale. At my last recital I actually used one violin in the first half and a different one in the second half! I'm definitely a collector and not a hoarder as my violins, etc. were carefully chosen and are well-maintained and organized.

I don't look at it in terms of monogamy - despite one colleague's accusation that I have a harem. In my paradigm, they are all my pets or babies - so having a number of them, if properly cared for, is OK.

March 22, 2013 at 01:29 PM · I'm currently hosting a total of four, plus one viola. My main fiddle is a Jay-Haide that I bought in 2008. I've also got a violin I inherited from my mother's side of the family (an 1890-ish Strad copy that was originally her grandfather's, and which my mother and I both learned on) and one that was my grandfather's on the other side of the family (it's a cheap, high-arched Amati model dating from about 1910). Finally I'm taking care of a friend's violin - she is on an indefinite hiatus from playing and wanted to have her instrument looked after and played occasionally. It's a clunky Sanctus Seraphin copy, though I kind of like it because it is very easy to play.

March 22, 2013 at 01:46 PM · "It's a clunky Sanctus Seraphin copy, though I kind of like it because it is very easy to play."


Hey, I like that! :^)

My middle name is Seraphim.

March 22, 2013 at 01:48 PM · Well, I do have more violins than I have houses!

March 22, 2013 at 01:51 PM · It's OK Raphael, no need to justify it.

You're among friends here...

March 22, 2013 at 03:31 PM · Nice photo Seraphim. But which two are the man's wives, and which two are his concubines? (Gen. 29-30).

March 22, 2013 at 04:03 PM · Just calrifying!

March 22, 2013 at 04:14 PM · "Nice photo Seraphim. But which two are the man's wives, and which two are his concubines?"

Well, all I can say is: one wife is enough trouble for any man. THAT guy on the cake thinks he's on his way to Easy Street...

I think he's in for a rude surprise!

"DONALD! I told you to pick up your socks!"

"Yes, Dear"

"DONALD! Haven't you taken out the trash yet?!"

"Oh, right away, Honey..."

"DONALD! You have to seperate the whites from the colors when doing the laundry!"

"My apologies, Sweetylump! It won't happen again.."

And then, amidst the swirl of daily chores and constant hen pecking, the Fateful Day arrives...




"DONALD!" shout all four in perfect harmony, yet at fortissimo level...

"yes, my queens?"

"You forgot about OUR anniversary, didn't you!"



March 26, 2013 at 06:00 AM · I have 3 violins and one viola. However, one of the three (named Cure) is too damaged to be playable, being from a junk shop (I use it for autographs, it was my first violin so it seems like a good place to display my inspiration's signatures). I'm still surprised I played on it at all as a beginner, I must've been determined because it screeches! Another, the electric (named Dischord), is too heavy for my back to handle with any regularity for a few years yet (made by a guitar manufacturer, it was a gift). My viola (named Crossed) is currently being borrowed by my teacher, and though I do play it it's finicky and likes to eat it's strings right when I need it the most.

My main violin (named Road), however, is my true life partner. We have a symbiotic relationship. I tell my fiancee that our marriage will technically be bigamy, since Road will forever be my wife (or something). The fact that he isn't offended that I consider my violin before anyone, including myself and him, is one of the reasons I believe him to be the perfect person for me. I went into the shop knowing that I did not want to spend thousands later on a "better" violin. I wanted an instrument that could outlive me, preferably of modern make. Finding Road was a Harry Potter finds his wand moment for me, I just couldn't let her go. I guess we technically are in an open relationship, but I wouldn't take the finest fiddle in all the land over my own, so I know I chose right.

All my instruments are Chinese, except for Cure from the junkshop, who is German from the time when Germany was the main purveyor of cheap violins. Road and Crossed (my main violin and viola) are from the same Chinese maker, Amari.

March 26, 2013 at 07:23 AM · Well, there's no shameless way to put this, I have 3 in my life. I must say it's the best fun to have a choice of a French, German or Italian romantic evening every day!

March 27, 2013 at 12:42 AM · One very nice violin, one OK viola, one very nice violin bow, a baroque bow, and a bunch of OK bows. Will find another nice violin with a different sound quality someday for variety. Am spite content though.

March 27, 2013 at 03:13 AM · In my care are four violins (1 - 3/4 size) and one cello. No idea how many bows - at least 7.

March 30, 2013 at 02:42 AM · I have two violins right now. I never play the second one, but it's there for back-up.

Let's see... in my lifetime, I've owned five different violins. I currently have a cello also.

March 30, 2013 at 03:31 AM · i have about eighteen violins and one viola. I have only been taking

serious violins lessons about four years, but have been an amateur

luthier for ten years, and enjoy the repair and set up of violins, better than making them. Although I am presently working on number two. I usually keep three or four of my favorites strung up.

March 30, 2013 at 09:51 AM · 2

My 1st one, a stringless, abandoned stagg vso and my 2nd one, a 1999 OJ Klier student violin which I use now.

March 30, 2013 at 06:38 PM · 1 violin,1 viola,4 bows.

March 31, 2013 at 10:22 PM · I own two violins - Bonnie, the cheap one I got on returning after 30 plus years (albeit with nice strings) & an 'Arcadia'(Tiger Lily) that I got when I realised that I never want to stop fiddling again.

Bows: one really cheap one, one better one of Brazilwood, & 2 cheap fibreglass three-quarter bows that I find SO manoeuvrable.

I play Bonnie regularly as I still love her, and I'm so grateful to her for starting me off. But I'll be faithful to Tiger Lily, as she sounds so gorgeous.

I may get a pukka bow in time but am desperately trying to improve first... :-)

September 24, 2013 at 11:30 AM · suspected this would come up from time to time.

2 - beginner violins; one with a german label (sandner) and the other without, but both chinese, i'd guess. ok but both have a nasal tone which is starting to really get on my wick.

1 - shoulderless viola with a baroque endpiece and gut strings. chinese made - my darling ...

1 - pochette - which is fun

1 - medieval fiddle made by vincenzo cipriani, assisi. almond shape with 3 gut strings. love that medieval sound.

September 24, 2013 at 12:17 PM · tiiimmme to tiiimmmee (topic is from March).

1 half sized (my first violin)

Full sized:

2 lion's head mittenvald that I was conned into :-3 a Wolf brother's 1888 - which I've had for almost half its life.

4 a contemporary John Newton

September 24, 2013 at 12:29 PM · I own 6 violins:



3. Chinese Yitamusic violin from 2007, don't know the model as I bought privately

4. Austrian or German handmade violin from about 1890

5. Yamaha SV-120 Silent Violin in red

6. Stentor Harlequin violin in sparkly purple. Guilty pleasure. Actually makes a great instrument for taking on holiday.

I also own two violas:

1. 15.5" Westbury Antiqued viola made by TSP UK, from 2009

2. 13" (yes) Stentor Student II viola, mother bought it for me but hid it away in the cupboard for ages...

I've owned four 3/4 sizes as well but have passed them all on.

September 25, 2013 at 01:08 AM ·

September 28, 2013 at 06:43 PM · I currently have 4 violins, one electric and three acoustic. One of the acoustic instruments is in pieces, being restored by me. I have a nicer Mienel octagon wood bow and a nice braided carbon fiber bow. I have owned a total of eight different violins over the five plus years I've been playing and one cello, which I don't have anymore. I also have two guitars, one acoustic and one electric and a mandolin. I'm not ofically a collector, but I sure could be!

September 30, 2013 at 05:14 AM · Hehe oh dear.

Ok, I currently own:

My Chinese Viola, Anya. I got her for my 16th birthday, last time I saw my Grandfather alive I played her for him the day I moved to the UK... He passed away 6 weeks later. When I moved back to Australia my house burnt down and my Viola is the only thing that survived.

My Violin, which is an 1800's French violin I bought on eBay for just a few hundred dollars. Needs the attention of a luthier (needs a new bridge, pegs etc. Not really too easy to play, but I'm primarily a viola player. I plan to take the violin to a luthier when I have some more money... I'm a student though.

3 bows: the bow I actually use which is a Codabow (Viola bow) GX. Wonderful for me.

2 cheap (Brazilwood?) bows (I think they were both around $80) - one viola and one violin bow. The viola bow's frog fell apart the night before a major audition and the hair is worn down so much it isn't funny. It's mostly just for emergencies. The violin bow feels so horrible in my hand that I end up just using my Codabow on the violin.

In the past I have owned:

- a tiny violin that I had when I was 2;

- my mother still has the 3/4 violin I had when I was 8 and switched to viola;

- my first viola, which I think was 14.5 inches (I was 8 or 9 and had it until I was about 13);

- my second viola which was about 15 inches. My old teacher loaned this back to me while he repaired my current viola from the water damage from the fire.

- I have also been loaned violins, violas and a cello from various schools and people over the years.

March 23, 2017 at 10:34 PM · ~Brian Lee~I had a question I would like to ask you about your violins. Not sure how to message you directly.

Currently I own one modern violin (2007). It has a nice tone but could project better. I am looking to get an older instrument that projects. Been looking for a while! It is so tough to find the right sound....but it has been a fun adventure so far :)

I also own a couple of nice bows from Brazil (Pereira and Valdecir).

March 24, 2017 at 12:16 AM · Courtney, I wouldn't care about the age of the instrument. I own six violins.

March 24, 2017 at 01:05 AM · Two.

March 24, 2017 at 09:35 PM · One. There was a time that I had a second, presumably better, instrument that was recommended by my teacher. That instrument and I never really got along and I finally sold it to someone who got along with it. (Yes, I'm being anthropomorphic but that is how I feel about instruments - they have personalities.) It might be nice to have a backup but then again my local shop does loans when working on your instrument. One is sufficient for me.

Just don't ask about me and bicycles...

March 24, 2017 at 09:39 PM ·

March 24, 2017 at 09:39 PM · Four

March 24, 2017 at 09:49 PM · Including my rentals (and my violas), probably around 20-30

March 25, 2017 at 03:09 AM · I'm curious: For everyone who owns more than a primary instrument plus a backup instrument (for use in outdoor playing or other situations where you don't want to risk the primary instrument), why do you own additional instruments?

Instead of owning a whole bunch of instruments that individually don't wholly satisfy you, why not pool that money into a single much better instrument?

(Owning more than two bows I understand better, since you may want to highly optimize your bows for certain playing situations.)

March 25, 2017 at 12:18 PM · i have 2 Violins and i don't see any reason to add another one for now and i'm completely agree with Lydia.

my antique one is an Oreste Candi after Maggini and the modern one is a Hofner after Guarneri that i use for rehearsals and taking it to conservatory with myself and...(outdoor playing as Lydia said)

i really congratulate people who take care of multiple instruments at the same time!luthier checkup_sound post adjustment_buying new strings and....!

finding different bows for each Violin required a lot of test and failure and now with 2 violins and 8 bows i'm really happy with what i have and i don't think about increasing my collection.instead i'm always trying to experiment and experience with what i currently have.

there is a quote in persian literature that says:

more roof top you got...more snow to remove!

March 25, 2017 at 02:14 PM · I like to tell my students that they actually do not own their instrument, that they are just the caretaker of it for someone to use in the future. Therefore, it is their responsibility to be responsible and take good care of it.

March 25, 2017 at 05:17 PM · I have two as well. One that i treasure/play at home and one that i use as a workhorse (take outside, borrow to kids, show to friends etc etc.

Along the years, i had total of 4 instruments if you consider a fractional violin size that i used when i started playing

March 25, 2017 at 05:29 PM · why do you own additional instruments?

Speaking from my personal experience, sometimes violins just happen!

Same with bows. ;)

For the longest time I had only one. Then bought another one that I fell in love with. I bought my two Yitas as an experiment - no big bucks spent there. Then inherited a violin. Then, because I am open to the idea that there might be a better violin out there (so I'm always trying out others), I ended up buying one I couldn't pass on the deal. Then inherited another violin...

I have also temporarily taken custody of instruments that people wanted to sell.

Sometimes it just... happens! :)

Still, one is my primary and another competes for attention as secondary (the primary one is amazing but is very sensitive to the weather so sometimes it's dreadful to play), and the others get a warm-up from time to time so they don't feel neglected. ;)

As for bows, who knows! I've had so many bows before! Currently own 7, but use only one, with another one I like but rarely use; the others I just haven't bothered selling.

March 25, 2017 at 06:04 PM · Some people (like me) have old fractionals kicking around that never get used or are used by other family members.

March 25, 2017 at 06:56 PM · I have three violins two antiques and one modern. The antiques are a French circa 1760 and a J.B.Vuillaume 1857. My third is a Stepan Soultanian 2002 which I use in the orchestra. An excellent all rounder. Don't ask about the bows.

March 25, 2017 at 10:58 PM · I own 2 full sized violins, one is a good violin I bought new and the other is a cheaper but very playable Chinese violin that I want to get set up right and give to my grand daughter as she is now ready for a full sized one.

March 25, 2017 at 11:29 PM · I technically own two violins, but I play only one. The other violin was my student violin and strangely my parents will not sell, donate or otherwise find a new home for (it needs work, and I don't know if it is worth it at this point). It makes me sad that that violin is wasting away unused and unloved.

March 25, 2017 at 11:30 PM · My violin was just perfect for me until the soundpost was moved, leading to a patch up (following an accident in which I had fallen off a stage with it) breaking down, when I then had to have wood put in. It is still a fine instrument but the outstanding high G string tone has gone, and it lacks the power it had (I used to have a grand piano fully open when we were performing sonatas - None of that now). I have also a Piacenda, which I bought for a couple of hundred in an emergency. Not great, but a bit better than a VSO (When I was at school, that meant Voluntary Service Overseas).

March 26, 2017 at 02:23 AM · I own two. One is my first full sized violin my mother brought me and is still in good playing condition. I recently acquired another one which is my main instrument.

March 26, 2017 at 10:57 AM · I currently own 3, a baroque replica, an electric and my favourite Saxony. I started on a 3/4 size and progressed to a Chinese full size which I then traded in for the Saxony violin when I was 17.

March 28, 2017 at 02:19 AM · I use three violins.My main one is a Ferdinando Garimberti made in 1925 and a really nice John Newton from 1999 .My main bow is a Charles Peccatte and a Jean Joseph Martin for more lyrical works.I have a mint Prosper Colas that is used very sparingly but works well in the summer months due to its stiffness.

My third violin is from when I began violin in 1972, being a Suzuki violin from Japan and I will be thrilled when my son grows into it.

March 29, 2017 at 03:03 AM · I have two, and will hopefully buy a new one soon.. Over the years, I have had quite a few since I started young, and frankly I don't even know what size I started on....

March 29, 2017 at 05:06 PM · I have three so violins far. I only played one until recently when I decided to pull the other one out of storage and fell in love with it again.

The third is a student model I keep as a backup. I like the idea of having one to keep out for practice and another to take to lessons and play out with.

I love violins. I'm thinking about buying a few to fix up.I want an acoustic with built in electric pickups next.

My music studio looks like a music store, multiple guitars, keyboards, and some odd stuff like bouzoukis and ukes. I think I could have been happy owning a music store. I probably wouldn't have sold any of it though :)

March 29, 2017 at 06:07 PM · I have 4 inexpensive violins and one viola. I'm a little clumsy, and not wealthy, so I don't trust myself with quality ($) instruments. The one I use the most is a 1950's(?) John Juzek, damaged, restored, with good high notes. It's my orchestra first violin. A 1920's Roth, also damaged and restored, with good low notes. That's my orchestra second violin. A 1970's(?) Wenzl Karl, that is very load and edgy. That's my Mariachi fiddle. A 1997 factory Hofner-Bubenreuth, with a Baggs electric bridge added. It is easy playing, mellow, but not loud. I use that when amplified or under a microphone. The Viola is a big, fat 16" Shar student model. With Helicore strings I call it the world's best cheap viola. jq

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