What's your violin's name?

October 19, 2016 at 07:39 PM · I know a lot of people name their violin. I am just curious to know what you named yours? Mine doesn't have a name (and I don't plan on naming it). I just call it my baby.

Replies (43)

October 19, 2016 at 08:19 PM · I called mine Bella for a while, but then it seemed like the name Bella kept popping up everywhere from children's names to shopping boutiques to brand names, so I just gave up.

October 19, 2016 at 08:20 PM · @ Rebecca, so now it doesn't have a name?

October 19, 2016 at 08:23 PM · How about.... violin!

October 19, 2016 at 08:35 PM · I have two with names... One is the Bishop, the other is the Diva.

October 19, 2016 at 09:20 PM · My wife has named a large ornamental rock in our front yard, "Rocky". Don't need to make things more complicated than they need to be, right?

On the other hand, I once had a violin called "Rapunzel", which added much more intrigue, mystery and romance to the aura surrounding the violin (for those who are into that stuff), maybe even more than if it had been named Stradivari. ;-)

I also had a client who named the cello I had made for him, "The Orphic Voice". The cellist who purchased the instrument after the original owner's death, continues to use that name.

I wince a little bit every time I hear that name, but have made an effort to take it in stride, since that seems like the "professional" thing to do. ;-)

October 19, 2016 at 09:35 PM · I didn't name my instruments -- I just identify them by the names of their luthiers and the years they built them:

- Altrichter - 1883

- Bernardel (Léon, not Gustave) - 1921

- Pilat - 1869

Typically spend 45-60 minutes a day with each of the three.

October 19, 2016 at 09:41 PM · @ Jim, I think that's what I would do too, once I upgrade to a violin made by a violin maker. Right now I have a Snow, the last one was a Ming-jiang Zhu. Being a Chinese myself, I just didn't think of calling the Ming-jiang Zhu with the maker's name. But once I upgrade to something with a name, I will call it with the maker's name.

October 19, 2016 at 09:45 PM · I refer to my Violin as my "Mittenwald Strad" (C. Late 1800's) as it is a German copy of a flat-Strad. It plays well for me and is sufficient to my needs at present (I've owned others but sold them to people who really needed better instruments*). This particular violin was brought to the USA in the late 1800's with my Wife's Great-Grandfather. It has a lot of intarsia and has had major surgery including a new (actual ebony - the original wasn't) fingerboard, new pegs (old ones broke) and it was brought up to playing standards by a local Luthier and is now maintained by his daughter.

*I'm retired from Bell-Labs/AT&T and no longer perform with local orchestras. I'm a day-person now and would fall asleep during week night rehearsals. I have a few students that I'm sharing my knowledge with now and assisting with a Youth Orchestra building the next generation of young musicians.

October 19, 2016 at 10:19 PM · Yinmui, at least Zhu was a real maker, even if he is now deceased, and didn't personally make most of the violins which bear his name.

And at least, the name might work better for sales in Europe and the US, than a description like,

"Happy Strong Much Musical Bird".

OK, I'm teasing you a little bit, and you are more than welcome to tease me back about things which are odd about Western culture, or don't translate seamlessly from English into Chinese. :-)

October 19, 2016 at 10:24 PM · @ David, I laughed so hard at the part where you said you wince when you hear the cello's name. I think I have had experience where I wince when I hear what people named their violin. It's too good to bear an such an ordinary name like that.

Can't say about Western culture, but I do find American crazy (I am in America). The one very obvious one going on right now is the election. (sorry, don't mean to get into politics) I am originally from hong Kong, someone like Donald Trump would never make it this far. Let just say we Chinese have no sense of humor. Another one about the Americans is there always some crazy strange news. I do love America nonetheless. :-)

October 19, 2016 at 10:28 PM · If Burgess instrument owners are naming their precious toys names, and there is a multi year waiting list to get one of these precious dears..

I wonder if people were naming their Strads when Antonio was yet alive?

October 19, 2016 at 10:42 PM · I have a bunch of fractionals and call them by their size. I once had two 1/2 violins, and I only owned one of them. Since the one I own was not used, I just called the other "my violin" or the "loaned violin." The unused one was often referred to as "old violin" or "our own violin." I currently have two violins. One is strung as a viola, and I often call it "viola" for ID purposes.

October 19, 2016 at 10:42 PM · Jeff, I don't know when naming started. But the more sophisticated-sounding names probably got going big-time, when Vuillaume and Tarisio started dealing in Strads, and trying to position them into the thriving "collectables" market (which worked out quite successfully). One example would be a particular Strad violin, which Vuillaume referred to as the "Messiah", and that name still sticks today. Pretty hard to improve on that name, right?

October 19, 2016 at 10:43 PM · I'm two years into playing, always liked the name Celeste. Don't really refer to my violin as it though, never got in the habit.

October 19, 2016 at 10:54 PM · I always give a name to my instruments. Since a long time.

In chronological (age) order, my violins are named Giorgio, Margherita (female), Bruno, Adriano.

My bows are Verzino, Marcantonio, Alvaro, Arturo, Antonio, Ottavio, Sebastiano, Mora (female).

Some of my electric basses: Alfa (female), Beta, Max, Lupin, Bernard.

October 19, 2016 at 11:07 PM · Nothing quite beat "ex-so-and-so". Perhaps I should start calling my violins like that?

October 19, 2016 at 11:16 PM · my violins name is mavix

October 19, 2016 at 11:25 PM · I have a Gliga that I don't really like. Since it was supposedly made in Romania, I call it Dracula.

October 20, 2016 at 12:43 AM · How good do you have to be to get a violin named after you : ex-so-and-so ?

October 20, 2016 at 01:20 AM · Excelsior?

October 20, 2016 at 01:38 AM · I know it's considered gauche to name your instruments, but I just go right on ahead and do it anyway, every single time. And the names are tacky, too. Certainly nothing as lofty as "The Orphic Voice," lol! My first violin at age 10 was named Violet, and the next one was Elvis. Then in high school there was Oliver, which I still have and use as my band fiddle. My two violins that my husband made that I play most frequently are Ginger and Big Red. Then there's Frank (as in Frankenstein), his five-string experiment that actually turned out pretty well. My musical saw is Darlene.

I clearly need to step up my game when it comes to naming instruments.

David, we visited the Messiah at the Ashmolean two years ago. My understanding is that it was so named because it was always spoken of but never seen. LOL

October 20, 2016 at 01:45 AM · Lady blunt (second word not capitalized).

October 20, 2016 at 07:06 AM · It's printable, but with more asterisks than letters of the alphabet.

October 20, 2016 at 08:18 AM · Napoli - of which it is a copy.

October 20, 2016 at 08:54 AM · I'm not 100% sure, but I think my violin's name is Made in China.

October 20, 2016 at 11:48 AM · When I first commissioned a violin from Vittorio Villa of Cremona, Italy, I decided to make a link between a modern Italian artist/craftsman and the artists of the Renaissance - so I named it "Raphael"! What can I say? I eventually sold that violin but am still living with myself as "Raphael" so it's OK. I later commissioned from Vittorio two more violins which are super keepers. Keeping with my theme, I named them "Michelangelo" and "Leonardo", respectively. I wrote a blog about them called "A Tale of Two Fiddles".

I currently also have two beautiful violins by Ed Maday of the USA. The first is modeled after Paganini's "Ill Cannone" - so I call it "Ill Cannone Secundo". The second is a very personal model at my request that includes a Latin motto on the ribs and a Lion's head in lieu of a scroll. I call it "Sir Lionheart". I used to call it just "Lionheart" - but I gave it a free upgrade!

I've got 2 lesser violins that I'm selling - an old German, named "Fritz" and a modern Chinese called "Rain Man" - ever since it once got caught it the rain at a wedding!

I've named just 2 of my bows: My EA Ouchard is called "Excalibur" and my Louis Bazin is called "Excelsior".

October 20, 2016 at 11:55 AM · "I wonder if people were naming their Strads when Antonio was yet alive?"

I recall reading that one of the old time Italian virtuosos - possibly Veracini or Locatelli - named his two violins - I think they were Stainers - "St. Peter" and "St. Paul".

I don't see what's gauche about this practice. We work hard, we live with and love these beautiful objects that we intimately tuck under our chin...why shouldn't we get a little fanciful and add a touch of whimsy and personalization?

October 20, 2016 at 04:27 PM · The Cremona maker Riccardo Bergonzi gives some of his violins names. I remember one called "Brahms" and wondered if he made a companion called "Liszt".

In a London auction recently was a violin of his called "Monica" - made before Monica Lewinsky hit the news .... [EDIT] I believe this 1992 violin ended up at the Brobst violin shop - no pix or details as yet on their website.

October 20, 2016 at 10:06 PM · I named my violin after an old friend of mine, Madeleine.

October 21, 2016 at 12:23 PM · Mine is named Alma, after violinist Alma Rosé, niece of Gustav Mahler.

October 21, 2016 at 02:46 PM · I've never named my violin, but I have been thinking of naming it "Perfection." That way, I could say to my listeners, "I want you to listen to Perfection."

Cheers, Sandy

October 22, 2016 at 11:52 AM · First, Jane (as in plain jane) Second, Rose (silky as a bar fly) Third, Vanessa (got some class) Forth Maggie (as in magnificent) cello is Doozie, Mandolin is too new for a name.

October 23, 2016 at 09:09 PM · When he behaves I call my violin "El Mirlo" (the blackbird), when he doesn't I call him stupid piece of wood.

October 23, 2016 at 11:24 PM · Paganini!

October 23, 2016 at 11:24 PM ·

October 24, 2016 at 01:45 AM · No one has named his or her violin after Donald Trump yet?

October 24, 2016 at 02:24 AM · "No one has named his or her violin after Donald Trump yet?"

No one that I know of. His name and Hillary Clinton's are conspicuously absent from the list. So are Jezebel and Judas, which, I've noticed, parents avoid naming their kids. Must be those high negatives.

October 25, 2016 at 08:00 PM · What of Moses?

Will guarantee that the violin will successfully get through the Moses Fantasy

October 25, 2016 at 09:49 PM · - and also guarantee that the violin will successfully cross the Red Sea! ;-)

October 26, 2016 at 01:35 AM · I name my violins after users of violinist.com

I have just three violins. My current and daily use violin is called Raphael; the second violin I bought, a german trade (copie of Strad etiquette) which I loved when I saw it for the very first because of its stylish back is called Mary Ellen. The other violin is a chinese fiddle, it's called Lyndon.

October 26, 2016 at 06:39 AM · You will be getting some stick for that last name. It could also be seen as cruelty to a violin ...

October 26, 2016 at 12:26 PM · But the first name shows exquisite taste!

October 26, 2016 at 08:24 PM · I always Lyndon liked Chinese fiddles more than he lets on. :D

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