Do you name your violin?

March 29, 2005 at 07:27 AM · I was wondering if anyone else's names their violins? In my prize collection of 10 low end violins, each has a name and an affectionate place in my heart.

For example my JB Clopton, Russian Style Fiddle (made in Elgin, TX in 1903) is named "Jed".

Does any one else follow this practice?


Replies (55)

March 29, 2005 at 09:52 AM · Yea, my students violin is called "an old one", and my new pupil is "a new one" ;)


March 29, 2005 at 05:05 PM · Every cellist I know names their instrument. So, I guess it is not some serious psychotic disorder. At least I hope not!

March 29, 2005 at 11:08 PM · In my music class at high school, we all had named instruments:

Frenchy the French Horn

Violet The Violin and Bruce the Bow

Boris the Tenor Sax

Clary the Clarinet

and FiFi the Flute.

I also have Damon (whom I'm currently trying to sell) and Red (my blue acoustic electric). There's also my viola which I'm borrowing from Uni, and that isn't worth naming.

March 30, 2005 at 12:01 AM · My beloved violin is affectionately named Tommy, and the matching bow is his playmate, Ed.

I also have a cheap, albeit really nice, student violin that I used to take on trips with me; his name is T.J. (for Tommy Junior), and his playmate-bow is Mr. Watson. And, awhile back I inherited an old mountain fiddle, which I call Herman.

So, that's my "family"; each instrument does hold a special place in my heart, and has it's own distinct "personality".

March 30, 2005 at 04:24 AM · Hala is my violin named after my first violin teacher, peg short for peggy is my viola and Ralph (fat and dopey like the simpons charecter) for my cello.

March 30, 2005 at 04:54 AM · My violins have always been named Max.

1/2 size: Baby Max

3/4 size: Max

4/4: Monsieur Max

I guess I'll have to name my next one Monseigneur Max.

If I ever get a really great violin I'll name him Max le Roi.

March 30, 2005 at 12:07 PM · Hm... my first viola's name was Zeezerwee Radar the X (Zeze the X for short)- I would like to credit it to a sudden burst of inspiration (of course). My current viola is Isaac: derives from an anagram of "Jessica's viola," which (not surprisingly) can be arranged as "Issac, Jess viol." Perhaps I need some work in the creativity department!

March 30, 2005 at 05:19 PM · My student violin from the kiddie days is Desdemona. The bow is Othello. Othello was given to a friend and now he's in a rock band. Desdemona is still beautiful, despite what others may judge.

I don't know what to name my new violin and bow, in the meantime it's "hey you guys!"

March 30, 2005 at 05:23 PM · Not Max Immam, Nick?

March 30, 2005 at 06:18 PM · I named mine Buri, since the belly contains a lot of air.

March 30, 2005 at 06:35 PM · Hi, I'm new to the boards. My violin was made by Josef Simon, and I started calling it Simon. It kinda stuck. I like naming my instruments because I seem to develop a better relationship with it, as strange as that may sound :)


March 30, 2005 at 07:03 PM · OK, I know it's silly, but I named my Romanian instrument Nadia after the "perfect 10" Olympic champion of several years back. They're roughly the same size and weight I think.



March 31, 2005 at 06:47 PM · "Boris..." nice, Ben. :-D

April 24, 2005 at 06:00 AM · My current violin is Lexa, a derivation of a nickname of mine...because I feel that my violin, while a seperate entity and persona (thus why she's named), is also an extension of myself and my personality...sort of like a soul mate, if you believe in that sort of thing. :p

April 29, 2005 at 02:40 PM · April, because I got it in April of 1992.

I remember smelling the varnish...

April 29, 2005 at 08:57 PM · @#%*

April 29, 2005 at 11:23 PM · LOL! Michael, my old violin has the same name!

April 29, 2005 at 11:40 PM · My violin's name is "Miette". My two bows are "Winslow" and "Alexandris".

April 30, 2005 at 01:31 AM · My violin's name is Whitney, named after the maker. Both of them are guys. The bow I haven't named yet...but it's a female with a name like Marjorie, I think.

My oldest sister who doesn't play violin anymore thought of her violin as a fat old man and her bow as his wife, a tight-lipped old woman. When she got a new bow (blonde young woman) the wife was suspicious they were having an affair!


May 1, 2005 at 02:08 PM · My violin is Mercutio, the bow I use the most is Percival and the second bow is Archibald.

May 12, 2005 at 12:12 AM · Alice, is Your violin recent, causeif it is, i've met Whitney. He works in a Delaware violin shop with a famist guitarist, David Bromberg.

May 12, 2005 at 12:30 AM · I named my violin Henning for no apparent reason, but while I was trying to think of a name, my friend was on the phone with her German friend, whos name was Henning. Oh yes. maybe that came from the same reasoning as my parents naming me Valerie, because the nurse at the hospital told them to...who knows. :)


May 12, 2005 at 12:43 AM · I don't have a nickname for my violin, but I have one for the stuff that comes out of it..."crap"

May 12, 2006 at 01:19 PM · I named my first violin Amadeus after I had it for over 2 years. Then when I got my second violin, I named it VIOLA (Long I). I haven't named my viola yet, but I will in about a year or so. The violin I have was a prototype that a violin maker sold to me and it's one of the best instruments I've even touched, not to mention the most expensive.

May 12, 2006 at 06:22 PM · No--I think it's really silly to name instruments. Other people call my violin "Crunchy", though, because it looks like it was run over by a car and then all glued back together....

May 12, 2006 at 06:59 PM · I've never named my violin. But we named one of our dogs Jascha - not out of disrespect, but quite the contrary. We consider it a compliment both to the noblest of animals and to the greatest of violinists.

My violin was made by William Walls. If I did ever choose to name it, it would probably be something like 'The Ex-Paganini.' I could then invent a story that Paganini played on it when he was reincarnated as my uncle Manny, who took 3 violin lessons when he was 12 years old and who was forced to quit a promising career when his parents found him using his bow to duel with himself in the mirror.

Think there's a chance anyone would believe it?

May 12, 2006 at 07:37 PM · No, but maybe I should.

Sometimes I curse at it:

^%$#ing strings suck!

*$D%$n squeeker!


Sometimes I praise it:

What a beautiful sound!

So resonant!

Smooth as silk!

But mostly I like the smell of the inside of the smells exactly like my grandmother's cupboard.

So I think I'll name it "Sniffy."

May 12, 2006 at 07:56 PM ·

May 12, 2006 at 07:57 PM · My quartet ALMOST named our instruments Dusinberre, Karoly, Andras and Gerry, after the Takacs Quartet...but then thought better of it. :)

May 12, 2006 at 09:06 PM · Jason, how is that Elgin fiddle? I used to drive from Austin to teach in Elgin once a week. It's a town mostly known for its sausage, so you might rethink the moniker. Being a vegetarian, there was nothing there for me (but a paycheck).

If you'd like, I could check to see if there are any more Cloptons there.

May 12, 2006 at 09:56 PM · I should tell Ed and the other guys that they almost had a quartet named after them next time I see them. I'm sure they would love it.

May 12, 2006 at 10:57 PM · I remember I was about 10 or so when I named my violin. I was just at the age where I had played long enough to get bored of practicing, and not long enough to really appreciate music, and I was getting really frustrated ond day with one of my pieces. My dad came into my bedroom and talked to me about how violin wasn't so bad, and he suggested I name my violin to make it more special. I'm not sure where we came up with the name "Twiggy" but it stuck, and every violin I've had since then has that name. I think its nice to name instruments. Why not

While we're on this topic, I was wondering. . . do you think of your violin as masculine or feminine? I can't really decide myself. It doesn't really matter, but I was curious if anybody had a feeling one way or the other.

May 12, 2006 at 11:06 PM · Ruth, I ran a poll on that very same question in another forum and the results were overwhelmingly skewed in favor of "female". Dunno why---I've always thought of mine as completely neuter, myself. It doesn't have a name either, guess I'm just boring. :)

May 13, 2006 at 01:14 AM · I only name the ones I like or use; the ones in the case don't get a name since they don't get much attention.

TLO (Light Orange made by Bill Townsend)

Amati (very old with no maker name)

Birds eye Maggini (very old with no maker name)

Chinese (I am currently using for lessons, Ling Wang 605)

May 13, 2006 at 08:26 AM · my violin's name is that symbol that prince squiggled on his face back in the 90s.

May 13, 2006 at 08:55 AM · I didn't name my violin, but I know my teacher called her instrument Janouschka (a pet name for her husband, Jan).

A friend of mine named her instruments as well: Oscar the piano and Raymond the accordion...

May 13, 2006 at 10:47 AM · I named my violin Johanna after Johann Sebastian Bach (but of course my violin is female) and because I like the name very much.

A friend of mine who is a cyclist gives his bikes French female names. :)

May 13, 2006 at 11:52 AM · i've not named mine but we named the viola player's in my old quartet "Rex".

if i were to name mine it'd be definitely be guy's name.

May 13, 2006 at 10:29 PM · Hi,

Nah... forget it. Can't come up with a name that is worth mentioning.


May 13, 2006 at 09:07 PM · Mike,

Holy mackerel. You know the Takacs?!


May 29, 2009 at 12:13 PM ·

My viiolin is American made named Victor.  My stick is named Beauregard, or Beau for short (it was born and raised in Georgia).

May 29, 2009 at 12:52 PM ·

I'm making mostly violas now, and I give a name to them. 

Viola in Italian is a feminine substantive, so they are girls. I've made a series of saints (Santa Catarina, Santa Cecilia, Madalena).

The current series are named after famous Italian courtesans of the Renaissance and Baroque eras: Vernonica Franco, La Zaffetta, Fiammetta  ("Little Flame") was the last one.


May 29, 2009 at 11:43 PM ·

Luis- What a pretty name for your creation!!!!!

My current violin is Fiddel .

May 30, 2009 at 12:19 AM ·

Thanks Royce! My latest violin (2005) was the "Cellini". I've posted photos of "Fiammetta" on a blog here:


May 30, 2009 at 10:56 PM ·

I just got through viewing Fiammetta.  That is one nice viola.  Will you post a link so we can hear her play???

May 30, 2009 at 11:06 PM ·

Thaks! Andrès Lepage played with it Beethoven's Serante op. 25 arranged for Flute, Harp and Viola. The recording is not professional. The Flute is played by Jessica Dalsant and the Harp by  Paola Baron, both from Italy.  You can listen to it here:


May 31, 2009 at 12:33 AM ·

June 1, 2009 at 11:25 AM ·

Louis, she's simply beautiful. 

June 1, 2009 at 05:55 PM ·

Mine is nicknamed Mya. It has a long complicated, really Scandinavian name but it´s called Mya for the sake of convenience :) My old one was called Maeve Meyer.

June 1, 2009 at 06:38 PM ·

Thanks Steven!

June 2, 2009 at 08:14 AM ·

My new violin is called Yuki.  My first one was called Screetch.

June 2, 2009 at 11:55 AM ·

I call my old G.B. Rogeri "El Abuelo" (Grandpa).

My new Hellier copy still has no name, so I accept suggestions. I find that "hellier is not v ery original.

I own three bows, none of them has a name, but I am thinking of one of them as the f-----g ba----rd, as I find him soooo nervous. (maybe is too light for my bowing...... or too heavy)

June 3, 2009 at 06:08 AM ·

My favorite name (couldn't find it on this thread, so it must have been from another one) was "Uncooperative b*tch"

June 3, 2009 at 08:49 AM ·


Maybe I can take that name for this bow.

July 28, 2009 at 09:02 AM ·

I decided on a name for my new violin today. I spent hours scouring the internet for ideas and finally decided on DolcéRoméo. I don’t know why, but it just seemed to fit. It is my first full size, and I still haven’t named my bow, but I’m thinking of naming it gypsy...