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The following may be useful to students of history and those identifying lesser known instruments by maker or region of manufacture (This is written for a wide audience of varying age-level and experience) The violin world is highly Eurocentric; sometimes unreasonably so. This view can interfere with achieving the goals of makers, players, collectors and scholars. Over the last 45 years I have seen, heard, and handled many well made, very old string instruments in major North American museums. Most of those violins, violas, and cellos were made by unknown amateurs and forgotten professionals in Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec; New England, Pennsylvania, the Carolinas, Tennessee and the Virginias. Some were made for playing folk music. Some were made to play Bach. Some played both. The quality of colonial workmanship by colonial-born craftspeople must never be discounted. The aforementioned colonial regions had sophisticated industries and music cultures in place long before Stradivari saw his first tree. Provenance plays a huge role in identifying any object. Some subject instruments have a long history of being located in Europe or the UK. However the home address of the actual instrument is irrelevant to identification - people and things move both ways across oceans for all sorts of reasons. Furthermore, knowing the specific wood species used in construction is no guarantee of an instrument's origin. Lumber exportation aside, we have had Acer platanaoides and Picea abies growing wild in North America for centuries - we call them Norway Maple and Norway Spruce. Plus, the growing conditions of trees (terroir) in the Appalachian Mountains, and the Canadian Shield is very close to that of the Alps, the Dolomites, and the Carpathian Mountains (as per topographical and weather maps). I can only comment on the history of North American lutherie because I live Canada and have travelled throughout the eastern USA. However, it is most likely that my observations also apply to regions in the Southern Latitudes. To conclude, many European violin scholars, makers and players hold to a Eurocentric view of the instrument, whether looking at the past, the present, or the future. They would be wise to broaden their geographical horizons. Sincerely, Randy O'Malley , proud offspring of immigrant Irish and Ukrainian peasants Lakeview, Ontario, CANADA
Hello all. I’ve had this cello since buying (new I think) from a music store in Cambridge (UK) in 1999. I’ve been thinking about selling it recently, but I have no idea what it is. There is no serial number (I even used a fibre optic scope to look inside). Only a sticker saying “Made in Germany”. Pretty sure it’s 4/4 (30” back, 48” total length). Likely a student cello. Pictures here via Imgur: https://imgur.com/gallery/MUFnTGx Many thanks to anyone who can help! Cheers, Matt. (I’ve since read the post about what photos to take for ID purposes. I will add those photos soon)
Hi all! My name is Alex, I'm an European pro clarinetist (and an avid amateur fiddler!) working in NY. I play classical music as a job with the clarinet but I always wanted to play violin, so a few years ago I just bought a cheapo violin in a pawn shop and began teaching myself (with the constant help of some of the colleagues in my orchestra) in order to play bluegrass (I super like that music!). First, thank you so much for this forum, I've spent so many hours reading you... I love it. Ok, let me go directly to the point of the question: Two years ago I found this violin in a garage sale in a farm in rural WA and bought it, I just like a lot the wood. For whatever reason that I can't fully explain, I really like this violin; I'm curious about its origins. any opinions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you so much again!!