Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'non-european'.
Found 1 result
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