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What's the Name of Your Violin?


tchaikovsgay
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After having quite rapidly aquired several violins each, my wife and I have found that they need simple descriptive names so we know which one we’re talking about. Most of them are named after the name on the label, which also is NOT who made them. So there’s Caspar (da Salo), Garimberti or just Berti (student-made copy), Romeo (Antoniazzi), del Gesu, Zucchini (posthumous work by Ronchini, but it’s slender, yellow, and has stripes), and ‘the fiddle’. And the violas Fortuna (which looks like it is fortunate to have survived for so long) and Pension Fund (Garimberti, real one this time).

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19 hours ago, Mike_Danielson said:

I named my most recent cello, Lady Julia.  This cello is a copy of the King Amati.

Lady Julia is named after Julia Bulette of Virginia City, Nevada.  She was a famous prostitute in the late 1800s.   You can look her up on Wikipedia.  A much loved character.

The cello is loud and warm voiced.  No matter how hard you play it, it always delivers.  The sound does not degrade with power.  A fast, easy response with good projection.

Mike D

Much loved huh?

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  • 2 years later...
On 2/20/2018 at 5:39 AM, Rue said:

I have to agree...I'd rather the maker didn't name the instrument. It implies ownership. 

And if someone else has staked a claim I am less likely to "bond".

That would be worse than borrowing an instrument - in which instance you know it will have to be returned at some point.

Mind games...^_^

Could you expand further on this idea? I wonder if many people feel this way? 

For myself, it is like meeting and getting to know that individual. I have played over a hundred named instruments and it is interesting to see them in other shops or at auction. "Maria," "Anna Maria" and mythological names were popular. There is one in particular that I sold years ago ( and wanted to purchase at the time ) and it has made it through an auction and is being sold for twice ( 2.5x ) what it was sold for in a relatively famous shop. Should have bought it then...

I have owned 4 violins with names written inside in the past. As it turned out, one name was for a particular form, so a model name, not individualized. Otherwise, though it is mainly a tool, others would ask about them by name.

My thought, is that if the name is added at the end of production, it is a bit more trivial. Perhaps like naming a ship or a boat. But if the wood, or the particular season, or an event influenced the name of the instrument, the maker must have an added or at least an experiential attachment to the instrument. One maker said that after the varnishing process, an instrument would be named simply because its appearance would evoke a moniker. The process can take time and be a stressful.

Then there is the financial value of having a more individualized instrument... 

Other makers immediately recognize the instruments brought in and that is fascinating too. A maker recognized a 30 year old instrument that i had been performing on and knew of all the repairs. He asked about any possible changes but I only asked for the back story, if there was one.   

And are most names feminine? I hope to see a "Bob," "Jerry," or a "Dave" out there. 

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When you name something - for example,  your baby - it implies ownership of the baby and that YOU have the right to name your baby.

Once the baby is named, the name becomes a part of who that baby is.  Even if the name changes, or a nickname is used, the original name remains part of that baby's history. And you were the point of origin.

Three years ago we adopted two young female cats from the shelter. The shelter names "their" animals, because at that point in time the shelter "owns" those animals. They don't have to do this, they can easily number/code animals - which would likely be better regardless. We kept the shelter name for one cat (because I like it)...but when I use it I always remember the shelter picked her name, I feel like they still have a stake in her ownership.

If they had given her a numbered code, ex: 2017FDSHTux1, I would then have named her and thereby had that feeling of true ownership.

So...if a luthier names their creation, it's automatically more personal and the luthier has created a stronger bond of ownership.

Do you then "own" the named Lucy or Ludwig, or do you become the custodian?

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I thought that I had participated in this chat the first time it came around. Apparently not, so I can share.

Interesting comments about names. I very much agree that to name someone or something is a partial claim of ownership. 

Even if someone changes the name of my cello, or ignores it, It will always be “heavenly voice”

Once given the name never goes away. How many Strads or other great instruments are called “the ex Smith, ex Jones, ex Etc”

Edited by PhilipKT
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29 minutes ago, Rue said:

When you name something...........it implies ownership ............

Do you then "own" the named Lucy or Ludwig, or do you become the custodian?

I feel that, with several of the types of objects I am owner and user of. I'm also a custodian in a long line of them.  Nearly all of my violins and weapons, as well as most of my hand tools, are at least antiques, but some of my edged weapons are 500 to 700 years old, and carry a definite burden of historical responsibility.  At the moment, I'm the curator, but there will be others.  :)

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3 hours ago, Rue said:

When you name something - for example,  your baby - it implies ownership of the baby and that YOU have the right to name your baby.

Once the baby is named, the name becomes a part of who that baby is.  Even if the name changes, or a nickname is used, the original name remains part of that baby's history. And you were the point of origin.

Three years ago we adopted two young female cats from the shelter. The shelter names "their" animals, because at that point in time the shelter "owns" those animals. They don't have to do this, they can easily number/code animals - which would likely be better regardless. We kept the shelter name for one cat (because I like it)...but when I use it I always remember the shelter picked her name, I feel like they still have a stake in her ownership.

If they had given her a numbered code, ex: 2017FDSHTux1, I would then have named her and thereby had that feeling of true ownership.

So...if a luthier names their creation, it's automatically more personal and the luthier has created a stronger bond of ownership.

Do you then "own" the named Lucy or Ludwig, or do you become the custodian?

Thank you and fine points...

A baby created should be named by the parties involved... that makes sense. No connection is more personal.

Your animal shelter experience is one that is more familiar. Those at our local shelter pick names carefully with many volunteers offering up their favorite choices and appropriately to enhance the personality of the hopeful pets. This is especially important, if several animals are released from isolation. Sometimes the pets learn to respond to their new name ( as they had likely had a different one before ) making them more charming if not personable to a new family.

Since someone else will be playing my instruments 30 years from now, it will not matter either way, but if the instruments were named "Orion," "Adelaide," or "Canyon," I think they would not care either way about the name, but someone like myself would look into it. 

So... I am dead, the luthier is long gone... do we still care about ownership? We are lucky to be custodians ( at a cost ) but hopefully the new owners will feel that the instrument play very well. 

 

 

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  • 10 months later...

My violin's name is gandhi after the famous man mentioned in martin luther king's story. (we we're studying him in school lol) I love my violin, and it deseverd a name with purpose! 

 

My beloved bow also needed a good name, because even if there the same instrument, they both are there separate souls and selfs. (i sometimes think my violin is dead and doesn't have a soul because it keeps haunting me by taunting that i'm a sucky violin player lol) I named it Cinder, like the black specs that litter the ground after you have a fire. I love the smell of a hot fire, and cinder's fiery spirit -that never gives up!- she deserved a name like that. 

 

I love my instrument, or presay, instruments! Although Gandhi keeps telling my I suck, I still love him and cinder deeply, no mater how good I am. I someday dream to be amazing. To have a purpose and to keep fighting. Keep fighting my fellow musicians, because will will survive. We will get through. 

 

Good luck all! (even the mean taunting instruments!)

-A young musician, with the luck of her life! 

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15 hours ago, Soccermmcd said:

I named it Cinder, like the black specs that litter the ground after you have a fire. I love the smell of a hot fire, and cinder's fiery spirit -that never gives up!- she deserved a name like that. 

That is a wonderful image. Also bear in mind that carbon is what diamonds are made of.

When you play, you can imagine your bow creating a cloud of diamonds.

“Cinder” The next time I adopt a gray or black cat that will be the name, and no I do not know you and never will I will always remember you because of that. So I guess @Rue and @Violadamore Are correct in that you will have part ownership of that cat whoever he is and where ever I find him.

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I have never made an instrument, but I have named many.  In researching the work of Knute Reindahl, I have "discovered" interesting and important facts about a good number of his instruments that I have subsequently named- often after their owners, or a significant past owner.  When he died (the story goes), he left each of his 5 daughters one of his instruments (actually, they finally had to litigate in court just which instrument went to which daughter).  Each of those instruments now has a name, such as the Miss Ruth, the Miss Olive, etc.  A few are named "Ex _____" after well-known owners; A few are named after their carved heads and decorations, such as "the Magus" for his carved head of a wolf in sheep's clothing (the wolf's clawed feet protrude at the sides of the sheep's face)  (Magus, the singular form of Magi,IMG_0158.thumb.JPG.09b923c6da327c179b0374b65f05d8c2.JPG being a root word for magician, or in this case, a trickster).

1624132457_Reindahldaughtersadj.jpg

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On 4/9/2020 at 8:16 PM, Violadamore said:

I feel that, with several of the types of objects I am owner and user of. I'm also a custodian in a long line of them.  Nearly all of my violins and weapons, as well as most of my hand tools, are at least antiques, but some of my edged weapons are 500 to 700 years old, and carry a definite burden of historical responsibility.  At the moment, I'm the curator, but there will be others.  :)

From my website:


Some people love the idea of continuing a tradition: being the next in a long line of caretakers of a great instrument, each of which has a lineage; good, bad, amateur and great players going back a hundred years or two hundred, three hundred, more. A new caretaker has it for a time, sharing in the past and contributing to the future, until passing on to the next in line, becoming part of a history spanning centuries.

Others start a tradition, and take the first steps on that long journey to tomorrow.
My Caron starts with me. Every day God sends, that cello is either in my hand or in the case, or, if I am teaching, safely on top of the piano.
Every day, I take care of her, because in 400 years, someone will be playing her, and every time she speaks, they will remember me.
"Heavenly Voice."
天籟
My Caron.
And theirs.

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20 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

That is a wonderful image. Also bear in mind that carbon is what diamonds are made of.

When you play, you can imagine your bow creating a cloud of diamonds.

“Cinder” The next time I adopt a gray or black cat that will be the name, and no I do not know you and never will I will always remember you because of that. So I guess @Rue and @Violadamore Are correct in that you will have part ownership of that cat whoever he is and where ever I find him.

:) thank you. 

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My violins' names:
Adriano, Bruno, Margherita (a female), Giorgio.
Some bows' names: Ottavio, Antonio, Marcantonio, Moro, Ciaro, Scuro ....
Some names of electric basses: Alfa, Beta, Max, Alkadia, Dama, Lupin ........
My Yamaha DX7IIFD is named Mach Patrol.

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