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storing a violin


Mat Roop
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I have always promoted the concept that violins need to be kept out in the open so that they "stay alive" with ambient sound and vibrations . But I keep running across comments that good players and expensive violins are kept in their case. I thought cases were for transport only or for when there is possibility of physical harm. probably not an issue for violins played daily, but for casual players??

Am I wrong??... what is the general consensus?

 

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  • Mat Roop changed the title to storing a violin
5 hours ago, Mat Roop said:

 I thought cases were for transport only or for when there is possibility of physical harm. ....

When is there no possibility of physical harm? I've seen lots of damage which occurred when an owner thought the instrument was safe. Damage, or a damage event typically comes as a surprise. How often does an owner bring in an instrument to have damage repaired, saying "I knew this was going to happen"?

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8 hours ago, Mat Roop said:

...violins need to be kept out in the open so that they "stay alive" with ambient sound and vibrations ...

I think this is nonsense.  Violins are not alive.  Sounds can penetrate cases.

I tell my customers that the safest place for a violin is in its case.

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Besides providing protection from trauma, most cases tend to moderate the effect of sudden humidity changes in the environment... I control humidity pretty effectively in my shop, but keep the majority of instruments and bows in cases, my safe, in drawers or in cabinets. 

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If the ambient humidity and temperature are under control, I keep one or two violins and bows out, in stands, and out of the way of any foot traffic. I also keep hygrometer next to the stands. 

There are no children or pets in my house, so that is not a worry. 

Otherwise they are in cases or in my cabinet.

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37 minutes ago, violinnewb said:

In my case, my violin is well protected.  

In my hands, God knows what kind of destruction can come about.

That made me laugh. It brought to mind those rock stars with guitars in their hands who smash them on the stage after their solo, “never again to be used for a lesser task.”
 

Please don’t…

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Just now, PhilipKT said:

That made me laugh. It brought to mind those rock stars with guitars in their hands who smash them on the stage after their solo, “never again to be used for a lesser task.”
 

Please don’t…

that's me after practicing 20 minutes.

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The only case it would be better to keep the instruments out of the case is if the varnish has not yet fully cured, and especially if it is oil varnish this may take some time. Even for alcohol varnish, if some  streak of the case fabric would be noticed, would be a sign that it is better to keep them out of the case. I know, luthiers should only sell their instruments when the varnish is perfectly cured, but that's not always the case...

Otherwise, the cases are made to protect the instruments, so if they are of good quality (no strange solvents or gases released by glues or plastics) they should be the best place to keep them. However, if one likes it, even keeping them in some closet or display case will not hurt them, provided they are far from heat sources, strong lights, evil children, etc. etc.

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