Thursday, February 14, 2008

ruined (forgive the melodrama)

I forgot my bow yesterday. I was running late for a violin lesson and I stuffed the violin in its case, grabbed the tuner and rosin and ran out the door. Only when I reached for the bow at my teacher's house did I realise it was still perched on its stand. So I politely asked if I might borrow a bow from amongst her collection.

And I fell into heaven. Her bow was incredible. My violin sang with the most beautiful tone it has ever produced - and that despite only a smattering of practice during the previous fortnight. I know a poor worker blames their tools, but my violin became putty in my hands under the touch of that bow.

In wonder I asked hopefully if a bow matures in sound over time like a violin does. No, she didn't think so. It might produce a slightly different tone when it was rehaired, but there is no significant improvement in the sound of a bow over time.

My next question was how much her bow was worth, since mine cost $300 (expensive in my mind) but it didn't come near the sound of hers. She couldn't quite remember how much it was valued at most recently, but maybe $1500 or $2000.

Yes. I typed that correctly. $1500 or $2000. Is it any wonder it sounded like heaven?

It was the best lesson I have ever had. But now I'm ruined for practising. My bow just doesn't compare! I guess I'm saving for a new one.

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At 3:03 am, February 15, 2008, Blogger Deanna said...

I know. I wouldn't mind a gold flute; well, even a silver one would do. My student flute plays okay when I help lead hymns at church, but, sigh...

Still, I think in my case it's very true that the most expensive instrument would be only okay in my hands, so I'll be fine.

If you're compelled to save for the wondrous bow, may the money somehow appear!

At 6:26 am, February 15, 2008, Blogger Cherie said...

Fine instruments make a difference, so I'm told, but it takes one with skill to make it so. You have more skill that you apparently knew. Sell your car. But a bow.

At 9:55 am, February 15, 2008, Blogger Mike S said...

Not being a violinist, I unknowingly gave a friend a graduation (from music school)gift of a bow the salesgirl assured me was 'very nice' and, being in a hurry, charged it without really looking. Thankfully, I looked into the matter a bit before making a fool of myself by protesting the 'erroneous' $2200 US charge. The young lady who received it still thanks me every time she sees me even after 30 years. She still also uses it today as a professional violinist, a rather touching tribute to my complete lack of 'bow knowledge' at the time. (I thought about $400-$500 US was a 'nice' one)


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