October 29, 2008

Trick or Treat? Dr. Frankenstein's violin???

Ever wonder what lurks inside all the pretty varnished wood of the string instruments you see on stage? Or ever wonder how some of these relatively fragile instruments have survived for so many centuries? Seeing as it’s Halloween, I thought I’d share some “scary” pictures of the inside of my violin. (Warning – it’s quite a frightful sight and not for the faint of heart!) :) First, a little background info: Earlier this summer, due to its age (over 300 years old!) and some old repairs that were starting to come undone, my violin had to make a visit to a repair shop for some major “surgery”. Much of the work needed was very intricate rebuilding that required the removal of the entire back and neck (long skinny part that stretches above the body of the violin). When I purchased my instrument, I was aware that it had undergone many many repairs over the years, but I was still quite surprised and shocked to finally see what it looked like on the inside! As you can see, there are numerous types of repairs, patches, cleats (little patches of wood used to keep cracks from opening up – kind of like stitches I guess), linen strips (similar to band-aids?), etc. that are keeping my instrument in “one” piece (at least it looks that way from the outside).

These pictures are of the underside of the TOP of my violin – the part that looks the scariest and has had the most repairs. What a mess!!

This other picture is the BACK of my violin - the very light colored wood on the left side is the area that had to be rebuilt.

Well, that's it. I'm glad to say that the "surgery" was successful and my violin is pretty healthy once more. I'm thankful for all the skilled luthiers out there and their amazing skill in keeping our instruments sounding and looking good! Happy Halloween everybody!

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