Why do we love the violin? Let us count the ways! Here are just five of the many reasons to be passionate about this wonderful instrument.
1. The Violin Has a Rich History
Over the course of a few hundred years, the violin has undergone many changes to become the instrument we know today. It descended from the viol family of instruments along with the viola, cello, and (arguably) double bass. How extensive was its evolution? In the mid 1500s, the violin’s earliest ancestors had just three strings!
By the 19th century, thanks to the famous violin maker Antonio Stradivari, the violin’s unique shape and proportions were established. Many of Stradivari’s violins are still played today, and are regarded as some of the greatest instruments ever created.
2. Playing the Violin is a Full-Body Challenge
Playing any stringed instrument poses a great challenge to both body and brain. It forces the musician to develop acute fine-motor skills, dexterity in the fingers, a precise ear for pitch and intonation, and a free flow of information across both hemispheres of the brain. Along the way students of the violin also establish advanced muscle memory, quick responses, strength, consistent accuracy, and mental as well as physical stamina. These attributes help them flourish in other activities as they learn how to apply these skills to other areas of life.
3. The Violin Has Been Loved by Some of the Greatest Minds in History
The brilliant physicist Albert Einstein had a deep love for music and the violin, even crediting his musical studies as the inspiration behind his greatest theory. Einstein said, “The theory of relativity occurred to me by intuition, and music is the driving force behind this intuition. My parents had me study the violin from the time I was six. My new discovery is the result of musical perception.” Playing the violin teaches in all areas of life.
4. The Violin Touches Hearts
Because of the deeply emotional sounds the violin can produce, the instrument can be a door to the performer’s heart and passion. The positioning of the violin on the musician’s shoulder allows it to become part of the performer–violin and violinist become one. This gives a unique ability to express musically whatever feelings the violinist wants to produce. Played well, the violin is an instrument that touches hearts and speaks directly to its listeners.
5. The Violin is Portable
Lastly, portability is always helpful when playing an instrument. As long as temperature and humidity are kept reasonably stable, you can take your violin anywhere. Even on airlines the violin fits safely in the overhead bin as a carry-on item, allowing the violinist to keep their precious companion always by their side. Unlike musicians who play large instruments, violinists never have to miss an opportunity to share the joy of music with others. As composer Robert Schumann once said, “To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts—such is the duty of the artist.”
Do you also love the violin? Tell us why in the comments section.