Violins are one of the most elegant musical instruments you will find out there. But elegance is also found in old things, which begs the question: does a violin get better as it gets old? After all, many things get better with age, like fine wine. So, does the same apply to violins?
Does A Violin Get Better As It Gets Old?
Actually, it depends on two things. First, the quality of your violin, and second, the quality of playing that is happening on it. Like many other instruments, the violin needs some time to be “broken into”, which includes playing it frequently, playing it in a proper tune, good playing, etc.
However, on the whole, the old violin would definitely get better with age. For instance, older violins produce a more mellow tone compared to new ones, as it had time gets harmonized. Moreover, remember the Stradivarius violins? They have been around since the 18th century, and no new violin has come from that brand in recent history. In other words, they are ancient. But when it comes to their quality and build, you will find that time has not diminished any of their superior characteristics in all these years. Thus, time does not adversely affect violins.
But that can only be true if the instrument is properly taken care of. It’s useless if you are used to bashing your violin into random things. Or just giving it poor care.
Are Old Violins Better Than New Ones?
But does that means that old violins are superior to new ones? After all, the old adage of “Old as opposed to new” is always floating around. so when compared, which one comes out as the winner?
The answer? No one. Thing is, modern technology has made it possible to replicate a lot of characteristics of the old violins. Even the famous Stradivarius violins have master copies that you can get today. Add in the digital instruments, and you can get a result that is more or less the same.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why do old violins sound better?
We have already established that well-aged violins get better with age. But seasoning is not the sole factor contributing to the quality of the instrument. Playing is another factor. The more you play it, the better it gets, even if it is done in a short time.
Do violins wear out?
Of course, they do. It’s just that violins wear out way more slowly than many other instruments, like the guitar.