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Re: The older the violin, the sweeter the music

Posted by Smokey Stover on December 24, 2008 at 18:43

In Reply to: Re: The older the violin, the sweeter the music posted by Victoria S Dennis on December 04, 2008 at 17:28:

: : Where did the phrase originate: 'the older the violin, the sweeter the music'?

: Quite possibly with the observation that really old (ideally 17th-century) violins are the best ones. Or it may be a prettifying of the proverb "There's many a good tune played on an old fiddle". (VSD)

The violin has a long history in the viol family, but the models for the modern violin (and viola and violoncello) have been those made by Amati (16th century), Stradivari (17th century) and Guarneri (18th century). It is sometimes thought that aging helps give the instrument its tone, but it has to be remembered that modern violins are not all made to the same standards as those of, say, Stradivarius (the Latin form of Stradivari). Many recently made violins sound not only very good, but a lot better than older violins made less carefully, making the adage far from a truism.
SS