|THE COST OF QUALITY

 

 

A musician’s early training focuses on technique: how to play. Once a solid technique is learned, the career-long emphasis is on how to interpret and express the music. This is accomplished by giving shape, color and texture to the sounds produced. Only instruments capable of producing the desired sound will allow the musician to achieve these goals. 

 

Why are fine string instruments so expensive?

 

To the casual observer, one cello or violin looks much like all others. These similarities disappear when a bow is drawn across the strings and sounds are created. The color and texture of these sounds varies widely between instruments. It is the maker’s art that coaxes out truly elegant sounds. The finest instruments are hand-made and involve scores of small decisions by the maker; the choice of wood; the shape, arch and thickness of the parts; the selection of glues and varnish. The sum of these details, and often luck, determines the success of an instrument. Fine instruments, those capable of producing rich sounds, command a premium value.

 

 

A quality instrument must produce wide range of tonal colors. For the advanced musician it’s not about playing the notes it’s about expression, giving meaning and depth to the music.

A good instrument will have a wide palette of sound colors to choose from, from a breathy quiet voice to a harsh grating sound to a soaring lyrical singing voice.

A good instrument is responsive; it should be sound lively, yet controlled. When a fast passage is played the notes should be well articulated, not blurred.

A good instrument should be comfortable. Musicians spend many hours practicing and their instrument must not be a source of torture.

A good instrument matches the musician’s skills.

A good instrument is one with which the musician forms a bond that engenders great confidence.

Playing a good instrument is like driving a fine race car; it requires great skill and control.”

 

Oded Kishony, Violinmaker

Charlottesville, Virginia