Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Note about music

This is Dad's violin and case.
Dad got this violin as a youngster, we think from his Uncle Lauritz Strandskov.
Lauritz was a good musician, played the cello and I think did some composing as well.
He organized an orchestra from the West Denmark folks when Dad was young.
The violin has been under a bed for a number of years.
In 2011, Dad thought he might like to try to play it again, so we got some new strings for it, 
but we couldn't seem to get it tuned.
He took a couple of pulls of the bow across the strings, and that was about that.

Last year, when Dad was here for Ev's Memorial Service, 
Ryan's daughters, Elliana played the cello and Milena played the violin for Dad.
Dad was very impressed that the girls were interested in stringed instruments.
Dad was so tickled to hear the girls play.

Little did we know we only had another 2 weeks with Dad, but during the time I spent with Dad after Ev's Memorial, he told me several times that he wanted to give that violin to Ryan and his girls.  

So, I took it to a friend of mine, who thought it was playable, 
and then I delivered it to Ryan and Cam, Elliana & Milena.

Milena's violin teacher looked at the instrument and suggested it needed some attention so it was shipped off to the professionals in Chicago.
Here are the text messages from Ryan about the progress.

We still have a little of Dad's money, so really Dad is giving Ryan the money to fix the violin.
Ryan called me again Monday morning.  
He was on his way to pick up Dad's violin. J
osh is Milena's violin teacher and he went to Chicago and took the violin to Hoffman's for repair.

Josh told Ryan that Bill Hoffman, who owns the shop, wanted to buy Dad's violin.  According to Ryan, Josh said that this violin has a very sweet sound and is a high quality instrument.  Josh plays an expensive violin and he told Ryan that Dad's violin sounds much like Josh's.  
Ryan is very excited about this good news about Dad's violin.  
The old bow has the original horse hair and is fragile, it will not be used but will be kept with the case as part of the history of this instrument.
Josh also told Ryan that this violin will sound better and better the more it is played so now we just have to hope that Milena continues to love taking lessons and playing.  
Ryan is also thankful that Dad is paying for the repairs and he tried to argue with me but I told him that when we can, we do the right thing, and paying for that is the right thing.

Here is the violin after it's makeover, Camilla took these beauty shots for me.

It has a new bow and a new case, 
the old bow & case will be kept as part of this violin's 100+ year history.

Dad & Ev would have been so pleased.

On Saturday, July 18, I stopped at the Historical Museum in Gordon, WI on my way back from checking on our cabin.  I had always meant to stop there, and today, I had the time.
The lady there was very helpful and friendly and showed me around.  I learned a lot of history about that area.  Just as I was leaving, she picked up this little 4x6 catalog 

and started paging through it talking about the prices 1909.  
I glimpsed a violin and asked her to open to that page.
Here are the photos I took of the little catalog.

 From the advertisement:  In this violin we are furnishing a genuine Stradivarius model at an extremely low price.  While we always recommend that our customers buy the very best violin their circumstances will permit, still we believe you will find no instrument at this price which will give equal satisfaction.  This violin is modeled very carefully after the celebrated violins of Stradivarius.  It is made of selected wood, has very neat maple back and sides with top of resonant spruce.  The tailpiece, fingerboard and pegs are of very fine imitation ebony and the body of the violin is finished in a brownish red color shaded into yellow.  The purling is very neatly and evenly laid and the entire instrument has the appearance of the $4.00 violin ordinarily sold by music dealers.  Do not make the mistake of comparing it with the violins usually sold by dealers at $1.95, as it will be found far superior in every respect.  
With this violin we give a certificate, entitling the holder to a course of ten weekly lessons on the instrument.

I guess we will never know for sure where this violin was purchased, but I like this story.

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