More Stuff

The Chicago winter, my teacher’s habit of keeping one, and my desire to do right by my 87 year old instrument resulted in my ordering a little humidifier – dry air is the main risk to older instruments (well, carelessness, I suppose, is the biggest risk!).  The hygrometer in my spiffy new case reports virtually no humidity in our little condo.  My skin feels it too. The humidifier I ordered is a sponge covered by a tube that you soak in water, wipe off, then insert into one of the f-holes of the instrument.  You can leave it in while playing if you want – I’ve noticed Teacher does sometimes and doesn’t sometimes – I really think she just forgets it’s in there.

While I was at it I ordered a new type of rosin. I’ve wanted some new rosin just to try it mainly, since I realized there were different grades of the stuff.  I’ve used two kinds since picking back up the violin – one came with my rental, a cube-shaped chunk housed in a wooden trough.  That type of beginner student rosin seems to be much maligned in the discussions of rosin to be found online.  I left it in the case when I returned my rental.

When my father-in-law shipped me my violin, it came with a cake of rosin that had weathered the decades in a compartment in his old case.  I’ve been using that one primarily, and exclusively since returning the rental.  The piece of fabric in which it came wrapped – most rosin comes mounted on a piece of fabric to hold it with while applying it to the bow hair and to use as a wrap for storage –   seems to indicate that originally it was of the utmost quality, but the fabric is quite stiff with age;  I wonder if the rosin is stiff with age as well.

Unfortunately, last week I dropped the ancient rosin and about half of it splintered off into little unusable bits. I was surprised by the rich green color of the bits when they became small enough to be translucent.  But I’m left with a half a hunk of rosin that, on its primary remaining edge, is sharp as a knife!  I’m using it with excruciating care so as not to give my bow hairs an unwelcome trim.

The rosin and the humidifier should both arrive Thursday; the stuff just keeps piling up.

Thanks for reading.

Ryan

One comment

  1. […] I need to play the violin.  Back when I started this project I wrote a couple of posts about violin stuff and, while there’s a lot of it, I’ve got it covered.  But that doesn’t stop me from […]

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