08 January 2010

Music Catalogs

You know the one biggest reason I like the beginning of January? Because it brings floods of fine string and violin catalogs in the mail. As you are sure to know at this point, I'm a dedicated Orch Dork. Well, I'm not in an orchestra this year, but that's beside the point. I've been playing violin for a while now, and having multiple, non-overlapping packets of hundreds of pages of glee really cheers me up from my post-Christmas blue funk.

We got the Shar magazine in yesterday. Mm, delicious. I happily settled down with a cup of tea and a recording of Perlman to peruse the pages of perennial bliss. Inside the covers of this marvelous magazine, I read descriptions of cases (Wow, they make water and airtight ones now out of carbon fiber? Awesome!), bows (Diamond Carbon Fiber Bow? Sounds intriguing), electric violins and the one digital recorder Shar markets (a Zoom H4N stereo recorder that has all the bells and whistles, even a guitar tuner. O.0) before turning to the antique violins and bows. There's one from Paris, made in 1894. It's so expensive, there's no price listed. You have to call. There's another violin from Lyon, circa 1912. Once again, very expensive. Note that these were made by good violin makers who have such obscure names I have not bothered to recall them.  Then there were the bows. An 1899, followed by 1912,1920, c.1930, c. 1940, and few others made me leave drool marks on the pictures. And then, on the opposite page, there were the brand new bows selling for some $3,000.

When I bought my violin after breaking a violin-shaped box three years ago, I thought the price I paid was enormous. Of course, that was thirteen year-old me paying in monthly amounts of $100 from the money I scraped together from babysitting, dog walking, and every other odd job I could find. Still, upwards of a thousand dollars is nothing to be scoffed at. But now as I look at these fine instruments, I dream of when I'll have enough money to afford this expensive hobby. I'm never going into the stale, stagnant, putrifying industry of classical music (more about that later), which will make me an amateur at best, but I dream. And these dreams help me transition into a positive view of the new year. Which is why I really, really like music catalogs.

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