violin + horn = fun

Principal violist Joël Belgique bought a Stroh violin – it’s impossible to describe, so here’s a photo:

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Basically it’s a solid wooden dowel with a violin bridge, fingerboard and tailpiece attached, and with a metal horn to amplify the sounds made by the strings.  There is also a smaller horn bell attached that is designed to point towards the player’s ear so that they can better hear their sound while playing.

Naturally, hilarity ensued when this monstrosity was brought to work at Monday morning’s rehearsal:

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Joël relaxes after a mean rendition of the Mendelssohn violin concerto…

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I can barely hold the thing properly, never mind produce any sort of music on it…

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Principal hornist John Cox figures, it has a bell, so I should give it a try!

And finally, a video of a street musician doing a bit of justice on one of these things:

One thought on “violin + horn = fun

  1. bob priest

    NOW we’re talking! I love the Stroh violin – apparently he made a few violas and cellos, as well.

    My ex-wife had one that i used in several theatre pieces in the early-90s. While i don’t play the violin, I once DID play the Stroh during a piece about the Salem Witch Trials. As you might imagine, it was a shrieking, scratch ‘n’ sniff sorta performance – which was exactly the idea.

    Mauricio Kagel’s work, “1898,” uses a family of Stroh instruments (vn/va/vc/db) on the recording.

    BTW, I’m told that Stroh ORIGINALS are fairly rare and worth quite a bit.

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