Violin For Dummies
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Taking the violin out of its case (and putting it away again safely) is a skill; mastering the art ensures that your instrument will have a long and happy life. To open the case, follow these steps:

  1. Place the violin case on a stable, flat surface, such as a table or a sofa, with the lid facing the ceiling, and then turn the latch-and-handle side to face you.

    You may have to unzip the case’s cover first, which usually has two zips that pull away to either side of the case’s handle. Pull the zippers all the way around to the back of the case so that the lid is able to open fully.

  2. Open the latches first, then release the lock and lift the lid.

    Because the cases are very snugly built, the top can be a bit sticky to lift, in which case (no pun intended!), you hold firmly on the handle while you lift the lid.

  3. After you open the case, lift off the covering blanket (if you have one) and undo the strap or the ribbon that safely holds your violin around its neck in the case, before you lift out the violin.

  4. Hold the violin around its neck to lift it from the case — don’t grab the body, because that’s not good for the varnish.

    It’s a good idea to place the velvet cloth that covers the violin onto the table and next to the case; this way, you can place the instrument on the cloth.

  5. Release the bow from the case by turning the toggle from a vertical to a horizontal position, taking the bow by the frog end (the name for the piece of ebony wood below the stick at the right end of the bow) with your right hand, and then sliding it gently to the right until the tip (the pointy end) of the bow is out of its loophole.

    Never twist the stick while doing this — bows are strong, but they can’t always resist sideways twists.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Katharine Rapoport is an accomplished violinist and violist who taught violin, viola, and chamber music at the University of Toronto for over 25 years. In addition to authoring teaching manuals and syllabi—as well as articles for Strad Magazine —she has performed live in Canada, the USA, and across Europe.

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