Why Are Violins So Expensive? Understanding the Value Behind Fine Instruments

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I am sure you have asked yourself at some point, why are violins are so expensive?

Handmade violins are more expensive than violins that are large-scale produced, but what makes violins so expensive? Today we want to show you what makes these musical instruments worth paying so much. These authentic Italian violins have an interesting story to tell.

Every piece of art is unique because of its author.

First of all, you must meet the luthiers, the talent behind all the handcrafted masterpieces you find. Unlike large-scale produced violins, a handmade one is carefully made by a maker who spends so many hours constructing the instrument. Meaning the maker needs to study, go to violin school, spend years practicing at a workshop, and get a mentorship, among many other things. 

The first time you see a handmade violin, it is an experience in which you won’t know what to expect. It’s usually not expected that such a distinctive type of instrument can be made by hand with high quality. The craftsmanship of the Italian violin is so evident in each detail, that it produces a beautiful sound unlike any other violin.

The luthier must undergo a long time of studies and dedication to earn this quality and artistic knowledge! Luthiers are the people who manufacture violins and other instruments from the violin family—such as violas and cellos. They have been producing these musical instruments for nearly 500 years. To be an acclaimed luthier means that a person is one of the few masters in existence with such great craftsmanship. The instruments made by luthier’s are both aesthetically appealing and superior in sound quality when compared with other violins. And in many cases, with a price tag of over a million dollars.

I’m sure you are aware of the age of the violin, so that leaves the question: how and when did it all start?

Violins have been in this world for centuries, in Cremona since the 16th Century! The development of the modern violin was gradual and complex, evolving from a variety of other stringed instruments and studies. But its popularity came with the great Master Makers, who were responsible for all the luthiers’ legacy and its valuable work.

Names such as Antonio Stradivari, The Amati family, or Guarneri del Gesù have probably come across you. That’s because these makers had a big role in violin making. Historically speaking, they were basically responsible for creating the violin model as it is nowadays. 

These luthiers spent years studying and discovering ways to improve the violin, and the genius of violin making. Their instruments remain these days, and if you have the opportunity and the budget, you can definitely own an original one!

As mentioned in the article posted at Pilot Guides, on a walk through Cremona, you can see the elegant curves and scrolls on the brick and terracotta palaces that gave rise to the Baroque violin’s form.

An instrument that has survived centuries is probably a masterpiece, right?

So, why are violins expensive

Experienced craftspeople know exactly what piece of wood is best for each violin and what kind of model, fittings, and varnishing it needs to get your ideal result. When the luthier makes your violin, he/she has a reason for everything he/she does. It’s a timeless treasure.

Handmade Italian violins stand out because of the craftsmanship and expertise it takes to build each of them. They are made with a distinct personality and high quality materials that no factory-made violin will ever be able to mimic. There is no denying that owning a handmade violin will not only be an investment in your musical endeavors but a work of art as well.

Just like a painting by a famous artist, violins have their own value and a high price. Not to mention that later, a well-looked-after and maintained violin can hold its value and increase the price tag over time.