Show us your ... violin collection | Bleader

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Show us your ... violin collection

Posted By on 06.30.11 at 03:00 PM

Each week we ask you to show us something. This week it's Peter Seman's VIOLIN COLLECTION. Got something to show us? showus@chicagoreader.com

Since its perfection 300 years ago by members of the Stradivari family, the violin hasn't evolved much in terms of design. Peter Seman, who describes himself as "president, vice-president, secretary, and treasurer" of Skokie-based Seman Violins, guesses that's what leads people to tinker with the instrument's build in ways that aren't necessarily intuitive: "All of these people have been doing weird experiments to make the violin better."

And Seman, a 1988 graduate of the Chicago School of Violin Making, has been collecting those experiments. Out of the couple dozen that he's amassed, he says he's got a metal violin, an aluminum violin, a cigar-box violin—even a hollowed-out baseball bat violin.

Have any of these modifications made the violin better? No, he says. "They all sound bad."

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