What is a Good Name for a Violin?

One of my six-year-olds informed me that she had named her violin. And her bow!

“But I forgot what their names are,” she explained earnestly.

I have heard of people who name their musical instruments. They give such names as Charlie or Henry— human names rather than simply Violin Number 1 or Violin Number 2. I am sorry to say that my violins may be disappointed in me. I have my favorite violin, that other violin, the half size under the piano, my cousin’s violin, the half size with an owl, etc. Those are not particularly thought-out names though you must admit that they are descriptive.

I do not spend much time contemplating the possible names for instruments. If I did, I feel that typical human names would sound curious to me when associated with a non-human instrument. (That sentence looks funny? Well, remember that the human voice is an instrument.) Even atypical names such as Archimedes or Hugo might feel wrong. Actually, Hugo seems more okay. Hugo the oboe. It rhymes.

I have a feeling that I would go for overreaching, dramatic, ancient names that are no longer very human if I had to name my violin. That, or naming it after the composer of whatever concerto I play the most on that violin.

I am sorry to say that I disappointed my young student by telling her that I have not named my violin when she asked me whether I had. However, this short exchange gave her time to remember her own names: Olivia or Leah for short for the violin. The bow had a similar sort of name.

“Those are good names,” I answered.

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