Like pieces of art, musical instruments are part of our cultural heritage. Why else would names like Stradivari, Amati or Guaneri have become so famous?
Your instrument is worth preserving, too
Even if your instrument is not from one of the makers named above, it is worth – in most cases – to preserve your instrument as a part of our cultural heritage. The value of an instrument is a private issue. For one person it may be a simple county violin which has been passed down through generations of family tradition, for another person it may a Neapolitan mandolin brought home by the grandfather upon returning from World War I. Preserving these instruments is worthwhile.
Ahnenforschung zwischen Wirbel und Zarge
For me Restoration means the following: rebuilding an instrument as close to its original condition as possible while paying respect to the changes and events the instrument, for example a violin, has undergone in its lifetime. Occasionally, one may find traces like pencil markings nobody had seen before or traces of damages which are indicators about events in the history of the instrument.
A luthier has to apply the whole array of his skills when restoring an instrument. Frequently, a violin or guitar has to be dissected completely, parts have to be replaced true to the original, and sometimes an optical repair of the varnish is enough. It all depends on the individual case and on the desired results. You can experience history! You can see the way your instrument had been assembled, which restorations had been performed, which changes the instrument had undergone in the course of its history.
A motivating musical aha-experience
In short: Restoration is an exciting experience which in its final conclusion results in a playable instrument fit for everyday use. Playing such a cello, violin or guitar is absolutely motivating – a lot more than on an instrument purchased run of the mill. It doesn’t have to be a Stradivari!