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frequently asked question

What's the difference between a fiddle and a violin?

They're the same thing.

Fun bit of history: both words are thought to have the same origin. Vitula, a minor Roman goddess of joy and exaltation, became the namesake for this stringed instrument that was played in times of celebration or victory. Germanic and Old English speakers may have said this like "Fidula" which is a short leap from fiddle. Italian folks seem to have turned the word into Vidola, which morphed into Viola. Languages are neat.

I found a Stradivarius! Am I going to be rich?Absolutely not

We offer appraisal services for a fee, however at no charge we can tell you right now: your violin is not a Stradivarius. Even if it's very old, your great grandfather told you it was authentic and it has a label inside it that says "Stradivarius." Even if a genie comes out and says "Thanks for letting me out of that Stradivarius!" -- it still almost definitely ain't. Sorry.


How do we know without even looking that yours isn't the real thing? Stradivari didn't make a lot of violins and they are pretty much all accounted for. Even before people went crazy for these instruments, they were valuable enough that families took care to document their ownership. Some were destroyed in tragic fires or other unfortunate incidents. The ones that survive are in museums or private collections.

That doesn't mean your grandpa lied. In the early 1900s, Sears began selling violins under the brand name Genuine Stradivarius. Clever, right? They sold many thousands of instruments this way, and that's almost definitely what you have. We understand that this is a huge bummer, and we're sorry. If you'd like a quick assessment or full appraisal, stop in or give us a call. Another clue is that most violins from Sears also were from Germany and say so. Tony wasn't a German
 never went there.

Why should I shop at local small businesses like Fiddle and Bow?

The way this is supposed to work is first we buy some stuff. Books, for example. Then you come in and buy it from us at a higher price than we paid. We keep the difference, give half of it to the government and then go out to eat when it seems safe. If nobody buys anything we lose confidence and everybody has to stay at home for dinner, like in Russia. We wonder if they have this many music books stacked all over the place in Russia too.


Couldn't I get my music for free on the internet?

For awhile people stopped buying sheet music and books, thinking they could get the same thing from the internet for free. We were as disappointed as anyone when the entire body of musical knowledge did not come flying out of our computers in a readable format without mistakes. It's true that the first lesson for just about anything is on YouTube, but after that you probably have to learn the old fashioned way.


Can't I buy this on Amazon?

Oh, probably. But consider:

  • We treat Alayna much better than they treat their employees. Sometimes we even let her have candy.

  • If you are like most people, you should probably get out more.

  • Amazon is fast, but buying it in person is even faster. Why should you have to delay your consumer gratification when we are literally right here? Just make sure we are open and shazam we have created a local economy again.

  • We appreciate your purchase so much more. If you buy something expensive, we might even high five each other after you leave. When you buy from Amazon, they might send you a Thank you email but guess what! That email is automated. That's right! No one at Amazon is anywhere near as thrilled as we are.

  • Economics have become inverted to the extent that it sometimes makes sense for us to order something from Amazon for our valued customers just to get it quickly.

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