Inquiry Question: What is the story of my homemade violin?




  • What type of source is this? 

My homemade violin is a primary source as it is the original object that is personally significant to me.

  • Who created it?

My dad and I created/built the violin. However, the wood came from BC and the tools we used came from a company called Stuart McDonald.

  • When and where was it produced?

This violin was constructed in my house in 2013/2014. As said above, the wood to make the violin came from BC, and the tools we used came from a company called Stuart MCDonald, although they were originally made in China.



  • What other events or developments were happening when the source was created?

I was a member of the Coquitlam Youth Orchestra and the conductor had advised me to get a bigger violin, which ultimately caused me to ask my dad if we could get one.

I was deciding whether or not I should take an exam, and decided that I wanted to, so I needed to start practicing on a bigger violin to ensure that it wouldn’t be an awkward switch a couple weeks before my exam.

I had just gotten a new violin teacher and she also mentioned to me that my arms length is too long for the violin size that I had and I should upgrade to a full size violin. This is another reason why I asked my dad if we could get one



  • What do you notice that is important about this source?

I notice that there is a few spots of wear and tear on my violin from me using it. I don’t play on this violin as often anymore so I didn’t see a reason to replace the strings. You can see that on some of the strings there are places where the coil is stripping off because of my fingers over the years. It is evident where I played more on the strings. You can also see that the paint/violin stain has faded a bit on the neck of the violin due to my hand rubbing against it while playing. There are also places on the body of the violin that have small paint inconsistencies that weren’t there when my dad and I first made the violin.

  • What is interesting?

If I look inside the violin, I see the tag I made with mine and my dad’s names on it as well as the years the making of this violin took place (and some music notes and decoration because I thought I was really artistic).

  • What can’t you explain?

There are a couple small brown blotches on the tag inside the violin that weren’t there when the violin was finished in 2014. That means that something must have changed (directly caused by me without noticing, or by external factors such as weather) in order to have created these blotches. However, I can’t explain what caused them because I am not sure when they first appeared or what they are exactly.


Inferences about perspective:

  • What groups might the creator have belonged to? Why do you think they made the source?

If historians were to find my violin and analyze it, they would imagine that either my dad or I played the violin since the tag inside is very unprofessional and wouldn’t be resold to other people. We made it because I asked my dad if I could buy a full sized violin (because I was just moving from a 3/4 size), instead of buying it, we made one. Saving money was not the purpose of making our own violin because we had to buy lots of specialized tools so the prices were similar; however, both my dad and I learned a lot of new skills from making the violin and got to spend lots of bonding time working on it.

  • Who was the audience?

I was the intended audience for this project because I had been playing violin for 7 years and needed a bigger size violin because my old one was becoming too small.

  • How might the background/values of the creator and audience have influenced this source?

My dad and I both like to build things and we both can spend lots of time focusing on something if we are actually interested in it. My dad is an engineer, which doesn’t necessarily directly apply to building a violin, but his math skills definitely were used. As said above, I had been playing violin for 7 years by then and my dad had a background in music when he was a kid, he also really enjoys listening to classical music and got me interested in playing violin in the first place.


Inferences about inquiry question:

  • What can you learn from examining this source?

From examining this source, I learn that my dad and I have a close relationship as well as we both enjoy music and building things.

  • Does it help you answer your inquiry question?

Yes, this violin is the object that is personally significant to me and sourcing it has helped me realize why we made it.

  • Does it confirm, extend, or contradict what you know?

It confirms what I knew about the making of this violin because I was directly involved in it.

  • What further questions do you have?

We have moved around the sound post inside the violin several times trying to find the tone that I like the best, however we are still moving it around. I think that on every violin there will be a different sweet spot where the sound post goes to make it sound the way the player wants; however, I wonder if there is certain measurements (cm away from the outer edge etc.) that will guarantee a rich tone?img_5200

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