Again this is a bit of a departure from my normal pagan blog project posts by dealing with something not commonly associated with the theoi, but something that I have made part of my spiritual-religious life.
The violin is not an ancient instrument. As far as stringed instruments go it is more correct to perhaps look more towards the lyre or its descendant in the harp, or even the lute, the earlier forms of which have been attributed to Apollon as its creator and from which we get the majority of our later stringed instruments developing (all of which by association I connect with Apollon and his creation of the proto-lute). The violin (along with the cello, viola etc of the classical stringed instruments) is particular among these latter instruments and is separated from those which are plucked or strummed (as in the case of the lute, guitar, mandolin etc) as it creates a harmonic flow between sounds with the use of a bow, another symbol of Apollon. There are artists who have depicted Apollon with a lute, and rather than plucking the strings, using a bow on it in a manner similar to a violin, but according to my reading I don’t see any mention of such a method of playing the lute. In any case with the orchestral classical instruments you end up with a melodic flow that enchants the soul.
Make no mistake I have a lyre and love it, but there is something different and quite special about the violin. I often have a pang of regret of not being able to take my violin with me during one of my past moves, because I found that the music which I created focused and soothed my spirit. I didn’t even need a sheet of music in front of me, but rather just letting the sounds draw forth from my instrument however they would. Such as is my passion for the song of the violin that I named my instrument Spirit Singer and played her every day. I have found memories of being in the woods on a friend’s property that I had been helping to clean up, standing on the porch and playing while the cats around the property settled around and drifted to sleep with the sweet vibrations that are created from stringed instruments.
The violin then combines two beautiful symbols of Apollon, the stringed instrument which in their playing creates the beautiful harmonic melody, and then the bow, his bow usually a weapon is also a keeper of harmony by its action in destroying that which is corruptive to the harmonic state. Thus the bow is also used to create the harmony. With the violin, and its ilk, then the bow is literally used in creating the beautiful music.
One of these days I will get another violin.