OK, here's my theory on why playing the violin is so addictive:
From the moment you pick up a violin for the first time, it's possible to make some really nice sounds that are distinctive and resonant, more so than any other instrument.
Yet, as you learn, it's inevitable that you're going to make lots of really bad sounds.
This dichotomy makes us want to keep trying again and again to make more nice sounds and fewer bad sounds. The fact that we can make nice sounds makes us believe that we have the ability to play well, if only we can stop making the bad sounds.
I also think that we tend to remember the nice sounds more than the bad sounds.
To me, it's very much like learning to play golf. It's the occasional great drives and putts that you remember and make you believe that you can get better, even if your fairway shots are mostly worm burners.
That may be simplistic but that's my theory and I'm sticking to it. What's your theory?
Haaaa! Scratchy, as I was reading through your description/hypothesis, I quickly developed the correlation to golf,,,, then just two sentences later, YOU made the golf analogy. GD, guess my wife is right,,,, I'm not as profound as I think I am.
The difference between golf and violin though, is someday we may perfect the violin! Btw, golf sucks! haaaaa
I have to agree completely although I have never played golf… not even miniature golf! But, drag racing is the same thing..
you spend thousands getting the care prepped, fuel loaded, car trailer loaded, paint all pretty, tons of fees paid, then blast down the 1/4 mi in 6 seconds (Thats our class et.) and then hurry like crazy to make the next round if you win and afterwards spend hours getting everything back perfect like it was in the beginning. If everything works perfect, you can't loose… but if you go out (lose) first round, you keep thinking 'next time, we'll tune it a little different, maybe adjust the tire pressure a tiny bit either way to get more traction, maybe adjust the tune up on the engine to soften the launch or add more top end or whatever chasing that elusive first place final round appearance.
Ahhh, the dangling carrot….
The Violin is the Lion of the Instruments. It has the premier solo work (Bach sonatas and partitas) to its name and is the boss hog of the largest ensemble (eg. Richard Strauss' tone poems). Its versatility in different musical genres is unmatched (eg. Jim Cuddy solo career) and its virtuosity (sorry piano, guitar) is infinite. It lives for generations and ages as no other inanimate object.
Very interesting approach! So what you're saying is that our natural, competitory tendencies drive our desire to play based on the infinite potential for improvement despite our inabilities, having deemed them temporary and of less importance compared to our current abilities?
And I just thought it was something in the rosin dust!
I do agree though! I love knowing that I can pick up my fiddle at any given time and improve! It's something to look forward to and rewarding when it happens!
According to the SAPNC, within the inner ear, it is believed that certain tones of the violin stimulate the production of a hormone that is, with only a minor delay, delivered to the pleasure center of the brain. There, the hormone produces an effect akin to that of eating dark chocolate: euphoria, pacifism, and romantic inclination.
Once play halts, the brain is deprived of this chemical, and created in its absence is a sense of loss and panic. With repeated stimuli, the brain soon learns to crave the violin and those specific tones.
Speaking for myself – I admit to violin addiction only as far as I am enslaved by licorice; which, by the way, is not a harmless addiction; it realizes a disproportionately high percentage of the grocery bill.
You are talking about dopamine! I learnt it in school years ago lol. Fund this little article from Scientific American (click the quote):
If you read that article you'll understand why I have chocolate bites in my violin case! Naaah! Didn't know anything about dopamine and violin until today lol, but I guess my candies after a good practice will stay, I even have scientific facts to justify eating chocolate now!
…I didn't realized what IT is…
A pronoun's antecedent should always be the first preceding the pronoun's occurrence.
In this example, CHEMICAL is the antecedent.
I am to blame for the confusion, for a writer's objective is not to be understood, but to make it impossible to be misunderstood.
I think I read that in STRUNK & WHITE.
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