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How much do Violins cost to make?
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dashrem
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May 4, 2012 - 5:25 pm
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Hehe

 

I'm just curious as to how much a good quality violin would cost to make on materials alone. Not labor or branding or age or etc etc.

I can't read music, but I understand it perfectly.

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Oliver
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I can't answer your question but others will.

I can tell you that at a Bejing trade show a few years ago, violin outfits were selling for either $14 or $17 but, that was a bulk price to distributors and these were entry level outfits.

coffee2

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TerryT
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Depends if you pay the owner for cutting his tree down

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and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

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Joe
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The more interesting question is how does the average income of a violinist reflect the devotion to quality manufacturers are willing to invest.

 

Because the average salary for a violinist is about 30 cents an hour, the demand for the highest quality instruments is low....that's why you dont see many universities offering degrees in luthiery.

 

Mass production then becomes the only option for the investor and the masses.  Hense, the sum total for materials used in the manufacture of an average violin is about 30 cents.  Add to that labor and distribution.

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dashrem
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Joe's answer makes me sad inside. We all own mass produced crap? b-slap

 

And if we wanted a career using our violins somehow, we'd be making 30 cents an hour? rofl

I can't read music, but I understand it perfectly.

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myguitarnow
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There's always a way to make money with music dash. When you feel sad inside that's a great time to write a song. Many different ways to make money with music. The average pay for violinists in California is about $100 thousand a year and there is jobs available... Think movie scores, background music for videos games, commercials... The list goes on. And the violin is a popular instrument out here. I don't understand about 30 cents an hour? That's enough to make a living though in some countries.

Musical instruments are one of the few things that go up in value these days and their is plenty of investors. I promised FM though no more rants... I will just go hit my speed bag instead of ranting on his forum 😉 Gonna go hit my speed bag then get back to practice crossedfingers

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Sofia Leo
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dashrem said
Hehe

 

I'm just curious as to how much a good quality violin would cost to make on materials alone. Not labor or branding or age or etc etc.

You can get a nice wood package at Grandpa's Workshop for about US $75. Another US $50 or so for fittings, another US $30-60 for strings, add a bow and case if you're so inclined, and you're ready to play.

Kits are another answer that has been covered in this forum.

The real cost for a "bench made" fiddle is in labor and the experience of a good luthier should not come nearly as cheap as it does.

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NoirVelours
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Luthier made violins don't come cheap! Heck I was not able to see a single online price here. They present the types of violins they make and you have to contact them for prices who vary a lot depending on what fittings you want etc. usually a couple thousands to many.

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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Joe
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myguitarnow said
 The average pay for violinists in California is about $100 thousand a year and there is jobs available... Think movie scores, background music for videos games, commercials... The list goes on. And the violin is a popular instrument out here. I don't understand about 30 cents an hour? That's enough to make a living though in some countries.

Musical instruments are one of the few things that go up in value these days and their is plenty of investors. I promised FM though no more rants... I will just go hit my speed bag instead of ranting on his forum 😉 Gonna go hit my speed bag then get back to practice crossedfingers

Talent is a comodity (for the professional) and the development of the comodity takes learning and practice......thousands of hours of learning and practice for which the barer usually receives not a single cent....to the contrary...the barer must pay; books....teacher....internet....instrument....paraphanalia...travel....etc.  Work it out for yourself; all the time one devotes to the maintenance of talent, and in actuality you'll come to the conclusion that a majority loose money; the talent is then relagated to amateur or hobby status and the barer waits tables. 

100,000 a year....yeah, right...you have a better chance of flying to the moon....good luck!

There is one thing more plentiful than out of work actors.....and that's out of work musicians.   

doublekiss

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myguitarnow
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True Joe. Sorta... You can't expect to get too good and make a living playing an hour a day. You have to practice all day long almost everyday and yep, you can make $100,000 a day if you're serious. Or just play music as a hobby cause you love music and get a day job to make your living. I would not be able to support my family and lifestyle on $100,000 a year. Lets not start a a text fight again. PLEASE!!!! No flying to the moon anytime soon for me, I'm kind of afraid of flying.

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Joe
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myguitarnow said
 Lets not start a a text fight again. PLEASE!!!! No flying to the moon anytime soon for me, I'm kind of afraid of flying.

My mistake...I didnt have my glasses on and I thought at first glance that NV had provided the previous comment.  I should not have used 3 seconds of thought to respond otherwise.

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cdennyb
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So, being a musician is like being a doctor huh. Spend thousands upon thousands getting educated and then practice for thousands of hours to make sure that one chance to perform is met with flawless success and then usually end up waiting tables or warehouse forlift driver until the right opportunity comes along then have to repay all that you borrowed getting there... wow, I can relate to that part.

@Scott: So how does the music business part work? Does the producer of say a movie come to you or do you go audition for the musically portion or does a conductor or whatever contact potential musicians they have on some list then you all assemble at a studio to do the work after being selected to play it?

 

@Joe: Did you know there's a university in Utah that has a specialized course in Luthier work that takes a full 3 yrs to go thru and up front it's $10K tuition plus housing, books, tools, materials, and your living expenses while there and it's a full 8 hr day 5 days a week for the full year. You make 5 violins in 3 years, actually going into the surrounding mountains to select and cut wood that will be dried and aged for future classes to use. The last violin you make is the only one you get to keep and it's your "final grade" and they expect you to play some things on it besides twinkle twinkle I'm sure.

There's another school in Oregon as well but I dont know the details on that one.

If you can make a violin every 2-3 months as a professional out on your own, you'd have to make $5K off each one to just get out of the poverty level of income for a year! I wonder how many beginning luthiers make that kind of money off their first instruments?

"If you practice with your hands you must practice all day. Practice with your mind and you can accomplish the same amount in minutes." Nathan Milstein

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Joe
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cdennyb said

@Joe: Did you know there's a university in Utah that has a specialized course in Luthier work... 

There's another school in Oregon as well but I dont know the details on that one.

Yes I did...that's why I said; "...you dont see many universities offering degrees..." 

I'm not here to deminish anyones dreams....but there are those who bet their dreams against fantastic odds, such as inner city kids who base their entire youth on playing for the Lakers or acquiring 10 seconds of fame on a talent show .....chances are it aint gonna happen...and so the kid's education suffers and job opportunities are seldom enhanced beyond the golden arches or wally world.  serenade

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DanielB
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joe said

There is one thing more plentiful than out of work actors.....and that's out of work musicians.   

 

Surely you jest, Joe!  There is no such thing as an "out of work musician".  We always have plenty of work, there's always a technique or song to be working on, or someone somewhere who will listen. 

It is just the "getting paid for it" part that can be a bit challenging sometimes.  roflol

I read in an interview once, I think it was Jimmy page saying something about how if music was something you think you might want to go into as a career, it is a really lousy way of making a living.  But if music is something you HAVE to do, it can be a pretty good life.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Fiddlestix
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joe said
The more interesting question is how does the average income of a violinist reflect the devotion to quality manufacturers are willing to invest.

 

Because the average salary for a violinist is about 30 cents an hour, the demand for the highest quality instruments is low....that's why you dont see many universities offering degrees in luthiery.

 

Joe, what do you concider an average violinist ?   

And is the $00.30 per hour for the average violin maker in China or the average violinist in a symphony ?       dunno

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Joe
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Fiddlestix said

 Joe, what do you concider an average violinist ?   

And is the $00.30 per hour for the average violin maker in China or the average violinist in a symphony ?       dunno

That's a funny question....but Ill try to respond.

For every employed violinist in the symphony there are 160 aspiring violinists that are doing something other than play their fiddle to make a living.  Divide that generous 100,000 dollar a year salary by 161 and you get $621 each. There about 260 working days in the year, that's 2080 working hours.  That works out to be about 30 cents an hour average wage for the 161 violinists.

Now, do you want to be the one luthier who sells one violin every 3 to 5 years to that symphony musician, or do you want to mass produce playable violins and sell to the other 160 who cant afford an expensive fiddle.   

dancinbunny

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TerryT
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I think your maths has a flaw, Joe.
You can only average the salary of earning violinists, as if they aren't earning they aren't an earning violinist, if you see what I mean.
I think you need to take into account the varying salaries of earning violinists then average that out into the number of violinists who are earning.
That then becomes the average salary of a earning violinist (who is earning).

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Joe
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TerryT said
I think your maths has a flaw, Joe.
You can only average the salary of earning violinists, as if they aren't earning they aren't an earning violinist, if you see what I mean.
I think you need to take into account the varying salaries of earning violinists then average that out into the number of violinists who are earning.
That then becomes the average salary of a earning violinist (who is earning).

facepalm

 

roflolI dont think so....I am a commercial pilot not earning anything in that capacity, however, I am included in the national statistics for average commercial pilot income. Just because a violinist is not working does not erase them from the charts.  That means you prefer to disenfranchise musicians just because they are not working.  I wonder what the musicians union would say about that. 

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NoirVelours
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A subway earning would make me happy if it means playing the violin for a living! The bump here is: for a living HAHA... not sure subway coins can pay the rent or the bills. *sighs* back to accounting studies... no wait it's weekend I can play all my heart! cheerleader

"It can sing like a bird, it can cry like a human being, it can be very angry, it can be all that humans are" Maxim Vengerov

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Fiddlestix
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http://www.wsws.org/articles/2.....-o10.shtml 

I think you are mixing apples and oranges on this topic.

This can apply to just about any profession, including writer's. It's just a matter of the rate of unemployment and people seeking work.

Above is an article/interview with a member of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, re: pay scale, musician's waiting for fill in position's etc....

                          It's a back and forth rat race   fish   

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