My Powerful Violin This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     First there is nothing. Suddenly, a chord rends the air, penetrating the silent void. Gradually it melts into a sweet melody of smooth phrases and gentle themes. Dropping into a downward scale, the music enters a passage wrought with twists and turns, jumps and trills. Back and forth, up and down, the harmonies coupling and fusing like some great choir of voices, like a twinkling conversation. Tension grows as the piece builds toward its finale, and listeners can truly feel the emotions in the notes. The melody reaches its peak, and in conclusion, another chord erupts. As silence settles once more, a cloud of rosin rises from the bow as it lifts from the strings. I lower my violin.

My violin is a beautiful work of art. Built by a French craftsman in 1724, it is modeled after the work of Guadagnini, an Italian violin master and contemporary of Stradivarius, the greatest violin maker. Constructed of maple, and complete with a single piece back, this instrument is quite valuable.

Yet, I don't think of my violin as solely a physical thing of beauty. It has much more than monetary value. It has a power to reach into the hearts and minds of all who hear it. It grasps the imagination and connects with the soul. Through the simple movement of hair across metal, it produces an intangible medium capable of igniting emotions. From joy to sorrow, anticipation to contentment, anyone who hears it play Mozart, Brahms, Bach or Vivaldi knows and appreciates its power.

When I play my violin, I do not see a master wielding a tool, but rather a partnership. I respect my violin and its power. I give as much work to my violin as it returns. Together we form a skilled team, and whenever I believe we have reached the limit of our abilities, it surprises me with an interesting facet. We have a bond that goes beyond many human relationships.

I call my violin Dienekes, after the Greek hero Thermopylae. He is one of my favorite figures, and seems to embody what I love about my violin. Both are powerful presences, eloquent yet assertive, intelligent yet courageous. At times I feel my violin is more animated than some people.

My violin is much older, and probably far wiser, than I am. I am but one of its owners in a long string of musicians. Its majestic and awe-inspiring power over all, including me, will live for centuries. Perhaps I will never fully understand this power, but I know I will always love it. It will always be a pleasure to play my violin, and even now I look forward to raising it up once more to create music from the void.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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