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    Natural resources that “parent” objects:
  • ebony tree

Violin Swiss Model Peg


Object Domicile

31 - 37 Orange St, Gardens, Cape Town, 8000

Object Origin

(Possibly) Avogi Musicals (India), Indian Mirror Street, Janbazar, Taltala, Kolkata, West Bengal, India
(Possibly) circa 1940-2000.

The structure of the violin, as well as its sound, depend on the peg. It gives tension to the strings, as well as their pitch. This peg was most likely made in India, but was found separate from its violin. It’s quite worn, which leads me to assume it has been well used, and wonder where it has been and what people have played using it.

Violin pegs are carved out of ebony, rosewood, boxwood or other soft wood to minimize wear on the holes of the peg box. They are shaved into a tapered shape at one end, and a grip on the other end. The tapered end allows for friction to be increased or decreased when adjusted by the violinist in the peg box. This is done to adjust each string to the right pitch.

I see the peg as a symbol of balance; it is crucial in the structure and sound of the violin. There are four pegs needed by the violin, and they all contribute to the overall structure, but are tweaked into their own pitches.

There is a lot of discipline and stress in learning and playing the violin. I have been playing the violin for most of my life, but I haven’t played for a whole year. I spent an obsessive amount of time and emotions in ‘mastering’ this instrument, and now it is just gone. I realise now how I made playing an unhealthy practice, when I should have been enjoying it.

When looking at this peg, I am reminded of the many facets that make up the violin and my life. That their pieces sometimes need to be tweaked back into balance.

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