The Music Department has recently acquired an original eighteenth-century violin by Joseph Ruddiman. The department already owns one instrument by this Aberdeen maker, so the opportunity to purchase another one to make a matching pair seemed too good to miss. The vendor, Cardiff Violins, was thrilled to think that the violin would end up travelling back to its home city, and very kindly agreed to offer us a discount. The purchase was possible only through the generosity of a great many in the University who also saw this as an exciting opportunity: donations were received from the College of Arts and Social Sciences, the Friends of the Library, RIISS and a number of individuals.
The trio sonata texture of two violins and continuo is exactly what is needed for a great deal of the music contained in Special Libraries and Archives, and there are plans to hold regular concerts using the two Ruddiman violins in the new library (once it is complete) to bring these collections to life.
In recent years, there has been a growth of interest amongst our music students in early music played on original instruments. Often students and staff have access only to modern copies of old surviving instruments, so we count ourselves fortunate at Aberdeen to have access to the genuine article.