For generations, many violinists picked up their instruments, giving thought to only the obvious: the sight of their violin and bow, and how they performed. The goal was simple: to play a gorgeous instrument capable of producing beautiful sound. But in most instances, not a lot of contemplation was given to where the materials needed to craft their prized instrument or bow came from.

That notion has started to change in recent years.

Sustainability is now a popular topic among violinists, which is key since most violins and bows are made from harvested wood. Spruce, maple, pernambuco and other types of trees have been used to manufacture violins and bows for centuries, but due to overharvesting of pernambuco from the Brazilian rainforest in particular, the call for eco-friendly violins, bows and other stringed instruments is increasing.

Break Free From Pernambuco with Carbon Fiber

One of the best ways to become more eco-friendly is to get a violin bow that’s not made of pernambuco. For generations, pernambuco was the heartwood of choice for violin bows manufactured across the world. But due to deforestation and lack of sustainability, many violinists are trying to break free from this traditional heartwood without sacrificing quality.

Enter carbon fiber, an affordable alternative which is lightweight, and offers rich tonality and high-quality acoustics. CodaBow is the originator of the carbon fiber bow, producing award-winning violin, viola and cello bows that achieve unrivaled timbre, overtones and range.

high quality carbon fiber bows

CodaBow’s carbon fiber bows also include Xebony®, an alternative to ebony that’s proprietary blend of natural fibers and resin boasting rich luster and natural grain. What’s more, Xebony®, located in the frog, is stronger and more durable than natural ebony, which will help prolong the life of the bow. To provide additional peace of mind, our bows carry the GlobalBow® designation ensuring our carbon fiber bows contain no endangered, monitored or protected species.

Beyond bow frogs, ebony is also frequently used to make fingerboards, However, it’s only a matter of time before vegan violins become an accessible option to musicians. The world’s first vegan violin was recently made by an Irish luthier using berries and pears, and there seems to be growing demand for this type of instrument. In the meantime, ebony-free fingerboards made from sustainably harvested wood are available that contain non-toxic glue, providing violinists with an eco-friendly choice that’s practical and affordable.

Other Eco-Friendly Tips for Violinists

In addition to being mindful with regard to the materials used in the manufacture of your violin and bow, you can take other simple steps to increase sustainability. For example, you can recycle your old strings once you’re finished with them. D’Addario offers a comprehensive, nationwide program called PLAYBACK for recycling metal and nylon orchestral and guitar strings. According to the D’Addario website, more than 10 million strings have been recycled via TerraCycle since the PLAYBACK program started.

If you haven’t already, you may also want to switch your rosin. Leatherwood Bespoke now offers vegan, eco-friendly rosin available to violinists. Leatherwood Bespoke’s rosin, called ecoRosin, is all natural, plant-based and it’s biodegradable.

Ready to Give Carbon Fiber a Chance?

If you want to avoid pernambuco or other wooden bow choices, join the growing wave of musicians who are embracing playing with eco-friendly violins and bows. Supported by four brand pillars — performance, quality, integrity, and service — CodaBow offers a wide range of carbon fiber bows to meet all budgets and skill levels. We also offer convenient, in-home trials or you can visit your local CodaBow dealer. Explore the collection to get started. Feel free to sign up on our email list for additional information regarding CodaBow eco-friendly product offerings.

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