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Riddle me this:

I can be still, but never is the air;

Unless my strings do not feel horsehair.

I am a combination of maple and spruce.

Most find difficulty when I am first introduced.

My modern relatives have been around for years.

Our sounds can be full of joy and tears.

I may be different, as I have a beauty spot;

And bows reach my height, but for others, they do not.

I am said to be melodious by most and not few.

Guess what I could be, and your guess might be true.


I made up this riddle for fun. Hope you enjoy!

Hints for the answer are below.


Hint:

My neck is vaguely longer than my waist,
Though this is revealed only when I am uncased.

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  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I feel like this is a rot13(ivbyva) but am not leaving this as an answer as I'd need to explain every line! $\endgroup$ – Grace Jun 27 '18 at 2:51
  • $\begingroup$ @Grace well it might be..... or it might not..... :) $\endgroup$ – Feeds Jun 27 '18 at 2:51
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You are

a violin.

I can be still, but never is the air;
Unless my strings do not feel horsehair.

A stringed instrument played with a bow;
There are typically "between 150 and 200 hairs from the tail of a horse for a violin bow."
The instrument may be held still but its strings when vibrated by the bow will vibrate the air, producing sound.

I am a combination of maple and spruce.

A violin's soundboard is usually spruce, and its ribs, back and neck are usually maple.

Most find difficulty when I am first introduced.

This is a difficult instrument to learn to play.

My modern relatives have been around for years.

Probably referencing the viola, whose present form has been around since the 18th century. The etymology of the names "violin" and "viola" are rather intertwined, though, and run back well before then.

Our sounds can be full of joy and tears.

Violins can evoke a range of emotional responses in how they are played.

I may be different, as I have a beauty spot;
And bows reach my height, but for others, they do not.

There's a so-called "sweet spot" at a particular spot on the strings where they are most resonant. It's in a different spot for different instruments.

I am said to be melodious by most and not few.

Well, yes.

Guess what I could be, and your guess might be true.

I hope so!

The hint:

My neck is vaguely longer than my waist.
Though this is revealed only when I am uncased.

The "neck" and "waist" are parts of a violin's structure, and indeed the neck is a bit longer than the waist. Violins should be kept in a case when not used, so of course you wouldn't see either the neck or the waist until you removed it from its case.

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  • $\begingroup$ Well Done! By the "modern relatives" part, I meant in particular that the modern violin has been around for years, i.e. $500$ years or so, I think. But well done for getting the beauty spot correct! Most people guessed it might have been the chin-rest when I told them the answer, but that was not what I was thinking of (although it was a reasonable answer). Congratulations! $$(+1) \ \ \color{green}{\checkmark}$$ $\endgroup$ – Feeds Jun 28 '18 at 0:00

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