Sherlock Holmes and the violin.

Sherlock Holmes and the violin.

Today, December 13, is VIOLIN DAY.  The violin is an incredibly versatile musical instrument, allowing for music of great passion and incredible delicacy. Violin Day salutes violinists and encourages you to listen to music featuring violins.

Why does our favorite detective, Sherlock Holmes, play the violin?

I found an interesting article HERE.

Basil Rathbone violin

Sherlock Holmes, as we all know, is of course a fictional character. But the idea here is to understand why did Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (who isn’t) think that playing the violin was absolutely important to the characterization of Mr. Holmes.


1. The Left v/s Right Brain reason

It’s a known fact that the Left and the Right hemispheres of our brain have distinct functionality. Among other things, the left is responsible for speech and language functions and facial recognition, spatial orientation, and music functions are on the right side. Sherlock is mostly using his left hemisphere majorly during his research and analysis or a crime scene investigation.
Playing an instrument results in his entire brain working in tandem, thus leading to him getting better perspectives not only on the functionality of the left side but also engaging the right side completely.

2. Using the Subconscious mind

When you’re playing any instrument, your brain is actively involved in only that. This ensures that actively Sherlock isn’t thinking about the problem and this is being dealt with by the subconscious mind. (A lot of times when you were working on a problem late in the night and could not solve it, only to have the solution come to you as soon as you got up, it was your sub conscious dealing with the problem). This again helps in him getting better/different perspectives on the issues at hand.

3. Relaxation/Meditation

Playing an instrument is therapeutic. It makes you feel absolutely blissful and makes you feel extremely calm and composed. And with a job that involves dealing with murders, thugs etc. on a daily basis, playing the violin seems apt to completely zen out!

Benedict Cumberbatch violin



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