My main instruments are piano and guitar. Sure, when I was in my twenties, I played enough bluegrass fiddle to get by, but I long ago decided to leave the string instruments to the pros. When I was in the studio on Monday with a string ensemble, recording a film score I’d written, I realized just how much I have come to rely on the subtle expertise that good string players bring to a session. The concertmaster, Teri Lazar, knew exactly what to tell everyone about articulations, bowing, and dynamics, and she said it with such perfect string-player shorthand that I almost forgot to be amazed at how her instructions made the session go perfectly. Tools like Sibelius may make it easy for people like me to put dots on a page and write “Violin I” at the top of it, but string music can’t come alive without the depth of wisdom that resides in the hands, eyes, and hearts of the players. Fiddlers, I love you. And to anyone else who lends their years of practice and expertise to help create and improve on the music in someone else’s head: I love you too.