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Violin facts & history


The violin as we know it came into its modern form in the 16th century. Through the advent of classical music the violin was thrust into the mainstream. All of the greatest composers wrote symphonies that featured the violin such as Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Schumann, and more.

The word 'Violin'

The word violin comes from the Middle Latin word vitula, meaning stringed instrument; this word is also believed to be the source of the Germanic "fiddle". The violin, while it has ancient origins, acquired most of its modern characteristics in 16th-century Italy, with some further modifications occurring in the 18th century.

Violin as an instrument

The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest and highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which also includes the viola and cello, and occasionally the double bass.

Someone who plays the violin is called a violinist or a fiddler. The violinist produces sound by drawing a bow across one or more strings (which may be stopped by the fingers of the other hand to produce a full range of pitches), by plucking the strings (with either hand), or by a variety of other techniques.

Violin preview

Construction and mechanics

Strings were first made of sheep gut (commonly known as catgut), stretched, dried and twisted. Modern strings may be gut, solid steel, stranded steel, or various synthetic materials, wound with various metals, and sometimes plated with silver. Most E strings are unwound, either plain or gold-plated steel.
Strings have a limited lifetime, Apart from obvious things, such as the winding of a string coming undone from wear, players generally change a string when it no longer plays true, losing the desired tone. String longevity depends on string quality and playing intensity.

Violin Pitch range

The compass of the violin is from G3 (G below middle C) to C8 (the highest note of the modern piano.) The top notes, however, are often produced by natural or artificial harmonics. Thus the E two octaves above the open E-string may be considered a practical limit for orchestral violin parts.


info by Wikipedia

Violin Dictionary

info by:

Violin (exploded views): bowed stringed instrument placed between the chin and the clavicle to play. It has a treble pitch.
Head: part to which the hair is attached.
Hair: piece with taut horsehair strands that is pulled across the strings to produce the sounds.
Chord mechanism: mechanism that allows to control the tension of the strings.
Neck: part of the violin where strings are pressed to produce the notes.
Volute: wooden scrolled piece at the end of the neck.
Peg: small button used to control the tension of the strings.
Back plate: bottom of the body.
Body: hollow part that amplifies the sounds.
Soundhole: hole from where the sound exits.
Soundboard: part of the body that amplifies the sounds.
Fingerboard: part of the neck where the strings are pressed to produce the notes.
Tailpiece: piece to which the strings are attached.
Bridge: piece where the strings sit and that transmits the vibrations to the soundboard.
Frog: piece that allows to control the tension of the hair.
Stick: wooden stick, slightly incurved, to which is stretched a hair.