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Violins

The History of the violin

 

Early European string instruments tended to be plucked (lyres, harps, etc.) but bowed instruments were found in central Asia and the Middle East. The violin as it is known today emerged from 16th-century, Renaissance Italy.

Violins are a significant part of classical music history and have roles in orchestras, string quartets, chamber and solo music. Folk and film music also heavily use the violin. Stradivari and Guarneri, whose instruments are now famous as being highly desirable by professional players and collectors, fetching huge sums of money at auction.

 

How do violins work? 

 

The violin is essentially built from a hollow resonating box with strings stretched across a wooden support called the bridge. The player uses a bow, which traditionally is made from a wooden stick with horsehair and rosin (a resin-like substance) which creates friction on the strings, producing a sound. Violins much like other stringed instruments in the orchestra tend to feature four strings at different pitches, G, D, A and E in this case. Strings used to be made from animal gut, but today they tend to be made from a combination of metal alloys and synthetic material.

 

Common Types of violins

 

Most often violins tend to be the acoustic variety you would find in any orchestra around the world. Manufacturers such as Hidersine and Stentor make violins in a variety of sizes ranging from 1/64 (very small) to 4/4 (full size) meaning that players of any age can take up the instrument. There are solid body electric versions which are able to be amplified such as Yamaha’s silent violins. Five and six string instruments exist but these are less common.

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