The violin is a four-stringed musical instrument, tuned in fifths, held between the shoulder and the chin, whose strings are rubbed with a bow.
The violin is the most complex and liveliest of all musical instruments. The only rival to the violin in terms of this complexity of sound and power of emotion is its model, the human voice. The violin is absolutely matchless in its ability to sustain sound, prolong it and colour it with so many nuances of expression and intensity. The violin is a basic instrument of the orchestra and its popularity is a result of its expressive qualities. It delights as much in slow melodies as in quick movements.
Different parts of the violin:
The violin is made of close to
80 pieces. The main parts are: the soundboard (also called body
or case), usually made from spruce; the Back in maple; ribs, neck
and keys made of ebony; and the head, scroll and bridge. The soundboard,
Back and ribs are assembled to form a hollow box. This contains
the violin's soundpost, a small dowel of spruce set between the
soundboard and the Back, close to the right foot of the bridge.
It also contains the basse-bar, a small strip of pine glued inside
the box under the left foot of the bridge. The soundpost and the
basse-bar play an important acoustic role and reinforce the structure
of the violin.
This small pine dowel is a rather small but very important part of the violin. It joins the soundboard to the Back, inserted 6 or 7 mm behind the foot of the bridge, on the E-string (the smallest string) side. Its function is to transmit the sound from the Back, to support the soundbox under the bridge and to modulate the instrument's response. It is extremely sensitive and can greatly affect the tone is moved or placed incorrectly. The violin maker must make several tries with the violinist to find the position that will ensure the violin has its best acoustic balance.
A good violin can be ruined by bad quality and inelastic varnish. The most beautiful and flexible varnish, however, cannot improve a mediocre violin. The brilliance of the violin comes from its varnish.
Bow: The bow is a continuation of the arm and is thus an extension
of the violinist's body. It is in close contact with the violin.
In addition, the bow can be said to provide a profound and vibrant
relationship between the soul of the musician and the sound post
of the violin.
Four strings produce the notes G, D, A and E. Before the 16th century, strings were made from gut (small intestine of the sheep).
Changes to the violin:
Compared to modern violins, the first violins had a shorter and thicker neck situated less behind the sound box, the keys were shorter, the bridge flatter and the strings were in natural gut. The first bows were also different from those we know today. The following table summarizes changes made in the early 19th century to the early violin to give it its current shape. These changes were made around 1830 to respond to the needs of composers and violinists.
A few great violinists:
A modern orchestra has about 24 violinists divided into two groups, first and second violins. The violin can produce more notes than any other instrument in the orchestra. It is the best solo instrument in that its clear tone is easily distinguished in the orchestra.
There are two categories of violinist that must not be overlooked: jazz violinists, of whom the greatest representative was Stéphane Grappelli of France who was born in 1908 and who died recently; and the musicians who hand down the folklore of various people. The violin is present in many traditional cultures, including Jewish and gypsy cultures that have often provided interpreters who have enriched the style of violinists.
Did you know?
The violin can resist high pressure of up to 7.7 kg exerted by the four strings on the bridge.
I hope that this brief description will help you get to know the violin better. This exceptional instrument is directly related to humans.