Posted by on Apr 10, 2018 in String Quartet |

The violin is one of the most popularly used stringed musical instruments. It is played with a bow just like a guitar. Sting musical instruments played with a bow dates back to ancient times. Although there is no detailed information on its origin, a violin (which is bigger than a violoncello and viola) can be said to date back to the middle of the 16th century in Italy. Andrea Amati born in 1500 and died in 1577 is said to be the maker of the first violin and the owner of the Cremona school of violin making.  Other people from the Amati family took over from where Andrea stopped and continued to perfect it both as a work of art and a musical instrument. The act of making violin became widespread and popular in Europe in the 17th century.

It extended to other parts of the world between the 18th and 19th century. Although these days, the majority of the violin in use are produced in violin factories located in Asia and Europe, there are still unique violins handmade by craftsmen who incorporate the same method used in the production of violins Italian violin makers centuries ago. The tools used in the production of the violin are almost the same tools used in the production of major carvings and woodworks. They include saws, scrapers, saws, chisels, and gouges; other specialized tools like matching peg shaver, peg hole reamer, bending iron, patterns and clamps of different types are used. A good violin maker is known for his skill in using, developing and working with sharp-edged instruments.

The collection of sounds that comes from a violin is known as its harmonics. To create harmonics, you need to press your fingers lightly on the various strings. A violin produces a wispy high note pitch tone inside of the normal solid tone produced by other string instruments. The reason is that the light finger is used to block the fundamentals on the string. The position of your finger helps to determine the notes that come out first in a series of harmonic tones.

Black Violin – Troy Savings Bank Music Hall

For a violin to produce a louder note, the player has to move the bow faster on the string or has to increase the pressure on the string. These two methods are different because they tend to produce different sounds. For instance, when you increase the pressure on the string by pressing down, you will end up producing a more intense and harsh tone.  Also, the location where the bow touches the string as determines the timbre. When you play closer to the bridge, you will produce a high-intensity tone. On the other hand, playing the bow over the sul tasto, that is, the end of the fingerboard produces a mild delicate sound.

There are occasions where the strings are touched with the back of the bow. This will produce a more percussive sound and it is most effective when used in a violin section in a full orchestra because it produces a louder tone.