The Art of the Violin

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Basic Technique









Although the violin may just seem to be a couple pieces of wood, strings, and a stick to pull across it, the violin is a complex structure, like any instrument. Both the bow and violin are made up of many components and pieces.

Scroll: a decoratively carved section at the end of the neck of a violin. It is often carved in a volute, a rolled-up spiral, but some are carved as animal heads.

Pegbox: this piece below the scroll houses the tuning pegs of the instrument.

Neck: this projects from the main body and is the base of the fingerboard. In violins, it is usually made of maple with a specific graduated curve that is fit to the back of the instrument.

Fingerboard: this part of the instrument is where a player presses their fingers down on different parts of the string to create a certain pitch.

Bridge: a small device made of wood that is for supporting the strings of a violin and transmitting the vibrations of those strings to other components of the violin in order to transfer those sounds into the surrounding air.

F-holes: sound holes in the body of violin that helps the sound project more efficiently and vibrate more freely.

Fine tuners: small screws found on all strings, or only on the E string, that are used to make minute changes in pitch of the string.

Tailpiece: a tulip-shaped wooden piece, usually of ebony, rosewood, or boxwood, which is used to anchor the strings into the fine tuners and support their combined vibrations.

Chin rest: an oval shaped piece where violinists grip the violin with their chin and shoulder.

Hair: the hair is strung between both ends of the bow, is usually made of horsehair from the tail of a white male horse, and must be rosined frequently so it has enough friction to grip the strings.

Screw: a metal screw that when twisted tightens the hair to the players preference.

Frog: where the violinist rests their fingers; it can be decorated with shells on either side.

Pad: a leather grip or thumb cushion that provides grip for the player’s right hand.

Stick: made of pernambuco wood; it is the wood that connects the frog and tip.

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