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Definition: violin from Collins English Dictionary

n

1 a bowed stringed instrument, the highest member of the violin family, consisting of a fingerboard, a hollow wooden body with waisted sides, and a sounding board connected to the back by means of a soundpost that also supports the bridge. It has two f-shaped sound holes cut in the belly. The instrument, noted for its fine and flexible tone, is the most important of the stringed instruments. It is held under the chin when played. Range: roughly three and a half octaves upwards from G below middle C

[C16: from Italian violino a little viola, from viola1]


Summary Article: violin
from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

Bowed, string instrument, the smallest and highest pitched (treble) of the violin family. Its four strings are tuned in fifths to G3, D4, A5, and E5. It is usually played tucked between the shoulder and left side of the chin. The right hand draws the bow across a string causing it to vibrate and produce a note.

Evolution The violin developed gradually during the 16th century from a variety of fiddle types. It was perfected by three families of makers – Amati, Stradivari, and Guarneri – working in Cremona in Northern Italy around 1670–1710. Designed without frets and with a complex body curvature to radiate sound, its voicelike tone and extended range produced a solo instrument with great versatility and expression. Together with the viola and cello, it laid the foundation of the modern orchestra.

Today's violin has not changed in form since that time, but in the late 18th century aspects of the design were modified to produce a bigger sound and greater projection for the concert hall and to allow for growing virtuoso expression. These include a lengthened fingerboard, an angled neck, and larger-sized basebar and soundpost.

Repertoire The repertoire for solo violin is greater than that for most other instruments (except for piano and organ). Composers include Vivaldi, Tartini, Johann Sebastian Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Paganini, Elgar, Berg, Bartók, Carter, Lutosławski, Ferneyhough, and Dutilleux.

weblinks

Catgut Acoustical Society

Violin Making by Hans Johannsson

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violin, open strings

violin-making

audios

Beethoven, Ludwig van Violin Concerto op. 61, Fourth Movement

Bruch, Max Violin Concerto in G Minor, First Movement

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