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.
Catgut Acoustical Society
Violin Making by Hans Johannsson
violin, open strings
Beethoven, Ludwig van Violin Concerto op. 61, Fourth Movement
Bruch, Max Violin Concerto in G Minor, First Movement
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