What is Violin: Definition and 46 Discussions

The violin, sometimes known as a fiddle, is a wooden chordophone (string instrument) in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body. It is the smallest and thus highest-pitched instrument (soprano) in the family in regular use. The violin typically has four strings, usually tuned in perfect fifths with notes G3, D4, A4, E5, and is most commonly played by drawing a bow across its strings. It can also be played by plucking the strings with the fingers (pizzicato) and, in specialized cases, by striking the strings with the wooden side of the bow (col legno).
Violins are important instruments in a wide variety of musical genres. They are most prominent in the Western classical tradition, both in ensembles (from chamber music to orchestras) and as solo instruments. Violins are also important in many varieties of folk music, including country music, bluegrass music, and in jazz. Electric violins with solid bodies and piezoelectric pickups are used in some forms of rock music and jazz fusion, with the pickups plugged into instrument amplifiers and speakers to produce sound. The violin has come to be incorporated in many non-Western music cultures, including Indian music and Iranian music. The name fiddle is often used regardless of the type of music played on it.
The violin was first known in 16th-century Italy, with some further modifications occurring in the 18th and 19th centuries to give the instrument a more powerful sound and projection. In Europe, it served as the basis for the development of other stringed instruments used in Western classical music, such as the viola.Violinists and collectors particularly prize the fine historical instruments made by the Stradivari, Guarneri, Guadagnini and Amati families from the 16th to the 18th century in Brescia and Cremona (Italy) and by Jacob Stainer in Austria. According to their reputation, the quality of their sound has defied attempts to explain or equal it, though this belief is disputed. Great numbers of instruments have come from the hands of less famous makers, as well as still greater numbers of mass-produced commercial "trade violins" coming from cottage industries in places such as Saxony, Bohemia, and Mirecourt. Many of these trade instruments were formerly sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co. and other mass merchandisers.
The components of a violin are usually made from different types of wood. Violins can be strung with gut, Perlon or other synthetic, or steel strings. A person who makes or repairs violins is called a luthier or violinmaker. One who makes or repairs bows is called an archetier or bowmaker.

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  1. S

    I Using a tuning fork vs computer tuner for violin

    I use a fork to tune my violin. The school teacher uses an ekectronic tuner which is low. I tried an app tuner on my phone. It is also low. How do I confirm for the teacher that these electronic tuners are not correct?
  2. E

    Effect of temperature on vibrational frequency of a violin string

    Variables: Dependent: Vibrational frequency of violin string (Measured using mobile tuning app) Independent: Temperature in which string is plucked (Measured using infrared thermometer) Controlled: Violin String, Tension of violin string, Length of violin string, Method of plucking...
  3. LCSphysicist

    Fundamental frequencies in a violin string.

    Why is this wrong?: That is, why is not f = 4fo? Oh. And my figure 1 can be wrong, because maybe i got confused if the string was open or closed in the boundaries, anyway this change nothing the relations (1)
  4. S

    Calculating frequency of the second harmonic

    Homework Statement The fundamental frequency of a violin string is 283 Hz. Calculate the frequency of the 2nd harmonic. Known: f = 283 Hz Homework Equations v = fλ f(n) = n*v/2L λ= L v(sound) = 343 m/s The Attempt at a Solution λ = 343/283 = 1.21 m f(2) = 2*343/2*1.21 = 283 Hz. I'm getting...
  5. D

    Tension and frequency of a vibrating violin string

    1. The problem statement, all variables, and given/known data So I'm doing an IB extended essay on the relationship between frequency and tension of a violin string. As you apply more tension to the string (using weights and pulley), the frequency will be higher, as shown below. There's not too...
  6. Const@ntine

    Tuning a Violin's Chord (Frequencies)

    Homework Statement A violin's chord has a length of 0.350 meters, and is tuned to the sound of the note Sol, with a frequency of fG = 392 Hz. a) How far from the edge of the chord does the violinist need to place his hand, in order to play a note La, with a frequency of fA= 440 Hz? b) If...
  7. R

    Why don't bowed musical instruments deaden their sound?

    Horsehair is a string of tiny bead-shaped growths -- from what I have read. Even that slides over strings until rosin allows the "beads" to grab temporarily. But if one bead pulls and releases the string, wouldn't the other strings in the horsehair "hank" dampen that sound? It obviously doesn't...
  8. Sace Ver

    How Many Vibrations Does a 880Hz Violin String Make Over 332m?

    Homework Statement A violin string is vibrating at a frequency of 880Hz. How many vibrations does it make when the sound produced travels 332m through air at temperature of 0 degrees Celsius. Homework Equations Not sure. The Attempt at a Solution I'm not quite sure how to solve this equation.
  9. B

    Vibrations of a Violin (Physics)?

    so my group was given this topic to discuss in physics. What are some sub topics that i can talk about? i don't know where to start my research example: 1) how a violin makes sounds? - - 2) _____
  10. E

    Odd (pretty) waveform for third harmonic of violin E-string

    I lightly placed my finger a quarter of the length down the E-string of a violin and drew the bow, forcing the third harmonic. I used an oscilloscope app to look at the waveform. I got this unusually regular pure pattern...
  11. H

    I saw a Violin change the colour of a liquid,I don't know how

    I've been looking around and I saw that chemicals are involved and they apparently played in the key of B major, if that helps. Oh also someone mentioned there may be oil at the top. Does anyone know how this happens or have even seen this? I know sound is pressure, and it goes through things...
  12. H

    Solving Wave Speed of a Violin String

    Homework Statement A violin string with a mass of 0.35g is 33 cm long. The frequency of a wave supported by the string is 196 Hz. What is the speed of the wave? Homework Equations Ln = n/2 *lambda v = f*lambda The Attempt at a Solution 1. Solve for wave length [/B] L1 = 1/2 *lambda 0.33 =...
  13. T

    Violin frequencies and harmonics

    Homework Statement A violin has four strings that are 32 cm long and are typically tuned to concert G, D, A, and E (196 Hz, 294 Hz, 440 Hz, and 660 Hz). A)What is the wavelength of the fundamental mode of oscillation on the A string? Sketch the waveform. B)What is the wavelength of the sound...
  14. O

    How Do You Calculate the Wavelength of Sound Waves Emitted by a Violin String?

    I am doing this problem: (a) Find the speed of waves on a violin string of mass 800 mg and length 22.0 cm if the fundamental frequency is 920 Hz. (b) What is the tension in the string? For the fundamental, what is the wavelength of (c) the waves on the string and (d) the sound waves emitted...
  15. C

    Length on vibrating section of violin

    Homework Statement A particularly beautiful note reaching your ear from a rare Stradivarius violin has a wavelength of 39.1 cm. The room is slightly warm, so the speed of sound is 344 m/s. If the string's linear density is 0.560g/m and the tension is 160N , how long is the vibrating section...
  16. NATURE.M

    Fantasy for violin and orchestra

    "Fantasy for violin and orchestra" Does anyone know any similar pieces as Joshua Bell " Fantasy for violin and orchestra", as I found it to be beautiful.
  17. C

    Tension and frequency relationship on a violin

    There is an equation relating the tension in a string fixed between two nodes and the velocity of the traveling waves which form the allowed standing waves. It is T = v^2 (μ) where μ is the mass per unit length. Am I correct in saying that if the tension in the string increases then frequency...
  18. M

    Linear Mass Density and violin

    Homework Statement If a violin A4 string of length 35 cm is to be under 60 N tension, what linear mass density should it have? Homework Equations Cannot find an equation The Attempt at a Solution ? I cannot find anything in my textbook relating to this question.
  19. Pattonias

    Exploring My Violin Music Preferences

    I have recently discovered I really enjoy music featuring violins. I have also learned that I have particular tastes when it comes to the type of violin music that I like and I'm wondering if another fan could help me to identify what I like specifically. I guess I'm asking how to describe the...
  20. N

    Solving the Violin String Problem: Frequency, Wave, and Tension

    Homework Statement Mass of violin string = 35g Length of string = 60cm Frequency = 196Hz What is the frequency change to if the string is fingered at 15cm from the top end? How fast does the wave propagate down the string? What is the tension in the string? Homework Equations v =...
  21. K

    Standing Waves on a Violin String

    Homework Statement A violinist places her finger so that the vibrating section of a 1.00 g/m string has a length of 40.0 cm, then she draws her bow across it. A listener nearby in a 20oC room hears a note with a wavelength of 60.0 cm.Homework Equations Wavelengthm = (2L/m) f1 = (v/2L) =...
  22. Z

    What should I know before buying an electric violin?

    Hello. I'm thinking of buying an electric violin for my own amusement. Just wondering if anyone has experience in this matter? I pretty much have zero knowledge about electric instruments and would appreciate tips on what to pay attention to when selecting one, price range, brands, effects...
  23. M

    Discover the Joy of Self-Taught Violin: Tips, Tricks, and Book Recommendations

    I've always loved the sound of violin and lately have been thinking about buying a used violin on craigslist and teaching myself to play. Any advice and anyone know how difficult such a task will be? Also, any suggestion on good books to read to do this would be appreciated.
  24. C

    Frequencies on a violin string

    A violin string has a length of 0.350 m and is tuned to concert G, with fG = 392 Hz. Where must the violinist place her finger to play concert A, with fA = 420 Hz? If this position is to remain correct to half the width of a finger (that is, to within 0.600 cm), what is the maximum...
  25. M

    Caculating the tention, max accaleration and velocity of a violin string

    Homework Statement String on the violin is made of steel wire with a diameter of 0.25 mm. With what force must the string be strained (stretched) so that its basic frequency will equal 660 Hz (E-string)? What is the maximum velocity and acceleration of the parts of the string, if we evoke...
  26. E

    Calculating Tension Required for 4*10^-4m Extension of Steel Wires on a Violin

    Homework Statement The wires on a violin have a cross section of 5.1*10^-7m^2. The wires are put under tension by turning the wooden pegs. The Young Modulus of Steel is 2.0*10^11 Pa. Calculate the tension required to produce an extension of 4*10^-4m. Homework Equations Thats where...
  27. F

    Beat frequencies/tension force of violin strings while tuning-

    Beat frequencies/tension force of violin strings while tuning--please help Homework Statement To tune your violin, you first tune the A string to the correct pitch of 440 Hz, and then you bow both it and the adjoining string simultaneously, all the while listening for beats. While bowing the...
  28. A

    Where should the violinist place their finger to play concert A?

    Homework Statement A violin string has a length of 0.35m and is tuned to concert G (a frequency of 392Hz). Where must the violionist place her finger to play concert A, with a frequency of 440Hz? Homework Equations The Attempt at a Solution I used v= frequency * wavelength and...
  29. D

    Describe the difference in sound between a flute and a violin?

    Describe the difference in sound between a flute and a violin?
  30. M

    Violin Harmonics HW: Finding Lowest Frequency Oscillation

    Homework Statement a 32 cm violin string with linear mass density is .36 gm/m is placed near a loudspeaker that is fed by an audio oscillator of variable frequency. It is found that hte string is set into oscillations at frequencies 1320 Hz and 1760 Hz as the frequency of the audio oscillator...
  31. N

    Fundamental frequency of violin string

    Homework Statement A vibrating string on a violin is 330 mm long and has a fundamental frequency of 659 Hz. What is its fundamental frequency when the string is pressed against the fingerboard at a point 60 mm from its end? *The answer is 805 Hz Homework Equations f = \overline{}nv/2L...
  32. C

    How Does Touching a Violin String Affect Its Frequency?

    [SOLVED] Violin String and Waves 1. A violin string of length 0.33m and mass 50g is under a tension of 40N. A violin player touches the string a distance L/3 from one end, which produces a node at that point. What is the lowest frequency that can now be produced on the string? 2. I have several...
  33. P

    Does Playing the Violin on a Moving Train Demonstrate the Doppler Effect?

    suppose i am moving in a train and at the same time playing a violin .Is the dopller effect/formulae applicable for me
  34. E

    Mass per Unit Length of Violin Strings

    [SOLVED] Mass per Unit Length of Violin Strings Homework Statement Each string on a violin is tuned to a frequency 1.5 times that of its neighbor. If all the strings are to be placed under the same tension, what must be the mass per unit length of each string relative to that of the lowest...
  35. W

    How Does Beat Frequency Help Tune a Violin to Concert A?

    Homework Statement A violinist is tuning her instrument to concert A (440 Hz). she plays the note while listening to an electronically generated tone of exactly that frequency and hears a beat frequency 3Hz, which increases to 4Hz when she tightens her violin string slightly. (a) what was the...
  36. S

    Solving for Two Identical Violin Strings

    Homework Statement Two identical violin strings, when in tune and stretched with the same tension, have a fundamental frequency of 440 Hz. One of the strings is retuned by adjusting its tension. When this is done, 2 beats per second are heard when both strings are plucked simultaneously. a...
  37. N

    Exploring the Effect of Fingering Position on Violin String Frequency

    A violin string vibrates at 294 Hz when unfingered. At what frequency will it vibrate if it is fingered one third of the way down from the end? f1= 294 Hz (fundamental frequency) f2= 2f1=(2)( 294 Hz)= 588 Hz f3= 3f1=(3)( 294 Hz)= 882 Hz f4= 4f1=(3)( 294 Hz)= 1176 Hz The 294 Hz would be...
  38. N

    Discover the Frequency of Fingered Violin Strings Without Measuring Length

    A violin string vibrates at 294 Hz when unfingered. At what frequency will it vibrate if it is fingered one third of the way down from the end? How do I determine this w/o length of how far 1/3 of violin string is? Help anyone!
  39. M

    Periodic sound by a violin string

    Analysis of the periodic sound wave produced by a violin's G string includes three frequencies: 392, 588, and 980 Hz. What is the fundamental frequency? [Hint: The wave on the string is the superposition of several different standing wave patterns.] The fundamental frequency is the lowest...
  40. F

    What are some tips for learning to play guitar on your own?

    :biggrin: Hi everyone, any books to recommend? Thanks in advance. FNG
  41. P

    Question about transverse standing wave including violin string

    I have a question on this problem 1. 10. A violin string vibrates at 335 Hz when unfingered. At what frequency will it vibrate if it is fingered one half of the way down from the end? For this one I worked out that string is fixed at both ends because its in a violin so I am thinking of...
  42. H

    How Do You Calculate Tension in Violin Strings?

    I wanted to ask for some help, but first a little about me. I am a physician, but my major was mathematics many years ago. Currently, I am reviewing physics "for the fun of it" and I'm using Tipler's text for review. In the newest edition, I am trying to work problem 77 in chapter 6, but I can't...
  43. JasonRox

    I need to know about the Violin.

    Hey, I've decided to start playing the Violin after being well over a year since I wanted to start. I always thought Violins were too expensive, but apparently you can get one for a few hundred dollars. I'm just here to ask about what good brands should I start with. I don't want...
  44. Y

    Violin strings tension problem

    Two identical violin strings, when in tune and stretched with the same tension, have a fundamental frequency of 440.0 Hz. One of the strings is retuned by adjusting its tension. When this is done, 1.5 beats per second are heard when both strings are plucked simultaneously. -By what...
  45. Y

    Fundamental frequence of violin string

    Two identical violin strings, when in tune and stretched with the same tension, have a fundamental frequency of 440.0 Hz. One of the strings is retuned by adjusting its tension. When this is done, 1.5 beats per second are heard when both strings are plucked simultaneously. -What is the...
  46. M

    Exploring the Physics Behind Finger Tapping Violin Strings

    I play the violin, and I recently figured out that if I very gently touch my finger on a string, it produces a higher integer multiple of the frequency if I were to hold my finger down all the way. How does this happen?