|Violin is a stringed musical instrument. It has 4 strings and it was invented in the middle of XVI century derived from viol.
Violin body is oval in shape with notches in the sides which form 'waist line'. Roundedness of outer contours and the 'waist line' ensure comfort to play particularly in high notes.
Top and bottom planes (decks) of the body are connected with each other with ribs. They are convex shaped forming 'arcs'. Geometry of these arches determins the strength and colour of sound.
Another important factor that effects the sound color of a violin is the height of ribs.
Body is covered with varnish in different shades. Two resonating holes – fs (they resemble the latin character f) are made in top deck.
Apart from the shape, the strength and sound colour of stringed instruments are greatly effected by the material out of which they are made and the varnish composition. A prop through which, strings, fastened to the string holder (tail-piece), pass is situated in the center of the top deck. String holder is a strip of black wood that widens towards the side where strings are fastened. Opposite side is narrow and is attached to the button on the sidewall with a thick string in the form of a loop.
Inside the violin body, in between the top and bottom decks, a round wooden dowel pin - sound post, is inserted. This part transmits the waves from top deck to bottom deck ensuring resonance.
Finger board of the violin is a long strip made of black wood or of plastic. Lower part of the finger board is fastened to rounded and ground plank named as neck.
Violin playing procedures:
Four fingers of the left hand cuddle the strings on the fingerboard (thumb is not used). Fiddlestick held in players right hand is moved over the strings.
Pressing of the string with finger shortens it and a higher tone is attained. Strings that are not pressed by fingers are called as empty and are designated with zero.
String part is written on the violin clef (key signature). Violin Range – from g in low octave up to s in fourth octave. Higher sounds are difficult. Flageolets are attained by semi-cuddling of the strings. Some flageolet sounds reach out beyond above mentioned range of violin sounds.
Application of the left hand fingers is called as fingering. Forefinger is called as first, middle – second, fourth – third, little finger – fourth. Fingering of four neighbouring fingers lagging from each other by one tone or half tone is called as position. There can be seven or more positions on each string. The higher the position, the more difficult it is to play. On each string excluding quints, players go mostly up to fifth position inclusive; but on the quint or on the first string and sometimes even on the second, they use higher positions – from sixth to twelfth.
Methods of running the fiddlestick greatly effect the character and strength of the sound and generally on the phrasing. On violin, it is allowed to simultaneously run over two neighbouring strings two notes (dual strings) and not simultaneously but very quickly – three (triple strings) and four. Such combination prevalently harmonic is easier with empty strings and difficult with out them.
Apart from playing with the fiddlestick players do hit the strings with one of the right hand fingers (pzzicato). Sordino made of metal, bone or wooden plate with cutouts for strings in the bottom portion is used to weaken sound. Sordino is fixed to the upper portion of the support or violin bridge. It is easier to play those modes on a violin which allow maximum usage of empty strings. Most comfortable passages are those that are made of gamm or their parts.
It is difficult for aged people to become violinists as sensitivity of fingers and muscular memory are very important for these musicians. Sensitivity of an aged person is lower than that of a younger person and muscular memory requires much time to establish. It is better to start learning violin from six – seven years, may be even earlier.
Origin and history:
Prototypes of violin were Arabic rebab and german rota, merging of which gave way to viola. Shape of the violin was established by XVI century and the family Amati, famous manufacturers of violins belong to the start of XVII. Their instruments differ from others by excellent shape and better material. Generally Italy was famous for manufacturing of violins out of which, violins from Stradivari and Gvarneri are appreciated and estimated extremely high in present times.
Violin has become a solo instrument since XVII century. “Romanesca per violino solo e basso” by Marini from Breshii (1620) and “Capricio stravagante” by the contemporary Farin are considered to be first products written for violin. A. Korelli is considered to be the founder of artistic play on the violin. He is followed by Torelli, Tartini, Pierto Lokatelli (1693 – 1764), Korelli’s student, who developed the bravur technique in playing a violin.|