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STRING INSTRUMENTS

What would the orchestra be without the violin, the main instrument of the symphonies?

The violin is in charge of carrying the melody of the orchestra and of various modern songs, therefore, its importance in the traditional and current music scene is incredible. Without the need for cables, it produces good music and, knowing the elements that make it up, you can get closer to this great instrument.

 

The violin is an instrument whose origin can be traced back more than 5 centuries ago. Although this product, as we know it today, was unveiled for the first time in the 16th century, its history is directly linked to other instruments of the Middle Ages, such as the rabel and the lute, who were the predecessors of the modern violin.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Claudio Monteverdi and Antonio Vivaldi are just some of the names that can be achieved among the groups of great violinists in history. These musicians, together with their violin, managed to revolutionize the musical world and their influence continues to be present in the 21st century. This makes it easier to understand the great importance of the violin in the music scene, since, in addition to its beautiful melodies, it was an instrument that helped pave the way for orchestras, being the protagonist of legendary works and sonatas.

 

What is the best violin: first or second?

In reality, there is no physical difference between a first violin or a second, the distinction is only noticeable at the moment when the melody begins.

The violin is, without a doubt, the guiding instrument of the orchestra. This is not only due to historical reasons, when, in the absence of a conductor, it was the violinists who set each pattern, but also to the sonatas and musical works that are still played today.

The string section in an orchestra is the main one and the first violins are in charge of leading the sonata. Among these, it is possible that there is the first violin, who is the one that has the closest relationship with the conductor and the one who guides the rest of the violinists during the musical piece.

The second violins, for their part, are in charge of making the first ones stand out. Instead of carrying the melody, these work as supportive and usually sound an octave lower than the first. Both violins are of great importance, since the harmony between the two and the combined musical details are responsible for the orchestra having an impeccable sound.

 

 

 

The parts of the violin  

Before being able to play the violin in an excellent way, it is necessary to become familiar with it, therefore, knowing the parts that make it up is just as important as learning the best technique to play it.

 

  • The scroll: this is the top of the violin, also called the head. This differs between models, because, usually, it is a piece where the artisans leave their personal mark. Most of the time it is spiraling, but many times it is not. There is the pegbox, where the pegs will enter to make the tuning of the strings
  • Fingerboard and handle :the handle is the wooden structure where the fingerboard is attached, where the violinist will mark each musical note with his fingers, pressing the strings that remain on it.
  • Strings: the violin is a 4-string instrument. From the left begins the G string, followed by the Re, A and E string, the first being the lowest and the last being the highest. These are made of strong materials to withstand the chafing of the arch and the pressure of the fingers on the top.
  • Box: the resonance box is responsible for the sound to be given and is composed of two tables. The harmonic table, that is, the top cover, and the bottom one. The top cover is the one that shows the efes, also known as ears or eses. These are the small curved pieces at the bottom front of the violin, resonance openings that take care of the soundboard oscillation. This box, most of the time, is made of maple and fir.
  • Bridge and soul: the bridge has various functions. The first one is to keep the strings separated from each other and at the proper height to sound correctly. The second function is to transmit the vibrations from the strings to the top of the violin. The soul is the cylindrical piece that is located between the bottom and the table, in the internal part of the violin. The vibrations of the strings are carried throughout the body of the violin due to the soul and, for that reason, without it, it is impossible to produce the sound.
  • Tailpiece: The tailpiece is the piece that keeps the strings in place, as it keeps them anchored to the body of the violin. It is made of wood or aluminum. In some cases, it can also contain micro-tuners to keep the strings in tune.

 

 

 

  • Bearded and pad:Maintaining the correct position when playing violin is quite difficult and can cause pain throughout the body, after spending a long time playing the instrument. To make it easier, the violin comes with two pieces designed exclusively for the violinist’s comfort. This makes playing the instrument easier and has fewer negative effects on the body, such as strains on the muscles. The curb, usually made of wood, serves as a support for the violinist’s chin, which, in addition to providing comfort, prevents the varnish of the instrument from wearing due to direct contact with the skin. The pad, for its part, provides rest to another area of ​​the body, in this case, the shoulder. This piece is not mandatory, but many musicians prefer it so as not to try too hard. By raising the violin a little, the inclination of the head will not be so marked either. Most of the time the pad is made of metal, but for softness it is covered with rubber.
  • Bow: this piece, although not part of the body of the violin itself, is necessary to be able to play it. It is made of wood and a stick with bristles, responsible for brushing the strings. Do some stretches, take the violin out of the case and start practicing until you become the first violin, the absolute leader of the orchestra.

 

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