Music for Kids
Parts of the Violin
If you are going to play the violin, it's a good idea to know the basic parts and functions of the musical instrument. See the picture and descriptions below.
Parts of the violin (see below for details)
- Body - The largest part of the violin is the hollow body. Its main function is to amplify the sound of the strings. The body is made up of the back, belly (top) and ribs (sides). The body is shaped like an hourglass.
- Neck and fingerboard - The neck is the long piece of wood that sticks out from the body. Glued on top of the neck is the fingerboard. This is a smooth flat piece of wood where the musician presses down on the strings to make notes. Unlike a guitar, the fingerboard on a violin is smooth and has no frets.
- Pegbox - Located above the neck, the pegbox is where the pegs are inserted and the strings are attached. The tightness and tuning of the strings are adjusted by the pegs in the pegbox.
- Scroll - At the top of the violin is the scroll. Its often carved and is there mostly for decoration.
- F-holes - On top of the body and on each side near the middle of the violin are the f-holes. These holes are where the sound of the violin comes out of the body. They are called f-holes because they resemble an f in italics. Changing the size, shape, and length of these holes can change the sounds of the violin.
- Bridge - The bridge is a hard piece of wood that the strings lay on top of. It's at the bridge that the strings stop vibrating and sound travels from the strings down into the body of the violin.
- Tailpiece - After passing over the bridge the ends of the strings connect to the tailpiece.
- Chin rest - At the bottom of the body is a chin rest which helps the musician to support the violin with their chin while playing.
- Strings - The violin has 4 strings all tuned to a fifth apart. They represent the notes G, D, A, and E.
The bow of the violin is made up of the stick and the horse hair. The stick gives the bow strength and is where the violinist holds the bow. The horse hair is what is rubbed against the strings to make vibrations and sound. The horse hair connects to the stick at the frog on one end and the point on the other.
Bows used in playing the violin
Fun Facts about the Parts of a Violin
- Electric violins need not be made of wood as they do not rely on the material for amplification or resonance.
- People who build, design, and repair violins are called luthiers.
- A modern violin is made from about 70 different pieces of wood.
- The body length of a full size violin is about 14 inches. There are smaller fractional violins as well such as 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/10, and 1/16. A ¾ violin has a body length of 13 inches and a ½ a length of 12 inches.
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