Harmonics on the Violin
Could you all help regarding the science of harmonics on the Violin?
In addition, musically, please explain how to achieve the correct harmonics on the Violin?
When you divide the length of the string in half, by stopping in the middle with your finger, the frequency is doubled and the pitch goes up by one octave. By placing your finger very lightly you create two lengths, both of which vibrate.
Are you asking specifically about natural harmonics? Paul's answer is correct, and there are other harmonics as well--1/4 and 3/4 of the length of the string will give you two octaves higher, and dividing the string by thirds will take you up an octave plus a fifth.
Thanks Paul & Mary for your help and the links! I believe music students must understand a bit of Physics and the science behind the playing.
The science of artificial harmonics is identical to the science of natural harmonics.
Also, always do harmonics a tiny bit sharp, because they are naturally flat.
Andrew is correct. Artificial harmonics are artificial in name only. But, Mary Ellen is correct too: That's what everyone calls them. Essentially one uses one's first finger to create an artificial nut (a hard stop) and then the fourth finger is used to create the two-octave harmonic in exactly the same physical manner as described by Mary Ellen, by adding a soft stop a the 1/4 point along the remaining string length.
I think Nina is right but it's hard to explain.
If you stop a string so that it "rings" the harmonic of another string, then it's at the same fundamental frequency. Your finger does have finite thickness so if you are going to play an A harmonic (halfway up the A string) and then the same note with a regular stop, you do have to move your finger down a little. But that doesn't mean the harmonic was flat! It's just a consequence of your physicality.
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