Notes with resonance?
We all note G D A E notes on the violin will create sympathetic resonance. However, I noticed B also creates a resonance on my violins as well.
1. Why does B resonate?
2. Any other notes that resonate?
All notes resonate - the violin is a resonator. Without the violin acting as a resonating chamber, the sound of the string on its own would be rather weak. I think you're thinking of sympathetic vibration, when a note is played and there is an open string ringing that is tuned to the same pitch.
The notes that "ring" are the ones that have corresponding overtones elsewhere on the violin. On the E string it is possible to play "B" as a harmonic by putting your fourth finger (first position) on the "B" note lightly and drawing your bow. There may be "B" overtones on the G string too. The way to tell is to play the note that's "ringing" and use one of your other fingers to arrest the vibration of the other strings one at a time. If the ringing goes away, then the overtone that you're "resonating" is on that string, or at least mostly there.
Open strings and perfect fifths of open strings are the most resonate. These are frequently called ring tones.
One of the luthiers can probably correct me if I'm incorrect in this, but I think the table in this Wikipedia entry can be helpful.
Carmen, I'm not the OP, but I would really appreciate it if you would post a couple songs in the Ring Tone Scale as you suggested. As a returning beginner I'm really starting to enjoy using the ringing notes to help with finger placement. The idea of songs that focus on those notes is interesting.
I think all the natural notes resonate on a violin. for example try to find the 100% in tune spot for C (on any string), it wil stick out. also on many violins F actually "screams" quite nastily.
Here is a Ring Tone Scale piece based on an old Chinese folk song called Madam Wang.
Very basically, the overtones go in octaves, fifths, major thirds and minor sevenths (OK, they don't stop there - if you go high enough every note is produced, but weakly). So a B will come from a fifth on the E string or a major third on the G string.
The "ring tone scale" is known by another name -- the pentatonic scale. So if you want to find tunes based on this scale, I suggest you use "pentatonic" in your search instead of "ring tone."
I can give an example of sympathetic resonance, as distinct from sympathetic vibration. On my #1 violin, a 18th-c 14-1/4” long-back, its internal resonance is C (blow across the f-holes to hear it). When I play the C on the G string I get a powerful note resonating with the internal C resonance. This doesn't cause sympathetic vibrations from the open strings above it – the D, A and E strings don't have a useful audible C overtone. The notes below that C on the G string are also powerful, reminiscent perhaps of a viola in that register.
Carmen - that is just lovely - simple and a bit haunting. Thank you!
Carmen - if you see this (or anyone else familiar with this traditionalVhines melody posted earlierin this thread - I'm quite taken by this song. Thank you for the music and the midi file. I would love to find out more of the history of this song if you have anything. Google isn't my friend on this one.
The theme is from a British publication called "Chinese Music". It was printed in 1884. The author of the publication is J.A. Van Aalst.
Thanks for the information Carmen, I was curious about where it may have originated. It's an interesting piece for this returning beginner, thank you! There is also an interesting Wikipedia article on Jules A. van Aalst that links back to IMSLP.
I think there are two different issue here--maybe a luthier can chime in.
Thanks for the IMSLP reference.
Scott, your observation about the resonances of open strings and the violin body are well taken.
I’ve noticed certain instrument makers have sweet notes (and wolf notes) unique to their own instruments. I’m not enough of an expert to know why this is the case, but I definitely notice these characteristics. For instance on a good del Gesu, the D naturals tend to stick out a little more than the other tones. On Guadagninis, A naturals to my ear resonate more. With Stradivaris - everything resonates with tons of overtones.