Answers to Questions about the Violin

What are the Parts of a Violin?

The violin is a stringed instrument, played with a bow. It is the "soprano" voice of the orchestra, and one of the world's most popular and enduring instruments. Please move your mouse around the Gagliano family violin pictured below to learn more about the parts of the violin.

The Violin
The Scroll of the violin is mostly ornamental, its practical use being to hang the violin on a hook. Scrolls are usually created in a spiral, but some violins have lion's heads, faces or other custom 'scrolls.'
The Pegs of the violin extend from the peg box, two on each side. The pegs are turned away from the body of the violin to tighten the strings, which sharpen the pitch. Turn the pegs back toward the body of the violin to loosen them and flatten the pitch.
Place the fingers of your left hand on the Fingerboard to play the different notes. The fingerboard rests on top of the neck of the violin, extending over the body toward the bridge.
The Bridge of the violin supports the four strings, lifting them above the fingerboard. The bridge is not glued in place, but held by the pressure of the strings. The bridge is cut higher on the G string side, sloping lower to the E.
The Sound Box: The 'belly' of the violin, or the top, is most often made of spruce and is slightly arched. Underneath is the 'back,' which is usually made of maple. Joining the front and the back are the 'ribs,' which are made from six strips of thin maple and curve along the sides of the violin.
The Tailpiece connects the strings to the end of the violin's body. Sometimes you will find fine tuner knobs on the tailpiece.
The carved 'f' holes allow the violin's sound vibrations to escape from the sound box.
The carved 'f' holes allow the violin's sound vibrations to escape from the sound box.
The E String is the highest-pitched string on the violin and is a fifth, or four notes, above the A string.
The A String is the note most often used to tune the violin, usually set anywhere between 440 and 442 hertz.
The D String is a fifth (or four notes) below the A.
The G String is the lowest note played on a normally-tuned violin and is a fifth (or four notes) below the D string.
The Chin Rest: Violinists debate the value of shoulder rests, placed below the violin body, but almost all violins include a chin rest.

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