Anatomy of the Violin- knowing the parts

Knowing the anatomy or parts of the violin, for a beginner, is essential. This helps you with clear understanding of the parts, and how they interact with the instrument. There are many parts that one must know, but without the violin’s body you would have no need for the different parts that help with producing sound.

The Main Body

The main body is the largest part of the instrument. The violin body can be made of a variety of different woods, it has a top plate, and back plate. Both plates are connected by ribs, which are located on the sides of the instrument. There are several parts that are included within the body that are considered separate parts, one of these include the F-hole.

  • The F-hole– the violin has two openings, near the center of the violin called F-holes. Another name they go by are sound holes, a person can identify them by the decorative stylish “F”. The holes are important for they reverberate the string, in return the sound is directed out of the body through the holes. Even though the holes produce the sound out of the violin, the bridge helps with the tone.
  • The Bridge- it is located near the middle of the instrument between the F-holes. The bridge is not glued to the violin but are supported by the strings. Depending on the desired sound, the bridge can be flatter or more curved. The flatter bridge make it easier to play more than one string at a time. The more curve bridges make it easier to hit one string, making better sound with a single note.

The main component of the violin houses some of the most important pieces of the violin. It also houses the tailpiece and the chin rest.

The Tailpiece

The tailpiece is located at the bottom of the violin, it is attached to the bottom by an end pin or end button. While the primary function of the tailpiece is to connect the strings to the end of instrument, it can have an effect on sound and playability. Connected to the tailpiece is the fine tuner and the chin rest which helps with tuning and handling.

  • The Fine Tuner attached to the of most violins are fine tuners. They are used in aiding in tuning the instrument.
  • The Chin Rest- it supports the players chin when they are playing the violin. This is important because it helps hold the violin between the chin and there shoulder, leaving both hands open.

Connected to the tailpiece are the strings which lead up to the top of the violin on what is called the fingerboard.

The Fingerboard

The Fingerboard is the smooth black surface glued to the neck of the violin underneath the strings. It extends from a point just below the nut, to a point about a third of the way down the body of the violin. The fingerboard is used to change the pitch, which occurs when the violinist presses the strings down onto it surfaces. The pegbox is connected at the end of the neck were the strings are held by the pegs and are pulled all the way down the violin to the tailpiece.

  • The Strings– there are four strings on the violin, they are stretched over the instrument’s body running from the pegbox to the tailpiece. They are the foundation or starting point of sound on this instrument. Originally strings are made of catgut, today most violins come with synthetic and metal strings. They are tuned to G,D,A,E using either the fine tuners or the pegs.
  • The Pegs/Pegbox- on the pegbox is the housing component for the strings. Since the violin has four strings, there are four pegs. The pegs are connected to the pegbox with two on each side. The pegs are mainly used to tune the strings.

Even though the strings go across the fingerboard from one end to another, the missing piece that is used to actually play the violin is the bow.

The Bow

The bow is used to play the violin. It is a long wooden stick, attached to it is the bow hair. The hair is the part of the bow that come in contact with the strings.

  • The Hair- it is the part that makes contact with the string. It is usually synthetic or horse hair, that needs to be well-rosined in order to produce sound. No rosin, no sound produce. It has to be properly maintained, or the hair on the bow could come off.
  • The Screw- the screw is connected to the frog and tightens or loosens the hair. Depending on how tight or lose the hair is could affect the sound quality play upon the violin.

The End Product

After knowing all the parts that are put on a violin and what they are used for, it is best to move forward and with start playing/learning the instrument.


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