Anatomy of a Violin

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If you are planning to take violin lessons, then you must familiarize yourself with the instrument. Today we will dissect a violin for you and help you understand different parts that are there in a violin, this will make it easier for you to learn how to play the instrument.

  1. The scroll

Scroll is at the top of the violin which is attached to the neck. It is also known as the head. Generally, it is carved in a spiral shape, but sometimes some scrolls may be carved into an animal’s head as well. It is primarily decorative and doesn’t affect the sound of the instrument. Carving of the scroll tells a lot about the quality of the instrument.

  1. Pegbox and Pegs

Pegbox is located just beneath the scroll leading into the neck. Pegs are situated on this peg box therefore the peg box has spaces and holes in it. These are also called tuning pegs. Strings are attached to each peg, therefore there are four pegs as there are four strings in a violin. Turning pegs can either loosen or tighten the strings.

  1. The neck

Neck is the long wooden piece that is attached to the body and it supports the strings on the violin. It also supports the fingerboard on a violin, which is another very important part of the instrument.

  1. The Fingerboard

Fingerboard is a smooth surface, painted black and is right beneath the instrument’s strings. It is attached to the neck of the violin. The fingerboard extends over the belly of the violin. However, it doesn’t touch the belly of the violin. When the violinist presses the strings down onto its surface, it changes the pitch of the instrument.

  1. The body

The body of the violin is the most important part of the violin. It is made up of wood, has a belly or a top plate and a bottom or a backplate. The ribs, which are located on the sides of the instrument, connect the belly and the bottom of the violin. Hence, body is a home to several important parts in a violin.

  1. Nut

The nut has several roles to play in a violin. It connects the pegbox to the fingerboard, controls the height of the strings and keeps them off of the fingerboard. It also makes sure that the strings are correctly spaced.

  1. F-holes or the sound holes

On the belly of violin, there are two f-shaped openings, known as the F-holes. They are of significance as they help with the projection of sound waves.

  1. Strings

There are four strings on the violin. They are stretched over the instrument’s body. Sound is created by engaging with these strings. These strings are made of catgut, which is actually sheep intestines. This is the traditional method of making violin strings. Today these strings are also made with metal and synthetic.

  1. Bridge

The bridge is located near the middle of the instrument between the sound holes or the f-holes. This bridge supports the strings of the violin. The bridge could be flatter or more curved depending upon the sound you want to produce.

  1. Soundpost

The sound post is located inside the instrument’s body and under the violin’s bridge. It provides support to violin against pressure.

  1. Chin rest

Violinists often rests their chin on the chin rest to support the instrument. The player holds one end of the violin by the chin and uses his hand freely to play the instrument. The chin rest is located at the bottom of the instrument and is at a place where the player can easily rest his/her chin. The chin rest comes in various sizes and types.

  1. Tailpiece

It is the area which secures the strings from the bottom end in a violin.

  1. The bow

The bow is used to play the violin. It is made of wood and might have a metal core. Attached to this stick there are bow hairs, they might be horsehair or synthetic hair. The hair is the part which actually comes in contact with the strings. The bow also has a frog which is the heel of the bow from where the violinist holds it. At the end of the frog there is a screw which is used to tighten the bow hair.

This is all what a violin comprises of. It is a pretty complicated instrument, but its elegance is unmatched. If you are planning to buy a violin or take violin lessons, then you should keep in mind the entire anatomy of violin. It will help you buy a better instrument and you will be able to reap maximum benefits out of your violin lessons since you’ll already have an idea about the functioning of the instrument.