Tuesday, December 13, 2011
National Violins Day
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola, cello, and bass.
Someone who plays the violin is called a violinist or a fiddler. The violinist produces sound by drawing a bow across one or more strings (which may be stopped by the fingers of the other hand to produce a full range of pitches), by plucking the strings (with either hand), or by a variety of other techniques. The violin is played by musicians in a wide variety of musical genres, including Baroque music, classical, jazz, folk music, and rock and roll.
Violinists and collectors particularly prize the instruments made by the Gasparo da Salò, Giovanni Paolo Maggini, Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati families from the 16th to the 18th century in Brescia and Cremona and by Jacob Stainer in Austria.
The earliest stringed instruments were mostly plucked (e.g. the Greek lyre). Bowed instruments may have originated in the equestrian cultures of Central Asia, an example being the Kobyz (Kazakh: қобыз) or kyl-kobyz is an ancient Turkic, Kazakh string instrument or Mongolian instrument Morin huur:
Turkic and Mongolian horsemen from Inner Asia were probably the world’s earliest fiddlers. Their two-stringed upright fiddles were strung with horsehair strings, played with horsehair bows, and often feature a carved horse’s head at the end of the neck. The violins, violas, and cellos we play today, and whose bows are still strung with horsehair, are a legacy of the nomads.
Photo credits: Violinist Jascha Heifetz, perhaps the most memorable of the Golden Age soloists and a so-called "classical" virtuoso who was actually a household name in many American communities, glassshallot.typepad.com; gracecomesbyhearing.blogspot.com; Israeli violin virtuoso, conductor, and master-instructor. He is widely considered as one of the preeminent violin virtuosi of the 20th century.tipsforclassicalmusicians.com;Wikipedia, Wikipedia, Kyoko Yonemoto playing Paganini's Caprice No. 24 on a violin, Wikipedia; talknologytips.blogspot.com