The violin is a string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths.
It is the smallest and highest-pitched member of the violin family, which includes the viola, cello, and double bass. The violin typically has a spruce top and maple back and sides.
The word “violin” comes from the Latin word vitula, meaning stringed instrument. The earliest known reference to the violin was in 12th-century France. By the 16th century, violins were being made in Italy by master luthiers such as Antonio Stradivari and Andrea Amati.
Today, violins are used in a wide variety of music genres including classical, jazz, folk, rock, and pop.
Here are ten fun facts about violins:
1. A standard violin has around 70 parts including the body, neck, fingerboard, tuning pegs, bridge, soundpost, tailpiece, and strings.
2. Violins come in different sizes to accommodate players of different heights – 1/16 size for very small children; 1/8 size for small children or beginners; 1/4 size for average-sized children; 1/2 size for most adults; 3/4 size for taller adults; 4/4 (full) size for professional adult players.
3. The longest playing time on record for a single note on a violin is over 8 hours! This was achieved by British musician Tony Duggan-Smith who played an E above middle C on his electric violin non-stop from 6pm on January 9th until 2am on January 10th 2009 at London’s Royal Festival Hall during a fundraising event called ‘Play On!’
4. In 2008 , American virtuoso Lindsey Stirling became one of YouTube’s first breakout stars with her unique brand of ‘electro-Violin dubstep’ – fusing elements of classical music with modern dance beats and visuals effects. She has since released two studio albums, won multiple awards and toured internationally.
5. One of the most expensive violins ever sold at auction is the ‘Lady Blunt’ Stradivarius which went for $15 million dollars in 2011! This particular instrument was built in 1721 by Antonio Stradivari himself and named after Lady Anne Blunt, granddaughter of Lord Byron.
6. Famous composer Niccolo Paganini was so renowned for his skill on the violin that many people believed he had struck a deal with Satan! He popularised many techniques still used by today’s virtuoso performers such as left – hand pizzicato (plucking), rapid – fire staccato bowing, harmonics and tremolo (rapidly shaking the bow back -and – forth across one or more strings).
7. During World War II, members of Britain’s National Fire Service would play their violins while walking through bombed out areas looking for survivors amidst all the rubble – this came to be known as ‘fireman’s Bach’.
8. If you want to hear what a really old fashioned sounding recording of someone playing the violin sounds like then check out Thomas Edison’s 1878 recording of Ole Bull playing part of his own composition entitled ‘La Marseillaise Fantasie Norvegienne Opus 4‘! It’s pretty rough but definitely interesting to listen to nonetheless.
9. The modern violin has been around for roughly 500 years.
10. Did you know that if you take away all its strings then what you have left is technically still considered to be a fully functioning musical instrument? That’s because before bows were invented way back when people would just rub their fingers along the length of gut or horsehair strands stretched taut between its pegbox notches in order produce sound.