Facts about violin

Worth knowing about the violin


In the canon of classical music instruments, the strings play a prominent role. The most widely used string instrument today is the violin. The word violin means „little viola“ and originates from the Italian.

The term „violin“ was not always used as a synonym for the violin. In fact, the term also included the viola, the cello, the double bass and the viola da gamba. Mozart wrote about this his violin school:

„The word violin, comprehends instruments of various types and sizes, which are covered with gut strings. For this reason the word violin is a general word that includes all types of viol instruments in itself; and that it therefore arises only from one abusive if you flatly call violin a violin.“

The violin is the smallest instrument in the family of stringed instruments. The present shape has lasted now for 500 years, with very little changes. In particular, the city of Cremona in Italy is known for its famous violin maker, such as Amati, Ruggeri and Stradivari. Until today attempts to build violins, which can reproduce the excellent sound of this master instruments are made.
Violins are built in different sizes so that even children can start learning to play the violin. Especially small children's violins are available at very reasonable prices - for less than 200 €. The highest price ever achieved for a violin were approximately 11.6 million euros. It was a Stradivari violin from 1721. In order to protect the valuable bowed stringed instruments from damage, they are transported in stable violin cases.

Construction of the violin

A violin consists of many different parts and materials. The distinctive scroll at the head of the instrument is a remnant of the Baroque period and part of every classical string instrument. Partially, lions heads or other carvings for particularly fine instruments are used.

The resonating body of the bowed stringed instrument has a very important task. The body enhances the delicate sound of the four strings and ensures that the instrument is suitable for plays in orchestra and concerts. The resonating body consists of table, back and side wreath.
The table of the violin is made of spruce wood. The spruce combines a relatively low weight with high elasticity, which has a positive effect on the sound quality of the instrument. Almost always the table consists of two parts which are joined together in the middle. On the table, the bridge is mounted and the violin strings are strung.

For the back of the violin wood of the maple tree is processed. Sometimes poplar, chestnut or willow are used as material. Like the table, the back usually also consists of two parts. In order to beautify the instrument the maple wood is slightly flamed. The side parts of the resonating body are named ribs. They connect table and back and are usually made of the same wood as the back. 

Crafting a violin, table and back are decorated by the purflings or veins. They consist of three slim shavings, which are glued tightly into the purfling trench. Besides the aesthetic aspect, the inlays should also avoid cracks. Thus, this is an exciting challenge for the luthier.

For playing the violin the fingerboard is of great importance. It consists of ebony, with favorable instruments from other hardwoods, which were then blackened. The decisive factor is the hardness of the wood, because when the violinist uses the fingerboard, it is exposed to a permanent wear by the depression of the strings, but, in order not to negatively influence the sound quality, it must always remain flat.
The fingerboard lies on the neck, which connects the resonating body with the pegbox. By winding the string around the pegs in the pegbox they are tuned tense and on the right note. As the pegs are constantly exposed to the tension of the violin strings, also very hard wood like ebony, rosewood or boxwood is used. Thus, the pegs can be turned well, they are treated with peg chalk. This must be renewed every now and then.

The strings of the violin are E, A, D and G. For the E-string steel is used as core material, for the A-, D-, and G-strings basically three alternatives for the core of the string are available: gut, plastic or steel.

Gut strings are considered to be very much alive and warm in tone, but are the least durable and very sensitive to humidity and heat changes. Synthetic strings come very close to the gut strings in terms of sound quality and are highly resistant to moisture and heat, which is why they go out of tune much less and can be played even faster. The violinist will find a perfect combination of good sound and durability of violin strings.
Steel strings sound relatively sharp and are durable and sturdy, therefore less in common with violins. Steel strings are preferably in use with cello and double bass. In addition to the core of the strings they are wrapped with very different materials. Here, among others,  used under other aluminum, silver, tungsten, and even gold. Each material has its own special sound characteristics and thus forms the core adjacent to the second variable in the selection of violin strings. The wrapping is ultimately claimed the most, because it is worn out from above through the fingers and down through the wood of the fingerboard.

In order to hold the violin with the chin, a chin rest is attached to the lower end of the instrument. Chinrests are available in many different materials and shapes to suit every player's needs. The shapes of the chinrest differ considerably.
In addition, the shoulder rest is used to hold the violin. It is removable and is clamped to play to the musical instrument. Avoiding damages you should always pay attention to the state of the protective rubber. Also, shoulder rests are available in different materials and shapes. Besides the perfect fit, also the great sonic influence of the shoulder rest on the violin is important.


The greatest influence on the sound quality of the strings has the string bow. The main materials for violin bows are pernambuco wood and Brazil wood for many centuries now. In recent decades, synthetic material such as carbon has prevailed for the bow. The violin bow is therefore flexible, but also more resistant. Making the bow hair suitable for violin play, it has to be treated rosin.


Utilization of the violin

The violin plays an important role in the Music of modern Europe and is used in different roles. 

As a soloist, the high stringed instrument is represented mainly in the Baroque period. By double grips ways were sought to resound several voices with just one instrument without an  accompaniment by other musical instruments. In addition, during the Classic and Romantic periods and also in later periods violin concertos were composed. From individual passages for the concert master great violin concertos developed.

Also from the chambermusic the violin is indispensable. In most ensembles, the violin takes over the melody and so has the central role. Music for String Quartet, String Quintet, String Trio or Violin Sonata - the violin always takes the leading role of the first violin.
In the orchestra and the great romantic symphonies 30 violins take the first and second voice. Sometimes there are even more. The two voices are each directed by a vocal leader, the vocal leader of the first violin is often the concertmaster. Furthermore, the violin is in many countries - often cited Fiddle in this context - used in folk music.

At PAGANINO you will find

Violin strings from Pirastro and Thomastik

Violin cases and also

Violin bows and

Violin sheet music as well as all

Accessories for violin such as

Chin rest
Shoulder rest
Fine tuners
Wolf eliminators
Violin bridges
Violin stands or 

* All prices incl. German VAT., excl. shipping
Free shipping from 25 € within Germany