The Anatomy of the Violin

The violin is the smallest and highest pitched member of the violin family. Also known as the fiddle, this beautiful instrument is usually made from wood with a hollow body, although electric versions are available. Each part of the violin plays an important role in how the instrument works:

Scroll: The scroll is a decoratively carved piece of wood at the top of the violin. It is typically carved in the shape of a volute (a spiral) which dates back to the Baroque period, although some luthiers will carve the scroll into different shapes or adorn it with decoration. 

Peg Box: Below the scroll is the peg box, it is a hollowed out compartment which houses the tuning pegs. 

Pegs: There are four tuning pegs on a violin. The strings are wound around the pegs which will allow the player to tune the violin by either tightening or loosening the strings by turning the pegs.

Nut: The nut is a raised piece of wood below the peg box. It sits where the fingerboard meets the peg box and has grooves in which the strings rest to keep them aligned and risen in an exact height above the fingerboard.

Neck: The neck of the violin extends from the body and holds the fingerboard and the strings. 

Fingerboard: The fingerboard is attached to the neck of the violin. The fingerboard has a curved shape to allow the player to bow each of the strings. Unlike the guitar the violin fingerboard does not have any frets.

Upper Bout: The upper bouts are the two curves in the upper half of the violin. The violins distinctive hourglass shape allows for maximum sound production. 

Strings: The violin hosts four strings, the pitches of the open strings are G, D, A, and E. Traditionally, violin strings were made of catgut (dried out sheep or goat intestines) but they are now made of metallic materials such as titanium and aluminium. 

Waist: The waist, also know as the c-bouts, are the cutouts in the middle of the violins body. The waist makes room for the bow and is a main feature of the violins distinctive shape.

F-Holes: The f-holes are named for their distinctive "f" shape and are located either side of the bridge. The f-holes allow air to move in and out of the violin to aid sound-production.

Bridge: The bridge a decoratively carved piece of wood that is located between the f-holes and is held in place by the tension of the strings. The bridge hold the strings above the violin to allow the strings to vibrate freely and transfer the vibrations to the top of the instrument and the sound post inside.

Lower Bout: The lower bouts are the two curves at the bottom of the violin below the waist.

Fine Tuners: The fine tuners are located on the violins tailpiece and are used to make smaller adjustments to the to the pitch of the strings. It is common to only find one fine tuner on a violin, located on the E string, however some violins do have them on all strings. 

Tailpiece: The tailpiece is located in the lower part of the violin. It is used to anchor the strings to the lower end of the violin. The tailpiece is held in place using a tail gut.

Chinrest: The chinrest is used by the player to comfortably position the violin between the chin and the shoulder.

End Button: The end button is found right at the bottom of the violin. It is used to hold the tail gut and tailpiece in place.

Bow: The violin is usually played using a bow. The bow is typically made from wood with a ribbon of horse hair held between the tip and the frog. When the bow is drawn across the strings the friction causes the strings to vibrate producing sound.

Add comment