33

... part of the violin family... Actually, as baroque violists love to point out, during the early evolution of these instruments, both violin and cello were part of the viola family. The viola was the default instrument, the violino was the "little" version (adding the diminutive suffix -ino), and the violone was the "big" version. ...


32

With long open strings, the span to reach notes especially at the nut end would be too much for a lot of players if it retained the 5ths pattern of tuning. Making the tuning in fourths means that the left hand can encompass three notes in a scale and then move across to the next string in the same hand position. That said, it's not difficult to slide up a ...


19

tl;dr It's violoncello. Language considerations Lots of classical music words usually have a specific language as their origins (mostly Italian), so, unless an extended literature can confirm standard spelling practice that altered the original word in other languages (that's how languages evolve), the original spelling is to be considered as the proper one: ...


13

Maybe you just never noticed them? I would suspect that someone trying to sell a violin with a head like a classical guitar wouldn't be able to sell them into a very, very traditional market. So... what did they do instead? They made geared tuners that look exactly like regular tuning pegs - with the added bonus that you can swap them into any existing ...


10

I can think of two reasons: Bass is difficult enough the way it is. If you were to play it like a cello, you would need a) much more frequent position changes, and/or b) a strong, independent and wide-reaching (much wider than on cello with its shorter scale) pinky. I think most bassists never use the pinky on its own at all (or do they?), because a bass ...


9

They are simply called "five-string violins" in the English language, and usually combine the viola and the violin's ranges. Other stringed instruments that have 5 strings are generally of the viol family, e.g. the pardessus de viole which could have 5 or 6 strings, or the quinton which specifically has 5 strings.


9

As far as double basses are concerned, it's not uncommon to see a body with something like this: Just a normal double bass body, with a left shoulder cutaway (if it is really called like that). They are used to help the player on the higher positions. One company (that comes to mind) that makes such basses is Framus : I understand why you ask such a ...


8

It's a damper, or mute, like this one here When you wish to mute the sound of the instrument you slide it near to the bridge in order to dampen the bridge vibrations.


8

Does the fact that the soundpost is standing indicate that the soundpost does not require any extra adjustment? No. The soundpost basically transfers vibrations from the top plate to the bottom plate and how it does this depends on its position relative to the bass bar (internal piece of wood near the G string), the bridge and the strings. Changing the ...


7

Do left handed violinists play in orchestras? Well... I do... (cello). I don't think I've ever seen any orchestra that uses left handed violinists It sure isn't a common sight. The vast majority of lefty players plays right-handed regardless. And that's not without reason, because My guess is that they would clash with the rest of the violinists, and ...


7

I'm a self-teaching violinist. That's really the crux of the problem. If you had a teacher they would be able to give you far and away the best advice. I'm guessing you don't play in the school orchestra else the leader's advice would also be very useful. Generally speaking the two things most worth upgrading in your situation are the bow and the strings. ...


7

If you consult a monolingual Italian dictionary (e.g. Devoto-Oli), you'll find that violoncello derives from viola plus an augmentative suffix (accrescitivo in Italian, abbreviated acc.) (i.e., a "big viola"). Treccani online will confirm: violoncèllo s. m. [der. di viola2]. (Derivation of viola2) (Note: the è does not appear in the written word--...


6

Yes, it is absolutely possible to restring a smaller size Viola into a Violin. You will not damage the instrument by doing so. Fractional size violins can roughly correspond with smaller size violas, although technically some will be slightly different in length. 4|4 Violin = 14 inch Viola 3|4 Violin = 13 inch Viola (Violin body often 13 ¼ inch) 1|2 ...


6

As a brass instrumentalist, I can only speak for that family of instruments. But the difference required to play in extreme registers is often explained with a simple sentence: Low notes require more air, high notes require faster air. And a simple experiment proves this: have a tuba player play, say, a middle C at a forte dynamic level and see how long ...


6

The "electric family" of string instruments are often designed without any shoulders. The below photos come from Wikipedia's entries for electric cello and electric upright bass, and an internet search will show you lots of other designs -- much in the way that electric guitars can be shaped in myriad ways. For acoustic instruments, one consequence ...


6

Aside from electric instruments like @Aaron mentioned, this is not unheard of but extremely rare. I have seen a few upright basses over the years in bass shops with a cutout in the upper bout like this or even more pronounced. I even found a pic of a viola with a similar feature: I have never seen this on an acoustic cello or violin but I would not be ...


5

As already answered, the force of violin string does not require gears. If you asked due to the possibility of finer tuning granularity, there are fine tuners instead, which are much cheaper, but also do not convince all violinists: so they either resort to standard peg tuning or have them only for one or two strings.


5

Some reasons why people don't use geared tuners on violins: I haven't tested in personally, but there us usually some discussion on how using heavier material in metal geared tuners reduces some of the vibration transfer from the strings into the neck, causing some tone loss/difference. The wood to wood contact is supposedly better for tone. The short ...


5

Yes and no. Yes, you can imitate the erhu style of playing on the violin: lots of glissandi, lots of vibrato on certain notes, very quick appoggiaturas, pentatonic melodies, and so forth. What you can't so easily imitate is the tone color: since the erhu has a snakeskin belly and silk strings (at least traditionally), it sounds different from a violin.


5

The first thing to note is that "Sul Tasto" means something entirely different from "sul D", "sul A", "sul G", etc. "Sul Tasto" means "over the fingerboard" and contrasts with "Sul Ponticello" - over the bridge. Playing sul tasto produces a softer, sweeter, more flute like sound. Normally ...


4

A few years ago I experienced a very strange (to me), and quite frightening disturbance in pitch perception -- one that came out of the blue. Fortunately it was temporary, lasting not much more than 24 hours. This may not apply directly to your situation, but is a possible answer to your question 3 (What other circumstances could affect the perception of the ...


4

I think it is simply related to your hearing (ie not pitch perception). In this case your ability to hear yourself. In this case you haven't mentioned whether your performance was solo or with a group. If it was solo I would say that you have suffered from a temporary hearing loss resulting in the inability to properly hear your violon and thus intonate. ...


4

I play the double bass and I know if it were tuned in fifths it would require a lot more shifting. No double bass player has the finger span to have the strings tuned in fifths. I say no double bass player because the instrument goes up in sizes to fit the player. It may be possible to tune in fifths if someone who normally played a full-size were to play an ...


4

I'm used to seeing this for chord fingering: Image source In case it's not clear, as spacing requires, sometimes the numbers are above the staff rather than below, but they are always arranged vertically and corresponding to the notes of the chord. I.e., the bottom of the three numbers is the finger to use for the lowest note of the chord, etc.


4

The reason for tuning an instrument a certain way is always for playability reasons (and instrument construction/design/purpose). One could certainly make the argument that a particular instrument belongs to a certain family but it doesn't fully answer the question- the same question still applies- why does that family get tuned a certain way. "Just because" ...


4

I have two options that both work pretty well, the first being zip ties and the second being electrical wire. Zip ties are probably the easiest since they're cheap and easy to tighten, but the downside is they're impossible to move and impossible to remove without destroying them, so you would need plenty of extras. Luckily they're cheap. With electrical ...


4

The rib height on a 14" Viola is bigger. Here is a short YouTube video on the matter:


4

Physics tells us that higher pitches have more energy. So if we apply the same amount of energy--bow pressure and speed for strings, air for winds--then low notes will naturally be louder. However, this is pure physics. It's not a huge effect, and the technique involved in playing the actual instrument completely overshadows it. It's most visible on piano, ...


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