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Fiddle, Viola & Violin

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The Violin and Viola are hollow wooden instruments shaped like an 8 with 4 strings stretched along its length. The base is placed under the chin with one hand holding the neck of the instrument whilst the other uses a bow across the strings. The bow is usually made of wood with horsehair stretched along the length of one side.

Notes are produced by plucking the strings with the fingers, known as pizzicato, by running the bow across one or more strings, known as arco or using the wood part of the bow in a rhythmic manner known as col legno.

These instruments vary in tone depending on their size. The Violin is the smallest of the bowed string family followed by the Viola, Cello and the Double Bass. violinist

Fiddle is another term used for the violin, especially by folk, bluegrass, celtic and country players.

These instruments are very popular in many styles of music including blues, pop, rock, jazz, classical and have been used successfully on songs by Buddy Holly, Adam Faith, The Beatles, Gene Vincent and more recently on 'Bittersweet Symphony' by The Verve.

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Fiddle, Viola & Violin Lessons

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Fiddle, Viola & Violin Sheet Music


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Online String Applications


  • iconArto's String Calculator very comprehensive online program with full instructions for calculating where a string can be used by setting the diameter and more. Measures string tension and diameter for a number of instruments, in a variety of settings.

  • iconArto's String Diameter/Tension Drawer

  • iconBob's Handy String Tension Designer With this Netscape Javascript program, you can see how pitch, tension, string length, diameter and inharmonicity are related. First select an octave, then click on note to select, and enter values in the fields above the COMPUTE button. Select type of string. Click on COMPUTE to find out how much tension is required. This program does not work for wound strings.

  • iconJava Tuner This Java applet demonstrates various historical tunings and temperaments and allows one to experiment with them. It was developed to accompany a text on Understanding temperaments, and is complemented by a set of MIDI files demonstrating various tunings and temperaments, full instructions and a variety of modern and archaic tuning modes. Also provides selected intervals and a chord player.

  • iconString Guage & Tension Calculator Check your string tensions based on pitch, guage and type of string, also does the inverse calculation when you type in other string parameters.

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