Violin and fiddle 

information page

A basic guide to violins


Where to next ?

Home page
."Me page" !
guide to banjos
Stringed instrument Tunings
.On line museum
sizes: There are a wide range of sizes of violin. The table below is a rough guide in inches. violas are generally above 14 3/4 inch back ranging up to a giant 18 inch. Normal 15 1/2 to 16 inch back. Measurements below in inches.
SIZE 4/4. full 7/8 3/4 1/2 1/4 1/8 1/10 1/16 1/32 1/64
Back .Not including the neck heel. Inches 14   13 5/8  13   12 11 1/4  10 1/4  9 3/8 9 1/16 8 1/4 7 1/8
. 36cm 34.5cm 33cm 30cm 28.5cm 26cm 24cm 23cm 21cm 18cm
OVERALL inches 23 22 3/8 21 5/8 20 1/2 18 16 1/2 15 1/2 15  13 3/8 11 3/4
Violin parts 
Pegs: Wooden string tuners usually made of ebony or rosewood. Early violins often had boxwood pegs.
Fingerboard. Attached to the neck of the violin . Made of ebony.
Scroll. The finial of the violin at the peg box. Sometimes old violins have a carved head instead.
Table or belly. The curved top with f shaped sound holes.
Ribs. The sides of the violin body between the table and back.
Bridge. Rests between the f holes supporting the strings and transmits the sound to the table.
sound post. A short dowel of wood to take the vibration of sound from the belly to the back. Wedged inside near the foot of the bridge. E string side.
 Bass bar. A strengthening support under the belly from the fingerboard end towards the tailpiece
Tuning.  G.D.A.E
Curl, flame: The figuring on the woods used.
Neck graft. Early violins Pre early 19th century (no set date) had slightly shorter necks and a flatter neck angle with tapered fingerboards. To update instruments to modern specification violins were given new necks. The original peg box and scroll was cut and grafted onto the new neck. 
Tail piece. A nearly triangular piece of ebony (or other) where the string ends a held. Secured by a tail gut (often nylon now) to the end pin .
End pin. A wooden peg at the end of the violin to hold the tail gut.
Nut. A slightly slotted piece of ebony ( or bone/ ivory on some) at the end of the fingerboard adjoining the peg box to locate the strings.
Fiddle: Now generally same as a violin, usually a style of playing, although early instruments were known as fiddle a generic term of various bowed varieties.

History: The violin is a stringed instrument, that produces sound using a body and a vibration of strings, with a range of about three octaves. The idea of the violin first evolved in the Orient and in Turkey. It was adapted to European tasted around in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, and introduced by Italy to Iran and the Middle East. The violin we play today is a natural ancestor of the Rebec, the Baroque guitar and the Lira da braccio, three stringed instruments of old Europe. There were many precursors to the violin. Some, such as the Ravanstron, the Rabab and the Rebec have been around since 5000 B.C. There are several others whose names are not known, also dating back to a few thousand B.C.

Telephone:    01892 835191

springerslogo.JPG (3406 bytes) Traditional music.  Playing music from Ireland, England, Scotland, Europe & America, including a bit of Ragtime and Swing.


More instrumentsCarole Noakes


copyright  pamelawilson 2003.   All rights reserved