TurtleFor other uses, see Turtle (disambiguation).
Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudines (all living turtles belong to the crown group Chelonia), most of whose body is shielded by a special bony or cartilagenous shell developed from their ribs. The term turtle is usually used for the aquatic species, though aquatic fresh water turtles are also called terrapins. The term is sometimes used (esp. in North America) to refer to all members of the order, including tortoises, which are predominantly land-based. The order of Testudines includes both extant (living) and extinct species. About 300 species are alive today. Some species of turtles are highly endangered.
All turtles have a protective shell around their bodies. The top part of the shell is called the carapace, the bottom is called the plastron, and the two are connected by a bridge. Some are known to be able to breathe through their rectums as well. Reference the Rheodytes leukops species.
Sea turtles grow to large sizes and live in the oceans in the temperate and tropical regions of Earth. Pond turtles (terrapins) are usually much smaller, while some land terrapins (tortoises) are as large as sea turtles. The sizes of turtles vary from a few centimetres (forest and jungle species) to two metres (the leatherback turtle and the Galapagos tortoise).
Turtles generally live a long time; some individuals are known to have lived longer than 150 years. The oldest tortoise on record is Tui Malila, known to have lived at least 188 years.
Sea turtles lay their eggs on dry sandy beaches. The eggs of the largest species are spherical, while the eggs of the rest are elongated. Their albumen is white and will not coagulate when cooked because of the protein it contains which is different to that of bird eggs. Turtle eggs prepared to eat consist mainly of yolk. In some species, temperature of the egg during development determines whether an egg develops into a male or a female: a higher temperature causes a female, a lower temperature causes a male.
Although they spend large proportions of their lives underwater, turtles are air-breathing reptiles, and must surface at regular intervals to refill their lungs with fresh air. However, aquatic respiration in Australian freshwater turtles is currently being studied. Some species have large cloacal cavities lined with many finger-like projections. These projections, called "papillae", have a rich blood supply, and increase the surface area of the cloaca. The turtles can take up dissolved oxygen from the water through these papillae, in much the same way that fish use gills.
Turtles have a gelatinous substance in their upper and lower shell, called calipash and calipee respectively, the calipash being of a dull greenish and the calipee of a light yellow color.
The first turtles are believed to have existed in the era of the dinosaurs, 200 million years ago. Their exact ancestry is disputed. It was believed that they are the only surviving branch of the ancient clade Anapsida, which includes groups such as procolophonoids, millerettids, protorothyrids and pareiasaurs. All Anapsid skulls lack a temporal opening, while all other extant amniotes have temporal openings (although in mammals the hole has become the zygoid arch). Most anapsids became extinct in the late Permian period, except procolophonoids and possibly the precursors of the testudines (turtles).
However, it was recently suggested that the Anapsid-like turtle skull may be due to convergent evolution rather than to anapsid descent. More recent phylogenetic studies with this in mind placed turtles firmly within diapsids, slightly closer to Squamata than to Archosauria. All molecular studies have strongly upheld this new phylogeny, though some place turtles closer to Archosauria. Re-analysis of prior phylogenies suggests that they classified turtles as anapsids both because they assumed this classification (most of them studying what sort of anapsid turtles are) and because they did not sample fossil and extant taxa were broadly enough for constructing the cladogram. While the issue is far from resolved, most scientists now lean towards a Diapsid origin for turtles.
Suborder Paracryptodira (extinct)
Suborder Pleurodira. Fiddle playing is characterized by a huge variety of ethnic or regional traditions, each of which has its own distinctive sound, including, but not limited to:. Suborder Cryptodira. By contrast, violins often play in sections, since sound reinforcement (before electronic amplification) was only possible by adding instruments. Suborder Paracryptodira (extinct)
Re-analysis of prior phylogenies suggests that they classified turtles as anapsids both because they assumed this classification (most of them studying what sort of anapsid turtles are) and because they did not sample fossil and extant taxa were broadly enough for constructing the cladogram. This reduces the range of right-arm motion required for the rapid string-crossings found in some styles, and is said to make it easier to play double stops, or to make triple stops possible, allowing one to play chords. All molecular studies have strongly upheld this new phylogeny, though some place turtles closer to Archosauria. One very slight difference between "fiddles" and ordinary violins may be seen in American (e.g., bluegrass and old-time music) fiddling: in these styles, the top of the bridge may be cut so that it is very slightly less curved. More recent phylogenetic studies with this in mind placed turtles firmly within diapsids, slightly closer to Squamata than to Archosauria. When played as a folk instrument, the violin is ordinarily referred to in English as a fiddle. However, it was recently suggested that the Anapsid-like turtle skull may be due to convergent evolution rather than to anapsid descent. In many traditions of folk music, the tunes are not written but are memorized by successive generations of musicians and passed on in both informal and formal contexts.
Most anapsids became extinct in the late Permian period, except procolophonoids and possibly the precursors of the testudines (turtles). Ethnomusicologists have observed its widespread use in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. All Anapsid skulls lack a temporal opening, while all other extant amniotes have temporal openings (although in mammals the hole has become the zygoid arch). Following a stage of intensive development in the late Renaissance, largely in Italy, the violin had improved (in volume, tone, and agility), to the point that it not only became a very important instrument in art music, but proved highly appealing to folk musicians as well, ultimately spreading very widely, sometimes displacing earlier bowed instruments. It was believed that they are the only surviving branch of the ancient clade Anapsida, which includes groups such as procolophonoids, millerettids, protorothyrids and pareiasaurs. Like many other instruments of classical music, the violin descends from remote ancestors that were used for folk music. Their exact ancestry is disputed. Indian and Arabic pop music is filled with the sound of violins, both soloists and ensembles.
The first turtles are believed to have existed in the era of the dinosaurs, 200 million years ago. Since the end of the 20th century, strings have began making a comeback in pop music. Turtles have a gelatinous substance in their upper and lower shell, called calipash and calipee respectively, the calipash being of a dull greenish and the calipee of a light yellow color. Up to the 1970s, most types of popular music used bowed strings, but the rise of electronically created music in the 1980s saw a decline in their use, as synthesized string sections took their place. The turtles can take up dissolved oxygen from the water through these papillae, in much the same way that fish use gills. Earlier genres of pop music, at least those separate from the Rock 'n' Roll movement, tended to make use of fairly traditional Orchestras, sometimes large ones; examples include the American "Crooners" such as Bing Crosby. These projections, called "papillae", have a rich blood supply, and increase the surface area of the cloaca. The hugely popular Motown recordings of the 60's and 70's relied heavily on strings as part of the trademark texture.
Some species have large cloacal cavities lined with many finger-like projections. While the violin has had very little usage in rock music compared to its brethren the guitar and bass guitar, it is increasingly being absorbed into mainstream pop wiith artists like Vanessa Mae, Bond, Linda Brava, Miri Ben-Ari, Nigel Kennedy, Yellowcard, Dave Matthews Band with Boyd Tinsley, Arcade Fire, Jean-Luc Ponty and Camper Van Beethoven also independent artists such as Final Fantasy and Andrew Bird have recently increased interest in the instrument. However, aquatic respiration in Australian freshwater turtles is currently being studied. Violins also appear in ensembles supplying orchestral backgrounds to many jazz recordings. Although they spend large proportions of their lives underwater, turtles are air-breathing reptiles, and must surface at regular intervals to refill their lungs with fresh air. Other notable jazz violinists are Regina Carter and Jean-Luc Ponty. In some species, temperature of the egg during development determines whether an egg develops into a male or a female: a higher temperature causes a female, a lower temperature causes a male. Since that time there have been many superb improvising violinists including Stéphane Grappelli, Stuff Smith, Ray Perry, Ray Nance, Claude "Fiddler" Williams, Leroy Jenkins, Billy Bang, Mat Maneri, Malcolm Goldstein.
Turtle eggs prepared to eat consist mainly of yolk. The first great jazz violinist was Joe Venuti who is best known for his work with guitarist Eddie Lang during the 1920s. Their albumen is white and will not coagulate when cooked because of the protein it contains which is different to that of bird eggs. The earliest references to jazz performance using the violin as a solo instrument are documented during the first decades of the 20th century. The eggs of the largest species are spherical, while the eggs of the rest are elongated. It is, however, very well suited to jazz playing, and many players have exploited its qualities well. Sea turtles lay their eggs on dry sandy beaches. The violin is used as a solo instrument in jazz, though it is a relative rarity in this genre; compared to other instruments, like saxophone, trumpet, piano and guitar, the violin appears fairly infrequently.
The oldest tortoise on record is Tui Malila, known to have lived at least 188 years. A string quartet similarly has parts for first and second violins, as well as a viola part, and a bass instrument, such as the cello or, rarely, the bass. Turtles generally live a long time; some individuals are known to have lived longer than 150 years. Composers often assign the melody to the first violins, while second violins play harmony, accompaniment patterns or the melody an octave lower than the first violins. The sizes of turtles vary from a few centimetres (forest and jungle species) to two metres (the leatherback turtle and the Galapagos tortoise). Violins make up a large part of an orchestra, and are usually divided into two sections, known as the first and second violins. Pond turtles (terrapins) are usually much smaller, while some land terrapins (tortoises) are as large as sea turtles. Many leading composers have contributed to the violin concerto and violin sonata repertories.
Sea turtles grow to large sizes and live in the oceans in the temperate and tropical regions of Earth. This may be due to the possibility of vibrato and of slight expressive adjustments in pitch and timbre. Reference the Rheodytes leukops species. The violin is also considered a very expressive instrument, which is often felt to approximate the human voice. Some are known to be able to breathe through their rectums as well. In the hands of a good player, the violin is extremely agile, and can execute rapid and difficult sequences of notes. The top part of the shell is called the carapace, the bottom is called the plastron, and the two are connected by a bridge. The tone of the violin stands out above other instruments, making it appropriate for playing a melody line.
All turtles have a protective shell around their bodies. Since the Baroque era the violin has been one of the most important of all instruments in classical music, for several reasons. . In addition to the skill and reputation of the maker, an instrument's age can also influence both price and quality. Some species of turtles are highly endangered. Nevertheless, instruments of approximately 300 years of age, especially those made by Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesù, are the most sought after instruments (for both collectors and performers). About 300 species are alive today. The majority of old instruments have undergone these modifications, and hence are in a significantly different state than when they left the hands of their makers, doubtless with differences in sound and response.
The order of Testudines includes both extant (living) and extinct species. It is still believed, perhaps erroneously, that at the beginning of the 18th century, the violin was built in a way that can be expressed as "perfect." It is commonly asserted that "Never since that time has a major improvement been made to the instrument", but changes have occurred, particularly to do with the length and angle of the neck, as well as a heavier bass bar. in North America) to refer to all members of the order, including tortoises, which are predominantly land-based. The most famous violin makers, called luthiers, between the late 16th century and the 18th century included:. The term is sometimes used (esp. It is now located in the Ashmolean Museum of Oxford. The term turtle is usually used for the aquatic species, though aquatic fresh water turtles are also called terrapins. "The Messiah" or "Le Messie" (also known as the 'Salabue') made by Antonio Stradivari in 1716 remains pristine, never having been used.
Turtles are reptiles of the order Testudines (all living turtles belong to the crown group Chelonia), most of whose body is shielded by a special bony or cartilagenous shell developed from their ribs. The oldest surviving violin, dated inside, is the "Charles IX" by Andrea Amati, made in Cremona in 1564. Superfamily Pelomedusoidea. Needless to say, the violin immediately became very popular, both among street-musicians and the nobility, illustrated by the fact that the French king Charles IX ordered Amati to build a whole orchestra in the second half of the 16th century. Superfamily Chelonioidea. It is said that the first real violin was built by Andrea Amati in the first half of the 16th century by order of the Medici family, who had asked for an instrument that could be used by street-musicians, but with the quality of a lute, which was a very popular instrument among the noble in that time. Superfamily Kinosternoidea. By this time the violin had already begun to spread throughout Europe.
Superfamily Trionychoidea. The earliest explicit description of the instrument, including its tuning, was in the Epitome musical by Jambe de Fer, published in Lyons in 1556. Superfamily Testudinoidea. Most likely the first makers of violins borrowed from three different types of current instruments: the rebec, in use since the 10th century (itself derived from the Arab rebab), the Renaissance fiddle, and the lira da braccio. The violin first emerged in northern Italy in the early 16th century. The bow could be recharged by passing it over the collected rosin on the fiddle's belly.
The practice of allowing the rosin to accumulate may have originated in times and places when rosin was hard to obtain. Others playing in the same traditions do keep theirs cleaned. Some folk instrumentalists do not clean rosin from the body of the instrument, believing that an accumulation over time improves the tone of their instrument. There are now bows available made from fiberglass or carbon composite which are less fragile.
When the bow is not being used the hair must be loosened in order to prevent the bow from becoming "sprung" and the hair stretched. When so many hairs have been lost that the bow no longer plays well, the old horse hair is replaced with new hair. For the bow, the only real maintenance is regular cleaning of the stick with a cloth, and re-hairing. A teacher can advise students how often to change strings, as it depends on how much and how seriously one plays.
Violinists carry replacement strings with their instruments to have one available in case a string breaks. The tuning pegs may occasionally be treated with "peg dope" when they either slip too freely, causing the string to go flat or slack, or when they stick, making tuning difficult. The violin should be occasionally checked by a technician, who will know if repairs need to be made. A common wine cork serves admirably, quietly scrubbing off the crust of rosin without damaging the winding of the string.
Cleaning the rosin off strings can also make a striking difference to the sound, and should be done regularly. The bow stick should also be wiped off for the same reason. If left for long enough, the rosin will fuse with the varnish. Each time the violin has been used, the top and fingerboard should be wiped with a soft cloth to remove accumulated rosin dust.
The violin itself requires careful maintenance and it should last and improve for many years. The sound of a violin may be said to "open up" in the first weeks and months of use, a process which continues more gradually over the years. Then the instrument begins the playing-in process, as its parts adjust to the string tension. A chinrest may be put on at this time.
Vital to the sound and playability of the instrument is setup, which includes adjusting the neck angle if needed, fitting the pegs so they turn smoothly and hold firmly, dressing the fingerboard to the proper scooped shape, fitting the soundpost and bridge, adjusting the tailgut and installing the tailpiece, and stringing up. When the body is complete, the neck, carved out of a separate piece of wood (usually maple), is set in its mortise to complete the basic structure of the instrument, after which it is varnished. The front and back are carved sections which fit the garland of ribs after it is separated from the mould. The ribs, flat pieces of wood curved by means of careful heating, are built around the mould, being glued to the blocks.
The template is used to construct a mould, which is a thick violin-shaped piece of wood with notches to hold the blocks temporarily glued in place. From these plans a template is constructed, which can be made from thin metal or other materials, and is a flat "half-violin" shape. The outer contour is designed by the violin maker, and today the outlines of the old masters' violins are usually used. The traditional approach starts with a set of plans, which include a drawing of the outer shape of the instrument.
Some composers have used practice mutes for special effect, for example at the end of Luciano Berio's Sequenza VIII for solo violin. Such mutes are generally not used in performance, but are used to deaden the sound of the violin in practice areas such as hotel rooms. These are known as "practice mutes" or "hotel mutes". (The instruction to play normally, without the mute, is senza sord.) There are also massive metal, rubber, or wooden mutes available.
Parts to be played muted are marked con sord., for the Italian sordina, mute. Attaching a small metal or rubber device called a "mute" to the bridge of the violin gives a more mellow tone, with fewer audible overtones. The eerie quality of a violin section playing col legno is exploited in some symphonic pieces, notably the "witches' dance" of the last movement of Berlioz' Symphonie Fantastique. This bowing technique is somewhat rarely used, and results in a muted percussive sound.
A marking of col legno (Italian for "with the wood") in the written music calls for striking the string(s) with the stick of the bow, rather than by drawing the hair of the bow across the strings. (The index finger is most commonly used here.) Sometimes in virtuoso solo music where the bow hand is occupied (or for show-off effect), left-hand pizzicato will be indicated by a "+" (plus sign) below or above the note. A note marked pizz. (abbreviation for pizzicato) in the written music is to be played by plucking the string with a finger of the right hand rather than by bowing. Various methods of 'attack' with the bow produce different articulations.
Suzuki referred to the sounding point as the "Kreisler highway"; one may think of different sounding points as "lanes" in the highway. Dr. Playing close to the bridge (sul ponticello) gives a more intense sound than usual, emphasizing the higher harmonics; and playing with the bow over the end of the fingerboard (sul tasto) makes for a delicate, ethereal sound, emphasizing the fundamental frequency. The sounding point where the bow intersects the string also influences timbre.
The two methods are not equivalent, because they produce different timbres; pressing down on the string tends to produce a harsher, more intense sound. The violin produces louder notes with greater bow speed or more weight on the string. The right arm, hand, and bow are responsible for tone quality, rhythm, dynamics, articulation, and certain (but not all) changes in timbre. Elaborate passages in artificial harmonics can be found in virtuoso violin literature, especially of the 19th and early 20th centuries.
These harmonics are less commonly used; in the case of the major third, the harmonic does not speak as readily; in the case of the fifth, the stretch is greater than is comfortable for many violinists. The "harmonic finger" can also touch at a major third above the pressed note, or a fifth higher. Finger placement and pressure, as well as bow speed, pressure, and sounding point are all essential in getting the desired harmonic to sound. Stopping a note on one string and having another finger just touching the string a fourth higher produces the fourth harmonic, two octaves above the stopped note.
Artificial harmonics are more difficult to produce than the natural harmonics described above. There are two types of harmonics: natural harmonics and artificial harmonics. Harmonics are marked in music with a little circle above the note that determines the pitch of the harmonic. A responsive instrument will provide numerous possible harmonic nodes along the length of the string.
Each node is at an integer division of the string, for example half-way or one-third along the length of the string. Instead of the normal solid tone a wispy-sounding overtone note of a higher pitch is heard. Lightly touching the string with a fingertip at a harmonic node while bowing close to the bridge can create harmonics. This can be an obstacle to a classically-trained violinist wishing to play in a style that uses little or no vibrato at all, such as baroque music played in period style and many traditional fiddling styles.
Music students are taught that unless otherwise marked in music, vibrato is assumed or even mandatory. Vibrato does little, if anything, to disguise an out-of-tune note: in other words, vibrato is a poor substitute for good intonation. Violinists oscillate backwards, or lower in pitch from the actual note when using vibrato, since perception favors the highest pitch in a varying sound. While various parts of the hand or arm may be involved in the motion, the end result is a movement of the fingertip bringing about a slight change in vibrating string length.
Vibrato is a technique of the left hand and arm in which the pitch of a note varies in a pulsating rhythm. While sometimes also called a double stop, it is more properly called a drone, as the drone note may be sustained for a passage of different notes played on the adjacent string. Sounding an open string alongside a fingered note is another way to get a chord. Sometimes moving to a higher position is necessary for the left hand to be able to reach both notes at once.
Double stopping is when two separate strings are stopped by the fingers, and bowed simultaneously, producing a chord. Sometimes the two notes are identical (for instance, playing a fingered A on the D string against the open A string), giving a ringing sort of "fiddling" sound. Playing an open string simultaneously with a stopped note on an adjacent string produces a bagpipe-like drone, often used by composers in imitation of folk music. In classical music, an open string is sometimes considered to make a rather harsh sound and is to be avoided.
Other than low G (which can be played in no other way), open strings are usually selected for special effects. Open string notes (G, D, A, E) have a very distinct sound resulting from absence of the damping action of a finger. A special timbre results from playing a note on an open string, or without touching its string with a finger. Sometimes the composer or arranger will specify the string to be used in order to achieve their desired tone quality.
The same note will sound substantially different depending on what string is used to play it. The upper limit of the violin's range is largely determined by the skill of the player, who may easily play more than two octaves on a single string, and four octaves on the instrument as a whole. Letting the first finger take the first-position place of the third finger brings the player to third position, and so on. Moving the hand up the neck, so the first finger takes the place of the second finger, brings the player into second position.
The lowest note available in this position in standard tuning is an open G; the highest notes in first position are stopped with the fourth finger on the E-string, sounding a B, or reaching up a half step to the C two octaves above middle C. First position, where most beginners start (some methods start in third position,) is nearest to the nut, or scroll end, and furthest from the player's face. The placement of the left hand on the fingerboard is characterized by "positions". The yellow bars on the sides of the chart represent three of the usual tape placements for beginners, at 1st, high 2nd, and 3d fingers.
Note also (not shown on this chart) that the spacing between note positions becomes closer as the fingers move "up" (in pitch) from the nut. Note well: left hand finger placement is a matter of the ears and hand, not the eyes, that is, it has strong aural and tactile/kinesthetic components, with visual references being only marginally useful. The chart to the right shows the arrangement of notes reachable in first position. Especially in instructional editions of violin music, numbers over the notes may indicate which finger to use, with "O" indicating "open" string.
The fingers are conventionally numbered 1 (index) through 4 (little finger). Jascha Heifetz, a genius of the violin, was said never to practice finger exercises, yet played very much in tune due to his ability to adjust more quickly than most people could hear. Good intonation comes from long hours of practice. Placement of the left hand fingers on the strings does not rely on frets; the player must stop the string at the right spot from skill alone, or else sound out of tune.
The left hand regulates the sounding length of the string by stopping it against the fingerboard with the fingertips, producing different pitches. The strings may be sounded either by plucking them (pizzicato) or by drawing the hair of the bow (arco) across them. The violin is usually held under the chin and supported by the left shoulder, often assisted by a shoulder rest. Acoustic 5-string insruments exist, with a scale length closer to that of a viola's; they are commonly called violas.
If the instrument's playing length, or string length from nut to bridge, is equal to a violin's (a bit less than 330 mm,) it may be properly termed a violin. Usually the extra strings go lower, to C, F, and B flat. Some electric violins have five, six, or even seven strings, others have the usual four. However, any number of other tunings are occasionally employed (for example, tuning the G string up to A), both in classical music, where the technique is known as scordatura, and in some folk styles where it is called "cross-tuning.".
The tuning G-D-A-E is used for the great majority of all violin music. After tuning, one should make a habit of checking that the bridge is standing straight and centered between the inner nicks of the f holes, since bridges are free to move about, being held in place only by friction and the tension of the strings. (When playing with a fixed-pitch instrument such as a piano or accordion, the violin must tune to accommmodate it.) The other strings are then tuned to the A in intervals of perfect fifths by bowing them in pairs. The A string is first tuned to a standard pitch such as 440 Hz or to another instrument.
Experienced players commonly use one on the E-string even if the other strings are not so equipped. Fine tuners permit the tension of the string to be adjusted in very small increments more easily than by using the pegs, and are usually recommended for beginners or those using metal strings. Violins are tuned by turning the pegs, or by winding the fine tuner screws, if present, at the tailpiece. Another commonly-used marking technique uses dots of 'white-out' on the fingerboard, which wear off in a few weeks with regular practice.
Beginners often rely on tapes on the finger board in several places for proper left hand finger placement, but quickly abandon the tapes as they advance. Some teachers feel that students can handle a size if they are able to reach around the end of the scroll and see the tips of the fingers, while others recommend smaller sizes as safer, preferring to have the scroll fall short of the student's wrist. When determining the violin size appropriate for a child, a general rule is to have the child hold the instrument against the neck, and reach out past the end of the scroll. A 'full-size' viola averages 16 inches.
Viola size is specified as body length in inches rather than fractional sizes. A 3/4 violin is 13 inches, and a 1/2 size is 12 inches. The body length (not including the neck) of a 'full-size' or 4/4 violin is about 14 inches (or smaller in some models of the 17th century). Occasionally, even a 1/32 sized instrument is used.
Children learning the violin often use fractional sized violins, 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/10, and 1/16. Patterns of the nodes (places of no movement) made by sand or glitter sprinkled on the plates with the plate vibrated at certain frequencies, called "Chladni patterns", are occasionally used by luthiers to verify their work before assembling the instrument. The arched shape, the thickness of the wood, and its physical qualities govern the sound of a violin. Modern strings may be solid steel, stranded steel, or various synthetic materials, wound with various metals.
Strings were first made of sheep gut, stretched, dried and twisted. Recent innovations have allowed carbon-fiber to be used as a material for the stick at all levels of craftsmanship. The stick is traditionally made of pernambuco or the less expensive brazilwood, although some student bows are made of fiberglass. Occasional rubbing with rosin makes the hair grip the strings intermittently, causing them to vibrate.
The hair of the bow traditionally comes from the tail of a "white" (technically, a grey) male horse, although some cheaper bows use synthetic fiber. The winding may be wire, silk, or whalebone (now imitated by alternating strips of yellow and black plastic.) Some student bows (particularly the ones made of solid fiberglass) substitute a plastic sleeve for grip and winding. Just forward of the frog, a leather thumb cushion and winding protect the stick and provide grip for the player's hand. At the frog end, a screw adjuster tightens or loosens the hair.
The bow consists of a stick and a ribbon of horsehair stretched between the tip and frog. Various brands of peg compound or peg dope help keep the pegs from sticking or slipping. The tapered pegs allow friction to be increased or decreased by the player applying appropriate pressure along the axis of the peg while turning it. Strings usually have a colored "silk" wrapping at both ends, for identification and to provide friction against the pegs.
At the scroll end, the strings wind around the tuning pegs in the pegbox. Fine tuners may also be applied to the other strings, and are sometimes built in to the tailpiece. Very often the E string will have a fine tuning lever worked by a small screw turned by the fingers. The tailpiece anchors the strings to the lower bout of the violin by means of the tailgut, which loops around the endpin, which fits into a tapered hole in the bottom block.
The sound post, or "soul post", fits precisely between the back and top, and may be moved slightly when adjusting the tone of the instrument. It also transmits the vibrations of the strings to the body of the violin. The bridge is a carefully carved piece of maple, having several purposes: its top curve holds the strings at the proper height from the fingerboard in an arc allowing each to be sounded separately by the bow. The neck graft allows the original scroll to be kept with a Baroque violin when bringing its neck to conformance with modern standard.
Many authentic old instruments have had their necks reset to a slightly increased angle, and lengthened by about a centimeter. Some old violins (and some made to appear old) have a grafted scroll, or a seam between the pegbox and neck itself. Fingerboards are dressed to a particular transverse curve, and have a small lengthwise "scoop," or concavity, slightly more pronounced on the lower strings, especially when meant for gut or synthetic strings. The shape of the neck and fingerboard affect how easily the violin may be played.
For this reason, if a fingerboard comes loose (it happens) it is vital to slacken the strings immediately. The maple neck alone is not strong enough to support the tension of the strings without distorting, relying for that strength on its lamination with the fingerboard. Ebony is considered the preferred material because of its hardness, beauty, and superior resistance to wear. It carries the fingerboard, typically made of ebony, but often some other wood stained or painted black.
The neck is usually maple with a flamed figure compatible with that of the ribs and back. The back and ribs are typically made of maple, most often with a matching striped figure, called "flame.". Ideally the top is glued on with slightly diluted hide glue, to make future removal possible. Painted-on faux purfling on the top is usually a sign of an inferior instrument.
It is also claimed to allow the top to flex more independently of the rib structure. The purfling running around the edge of the spruce top is said to give some resistance to cracks originating at the edge. A well-tended violin can outlive many generations of players, so it is wise to take a curatorial view when caring for a violin. Loose parts or open seams may cause buzzes and should be professionally attended to; in particular, no adhesive other than animal hide glue should ever be used on a violin.
The varnish and especially the wood continue to improve with age, making the fixed supply of old violins much sought-after. The voice of a violin depends on its shape, the wood it is made from, and the varnish which coats its outside surface. The hourglass shape formed by an upper bout, a lower bout, and two concave C-bouts at the "waist," providing clearance for the bow. A distinctive feature of a violin body is its "hourglass" shape and the arching of its top and back.
A violin typically consists of a spruce top, maple ribs and back, a butt, a neck, a bridge, a soundpost, five strings, and various fittings, optionally including a chinrest, which may attach directly over, or to the left of, the tailpiece. . A person who plays violin is called a violinist or fiddler, and a person who makes or repairs them is called a luthier, or simply a violinmaker. Cross-tunings, or scordatura, are more commonly found in some varieties of traditional fiddling.
A colloquial name for the violin is the fiddle, and a violin is typically called a fiddle when used to play traditional music (see below). A related bowed string instrument, the double bass technically belongs to the similar but distinct viol family. Music written for the violin almost always uses the G clef (treble clef). It is the smallest and highest-tuned member of the violin family of string instruments, which also includes the viola and cello.
The violin is a bowed stringed musical instrument that has four strings tuned a perfect fifth apart, the lowest being the G just below middle C. South Indian Carnatic fiddling. Slovenian fiddling. Scottish fiddling.
Nordic folk fiddling (including Hardanger fiddling). Irish fiddling (with many distinct styles, including, for example, the Donegal fiddle tradition). French fiddling (including a rich Breton fiddling tradition). English fiddling.
Newfoundland fiddling, with a strong Irish Sliabh Luachra style of playing. Québécois fiddling, influenced from the Brittany area of northern France. Cape Breton fiddling, with a distinct Scottish and Acadian influence. Canadian fiddling, including
Balkan Music, Táncház (Hungarian) and Romanian music. Arab Music. Bluegrass fiddling. Contest Fiddling.
Texas style fiddling. Cajun fiddling. New England style fiddling. Old Time fiddling.
American fiddling, including
Amati family of Italian violin makers, Andrea Amati (1500-1577), Antonio Amati (1540-1607), Hieronymous Amati I (1561-1630), Nicolo Amati (1596-1684), Hieronymous Amati II (1649-1740).