Anatomy of Violin: A Closer Look to Violin Parts

The violin is known for its warm, rich, and smooth tone, but did you know that this stringed instrument consists of over ten components? And that’s only the body of the violin! If you also count a violin bow, the total count of violin parts is 22. 

In this article, we’ll go through the different parts of the violin, the purpose of each one, and how they affect the iconic sound of the violin. 

Parts of the Violin

Picture showing different violin parts

From the body to the violin scroll, every part is carefully incorporated to make the instrument. Interestingly, making a violin is a tedious, delicate, and time-consuming process. Here are the main parts of the violin. 

Body

The section usually has two plates joined together by animal glue. You can easily see the ribs on either side of the violin. Furthermore, it is the part that is in contact with your body when you play it. Two sound holes help the box breathe as it vibrates when played. Moreover, the body’s primary function is to protect and house other parts of the instrument.

Fingerboard

As its name suggests, the fingerboard is where you place your fingers. It runs across almost half of the body to the pegbox. 

Back

The violin’s back consists of three parts – upper and lower bout and waist. 

The waist is considered one of the most critical parts of the violin because, without it, you won’t be able to move the bow without hitting the body. 

On the other hand, the upper bout consists of the upper section, whereas the lower bout is where you will find the tailpiece and chin.

Scroll

picture of different violin scrolls made from wood

The scroll part of the violin is found at the top of the neck. You may find different configurations of the scroll as it’s purely decorative. For some, you may notice animal cravings as well. 

Purfling

close-up picture of purfling.

You will find the purfling along the edges of the top and bottom plates of the violin. This part is not only for aesthetic reasons but also for practicality. Purfling, which is like a binder, prevents cracking at the edge and thus minimizes the chances of the crack traveling to the plates. 

Tuning Pegs/Pegbox

picture of tuning pegs

Under the decorative scroll, you will find the tuning pegs and the pegbox of the violin.

The tuning pegs hold the violin strings. When you twist it clockwise, it increases the string’s tension, creating a sharper tone. If you turn counterclockwise, the opposite happens – you get a lower pitch and looser strings. 

Nut

Looking carefully at the fingerboard, you will notice a white rectangular piece of wood at the end. That is the nut. Though as small as it may seem, it plays a vital role. In fact, it’s at this point that the strings sit in so that you can space them well easily. Now you can imagine if the nut was not there.

Strings

A violin wouldn’t be a string instrument without strings! 

A violin has four strings – G, D, A, and E. These strings can be nylon or metal. Whatever string material you prefer, make sure you don’t buy cheap strings! Most of them are hard to tune and may not produce a desirable sound.

Check out our best violin strings review if you are looking for high-quality strings. 

Fine Tuners

a close-up picture of a violin's fine tuners

Remember old radios that used to have nobs that you would tune until you got a clear radio signal? The fine tuners act the same. They are tiny screws found in the tailpiece. Unlike tuning pegs, fine tuners are for micro adjustment of the tension of the strings. 

Bridge

picture showing a violin's bridge

From the fine tuners at the lower bout of the violin, you will find an arch-shaped part with in-built grooves that pushes the four strings upwards. This is what you call the bridge. 

The purpose of this component is not only for holding the strings, though. It is also responsible for delivering vibrations to the hollowed body, allowing the sound to resonate out of the violin.

Neck

The section that extends between the peg box and the body is the neck. This part adds stability to the fingerboard and provides your thumb something to hold and grip onto, especially when you move your hand up and down the fingerboard. 

F Holes

F holes of a violin

The two holes with an F- like appearance surrounding the bridge are called F holes. Its purpose is to provide the direction of the sound wave out of the body. Consequently, this alters the width or length of the wave and thus impacts the quality of the violin’s sound.

Sound Post

Compared to other violin parts, you’ll have a more challenging time finding the sound post because it is placed inside the instrument, more specifically underneath the bridge. Its purpose is to help carry the vibrations to the back of the violin.

Ribs

Just as human ribs protect delicate organs and act as a point of connection to the spine, the ribs of a violin do the same. Similarly, they vertically connect the tables or the top to the back.

Tailpiece/Endpin

You will find the tailpiece at the center of the lower bout, beside the chinrest. This violin part’s purpose is to connect the strings. It can also affect the sound of your violin by accentuating the harmonics and overtones. 

Chin Rest

The chin rest allows you to distribute the heaviness of the instrument, making it easier for your left hand to move up and down the fingerboard. There are two types of chin rests – side-mount and center-mount.

Violin Bow Parts

picture showing violin bow parts

Just like the main body of the violin, the bow also consists of several parts. 

Hair

The prominent part of a violin bow is the hair. This part can be made from synthetic or horse hair. Violinists apply rosin over the hair to create friction when moving the bow across the strings. 

Frog

If you look keenly at the edge of the bow, you will notice a small piece of ebony between the grip and screw. It is called the frog. This piece creates a space between the hair and the stick, ensuring that the hair does not touch the stick when it curves while playing the violin. 

Screw

The screw is at the edge of the bow, opposite the tip. When you turn it, you will move the frog, thus loosening or tightening the bow hair.

Stick

The stick, which can be wood or carbon fiber, gives structure to the violin bow. The shape or design of the stick can vary. Octoganol sticks are stiffer, whereas rounded sticks offer better control. 

Pad

Many people refer to it as the grip. It is located just above the grip attached to the frog. Normally, it prevents the hair from contacting the stick when you place your finger on the grip while playing.

Take Away

A violin is a fascinating musical instrument. A combination of different violin parts gives you an instrument that tickles your ears whenever you listen. 

Indeed, you can learn a lot about the violin, such as how to play it. In fact, there is no limit to it, so take the chance and nurture the skill of playing your violin through practice now that you understand all the parts that make a violin.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here