Orchestral String Instruments

Orchestral String Instruments

Orchestral string instruments create a variety of different sounds by running a bow over strings. Four unique string instruments are associated with the orchestra. Although they are in the same musical family, each one is distinct and requires different skills to be played.

How do you play an orchestral string instrument?

Violins, cellos, and similar instruments are stringed instruments. This means the music is played by sounding multiple strings rather than being filled with air or struck with blunt force. Similar to a guitar, the neck can be adjusted to change the instrument's tone. The string group can play very long melodic phrases and are often centerpieces in orchestral ensembles.

What materials are the instruments made from?

The hollow bodies of members in this family are made of different kinds of wood. Strings are crafted from nylon, steel, or animal products depending on the particular model. Spruce, ebony, rosewood, boxwood, and Oregon mountain mahogany are all common selections for constructing the body.

What types of stringed instruments are there?

The violin, viola, cello, and double bass make up the string section. The violin has a commanding range of pitches, and usually has the melody in musical pieces. The viola has a slightly lower range and typically plays countermelodies or harmonies. The cello is drastically larger than both the violin and the viola; it also has a warm, rich tone. The double bass is the largest of the four and has a range of deep notes that helps to anchor musical pieces.

What types of bows are available?

Pernambuco trees make for high quality bows. Even so, musicians tend to use carbon fiber designs because they are environmentally friendly. Each one requires a specific size. For instance, those for cellos are usually shorter than those for violas, which are shorter than those for violins. Some designs utilize horse hair while others are entirely synthetic.

How do you care for an orchestral string instrument?

Be sure to leave your orchestral instruments in a temperate climate. Wipe it down with a soft cloth each time you play it to keep it free of residue and fingerprints. Polish it every two to four weeks to keep it in good condition. Decrease bow tension when you put it away, and change the horse hair whenever necessary. When storing, remember to remove the shoulder rest from the instrument's case. You can also use a separate carrying case for the shoulder rest. Try not to put anything on top of an instrument, even when it's inside its case.