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- $68 for two 60-minute violin lessons ($160 value)
- $42 for $100 worth of instruments, bows, or cases
Stringed Instruments: Good Vibrations
Some of the most popular musical instruments seem like nothing more than a piece of wood and some metal strings. So just how does that result in the timeless art of music?
As a musician manipulates a string, whether by plucking it with a pick or brushing it with a bow, it vibrates at a specific frequency, creating a small, almost indiscernible sound. Within the delicately constructed body of the instrument, however, the sound resonates and amplifies.
The frequency at which a string vibrates depends upon its tightness and length. When a musician presses down on a string, it becomes shorter, resulting in a higher frequency (or pitch).
Despite the common underlying physics, a variety of factors help to create such a diverse range of sounds among stringed instruments. When playing a fiddle, for instance, the bow simply glides across the strings, resulting in a fluid, even tone. Even the piano, though not technically a stringed instrument, operates on the same principles: tiny hammers inside the body strike individual strings, each carefully tuned to a specific pitch, producing percussive, dynamic notes among several octaves. Even with modern tools, few cellos and violins can compete with Stradivarius’ 18th-century pieces crafted with unique woods, varnishes, dark incantations, and hours upon hours of care.