The violin is a musical instrument belonging to the family of strings. Its roots date back to the 16th century.
The most famous violinist of all time was the Italian Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840). A lover of improvisation, he went down in history also because he refused to perform an encore at a concert. "Paganini does not repeat" he confined himself to saying, a phrase that remained famous. Italians are also some of the best known and appreciated violin makers in the world. Among these are Antonio Stradivari, Giovanni Paolo Maggini, Giovanni Battista Guadagnini and Giuseppe Guarneri (called "del Gesù").
Precisely because of this long tradition, there are numerous models of violins, suitable to meet the different needs of beginners, experts, virtuosos, amateurs or collectors.
How to choose a violin
There are many types of violin corresponding to different uses: from the craftsmanship made by a master violin maker, which can become a collector's item, to the factory violin indicated for beginners, which can then be regulated by a violin maker.
Measurements and materials of construction are the first characteristics to consider when choosing a violin. The correct dimensions of the tool, craft or factory, are:
• Length of the sound box: 35.4 cm - 35.8 cm
• Upper max width: 16.5 cm - 17 cm
• Lower max width: 20.5 cm - 21 cm
• Height of the bands: 2.9 cm - 3.1 cm
• Length of the handle: 13 cm (from the neck to the edge of the board)
• Diapason: 19.5 cm (from the top edge of the board to the notch of the effe)
These dimensions were regulated by the builders of the period of classical lutherie. The exception is the so-called "7/8 violin" which has a 34 cm case.
A violin of traditional dimensions is instead called whole or 4/4, generally has a total length of 59 cm and is intended for instrumentalists who have an adult body.
The quality of the instrument depends first of all on the way it was produced, considering the accuracy of the workmanship and the quality of the construction materials. The choice of wood is decisive for the quality of the sound: the maple is indicated for the lower part while the fir is recommended for the upper part. Other quality woods with which to create a violin are those of pear, maple, plane, rosewood, ebony, boxwood and tapped spruce. When evaluating the quality of a violin, one must carefully observe some details: the thread, the inlaid decoration in the instrument, the turn of the snail, the cutting of the effe and even the finishing of the varnish. However, it should be kept in mind that many violins need time to be fully appreciated: in fact, with the passage of time and with prolonged use, the instrument evolves and reveals its real sound.
Even the violin, with the passing of the years and the advent of technology, has undergone substantial changes and updates. The latest evolution is that of the electric violin which eliminates the harmonic box and introduces the electronic amplification of the sound. While in the acoustic instrument the sound is produced by the rubbing of the bow on the strings, in the electric violin it is necessary to introduce a connection to an external amplifier. The playing mode does not change, but the final effect is different: the vibration of the strings reproduced by the amplifier makes the sound more metallic.
Thanks to the headphones, the electric violin is the ideal instrument to study at home or in the room without disturbing neighbors and family with repeated musical exercises almost indefinitely. This inconvenience can also be solved in classic violins by adding a special mute.
Are you looking for classical or electric violins, amplifiers or electronic tuners?
View this collection dedicated to violins and discover all the models and accessories available!