Violin Vocabulary

Violin Vocabulary

Violin Vocabulary

If you’re a beginner in the world of violin, you might be overwhelmed with the vast technical jargon that comes with the instrument. From the parts of the violin to the various techniques and genres, it can be quite perplexing to get a grasp of everything. In this article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide to violin vocabulary, so you can have a better understanding of this beautiful instrument.

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Parts of the Violin


The body of the violin is the main part that produces sound. It’s made of two curved sides connected by a flat base and a rounded top. The top is called the soundboard, which amplifies the sound produced by the strings.


The neck is a long, thin piece of wood attached to the body of the violin. It holds the fingerboard and the strings and is usually made of maple wood.


The scroll is the decorative, ornamental part of the violin where the strings are attached. It’s usually carved into a spiral shape and adds a touch of elegance to the instrument.


The pegbox is the part of the violin that holds the pegs, which are used to tune the strings. It’s located at the top of the neck and is usually made of ebony or rosewood.


The fingerboard is a long, thin strip of wood that’s attached to the neck of the violin. It’s where the strings are pressed down to create different notes, and it’s usually made of ebony.

Bow Parts


The stick is the long, thin part of the bow that’s made of wood or carbon fiber. It’s where the player holds the bow and is responsible for producing the sound.


The frog is the curved, decorative part of the bow that holds the hair. It’s usually made of ebony or mammoth ivory and is where the player applies pressure to create different sounds.


The hair is the part of the bow that’s used to create sound. It’s made of horsehair and is coated with rosin to help it grip the strings.

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Vibrato is a technique used to add a more expressive and emotional quality to the sound produced by the violin. It involves oscillating the pitch of a note by slightly moving the finger up and down on the fingerboard.


Pizzicato is a technique that involves plucking the strings with the fingers instead of using the bow. It creates a percussive, plucky sound and is often used in folk music.


Staccato is a technique where the player creates a short, sharp, and detached sound by quickly lifting the bow of the string.


Legato is a technique where the player creates a smooth, connected sound by playing the notes in a flowing manner.



Classical music is a genre that’s been around for centuries and is characterized by its complex melodies and harmonies. The violin is a staple instrument in classical music, and many of the most famous violin pieces come from this genre.


Folk music is a genre that’s rooted in tradition and is often passed down from generation to generation. The violin is a popular instrument in folk music and is often used to create lively, upbeat tunes.


Jazz is a genre that’s characterized by its improvisation and spontaneity. The violin is not as commonly used in jazz as other instruments like the saxophone or trumpet, but it can still create a unique and beautiful sound in this genre.


What wood is used to make the body of the violin?

A: The body of the violin is usually made of maple wood.

Can the hair of the bow be replaced?

A: Yes, the hair of the bow can be replaced when it becomes worn or damaged.

What is the purpose of rosin on the bow hair?

A: Rosin helps the bow hair grip the strings and produce sound.

What is the most famous classical piece for the violin?

A: One of the most famous classical pieces for the violin is “The Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi.

What is the difference between legato and staccato?

A: Legato is a smooth, connected sound, while staccato is a short and detached sound.


In conclusion, the violin is a complex and beautiful instrument with a vocabulary all its own. From the parts of the violin to the various techniques and genres, there’s a lot to learn and appreciate about this timeless instrument. By familiarizing yourself with the vocabulary, you’ll have a better understanding and appreciation of the music created by the violin.