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String Music Instruments Including the Guitar and Violin

Updated on May 29, 2015
Public domain image found on WPClipart and modified.
Public domain image found on WPClipart and modified. | Source

String Instruments Including the Guitar and Violin

A string instrument is a musical instrument in which strings are set in vibration. These include the guitar, violin, and banjo, among others.

String instruments make their sound by resonance, but the resonance needed is in two fifferent forms.

A major difference between a violin and a guitar is the bow causes a triangular wave shape instead of the sinusoidal shape.

Intro Image: This image is in public domain. It can be found on WP Clipart, link provided below.

Resonance in a String

When a wave is plucked or bowed it begins to move back and forth. The disturbance moves along the string while additional wave crests and troughs follow in a continuous manner. When the disturbance reaches the end of the sting, it reflects. If the string length is just right, the reflected wave will cancel the forward moving wave at points called nodes, and reinforce the forward moving wave at points called anti-nodes. A standing wave will be set up. Whether or not a standing wave will set up depends on the string length and the speed the sound moves. The speed depends on the composition and thickness of the string, and the tension in the string. Turning the frets will control the tension in the string.

Because strings in instruments are subject to thermal expansion, tuning fir the room in which it is to be played is essential.

The Complexities of the Vibrations

Vibrating strings cannot send sound very far. The sound must be assisted at the instrument. This is done by having the bridge carefully placed so as to vibrate with the strings. This is transferred to the front plate. The vibrating front plate sets up a resonance in the box, utilizing resonance in a tube. The vibrating air in the box can start the back plate vibrating.

Inside the Box

Resonance in a tube occurs when a wave moving through a tube, and the wave reflected at the end of the tube, pass each other so as to create a standing wave, which means at some points there is always a cancellation, or a node, and halfway between the nodes the waves add to each other to produce an anti-node.

The important thing to remember is it is all about the resonance, the nodes and the antinodes, that make the quality of the sound.

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    • bestguitarlessons profile image

      bestguitarlessons 

      6 years ago

      What great information. Playing a stringed instrument is fairly easy and most rewarding. i have taught guitar lessons for over 40 years and feel blessed to have the ability to take my gift of being able to play and pass it on to others. What a gift!

    • bestguitarlessons profile image

      bestguitarlessons 

      6 years ago

      What great information. Playing a stringed instrument is fairly easy and most rewarding. i have taught guitar lessons for over 40 years and feel blessed to have the ability to take my gift of being able to play and pass it on to others. What a gift!

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 

      6 years ago from UK

      An interesting exposition of how a stringed instrument makes a sound.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 

      6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Stringed instruments make beautiful music. I just love a goot string trio or quartet

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