There are 5 instruments in the String family.

  1. Violin
  2. Viola
  3. Cello
  4. Double Bass
  5. Harp

Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass

These instruments all look similar. They (almost always) have four strings which are attached to a fretboard and a hollow resonating chamber which amplifies the sound made by the string, similar to an acoustic guitar.

The Violin, Viola, Cello and Double Bass are usually played with a bow. This is made from a stick and hair from the tail of a horse. The bow is drawn across the strings on the instrument and the friction caused by the horse hair rubbing against the string causes the string to vibrate. This produces the sound.

Violins and Violas are smaller and held under the chin of the musician.

The Cello and Double Bass are much larger and rest on the floor when played.

Playing a string instrument using a bowing technique is referred to as ARCO.

String instruments can also be plucked, creating a shorter, more percussive sound. This technique is known as PIZZICATO.

The Harp

The harp has 47 strings and 7 foot pedals. The musician will sit behind it and pluck the strings with their fingers to produce the sound.