National Violin Day is annually celebrated on December 13th in the United States. This day celebrates and recognizes the impact and contributions of one of the most popular musical instrument of all time which is violin!
The violin, sometimes known as a fiddle, is a wooden chordophone (string instrument) in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body. It is the smallest and thus highest-pitched instrument (soprano) in the family in regular use.
Even today, violin is one of the most used musical instrument in our world. Hence along with celebrating the importance of violin, this day also celebrates all the musicians around the world as well who plays violin.
|National Violin Day
|December 13, 2022
|The day celebrates and recognizes the impact and contributions of one of the most popular musical instrument of all time which is violin!
National Violin Day History:
The history of the violin is quite extensive, dating back centuries. The musical instrument can trace its lineage through various traditions all over the world, from Asian ravanahatha, rebab, rebec, and morin khuur, via vielle, lira and viola da braccio to a baroque and modern violin with inventions like an electric violin. Many different stringed instruments led to the violin that we know and love today. It has evolved and been perfected over the centuries through endless experimentation. And today it is one of the most popular musical instrument in our world.
Asian instruments entered Europe through the trade route. Europeans then created their own take with their style of woodworking, leading to the French vielle, which came about in the 13th century. The vielle had five strings and its shape was similar to the modern violin. The lira da braccio was a bowed string instrument used in the 15th and 16th centuries. It was closely related to the French vielle, but it was the first string instrument to have a soundpost. The modern four-string violin originated in northern Italy around 1550.
At around the same time, Andrea Amati perfected the size and shape of modern string instruments. The oldest violin still in existence was built in 1564 and is nicknamed the Charles IX. There are even records of the King of France buying 24 violins from Amati! Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) was one of the most famous violin makers in the world. His career spanned 70 years, and 650 of his instruments have survived to our times. He experimented with and improved on Amati's designs to create violins with a bigger, darker sound.
The violin went through a few major changes during the Classical period to really make it the instrument we know now. The fingerboard became longer for violinists to play in higher positions, and the angle was changed to accommodate a higher string tension. Finally, the modern violin bow was created around 1775. Francois Tourte began making the bows longer and with pernambuco wood. Then the The electric violin was invented in 1930 by a company called GE. It was practically unplayable and was a regular violin with a megaphone attached to it.
National Violin Day Significance:
The violin is easily the most well-known bowed string instrument across the world, and it is really not all that surprising to see that the violin does in fact have a day dedicated to its existence! After all, everything from Western and Indian classical music to bluegrass and jazz would be unimaginable today without the violin. It is quite possibly the most versatile instrument in the world in terms of repertoire–and that must be why there is a special day all its own to celebrate the violin and for that only we have National Violin Day today.
The violin is regarded as one of the most important musical instruments in history, perhaps because of its fundamental role in an orchestra or the inspiration and emotion transferred to the listener upon hearing its powerfully romantic sound. While its construction concentrates on producing impeccable sound, had the violin not adhered to the laws of science, it would have been a failure as a musical instrument (Hughes). Indeed, the violin is an amazing amalgam of science, mathematics, physics, and chemistry but it is strictly regulated by physical and acoustic laws. Nothing about the violin can be changed without seriously disturbing its equilibrium as an instrument of essential and precise assimilation.
The violin is played either seated or standing up. Solo players (whether playing alone, with a piano or with an orchestra) play mostly standing up (unless prevented by a physical disability). In contrast, in the orchestra and in chamber music it is usually played seated. In the 2000s and 2010s, some orchestras performing Baroque music have had all of their violins and violas, solo and ensemble, perform standing up. The standard way of holding the violin is with the left side of the jaw resting on the chinrest of the violin, and supported by the left shoulder, often assisted by a shoulder rest.
Most people have similar doubts on National Violin Day that whether or not violins and fiddles are the same. By and large, they are, with the sole difference being that a fiddle can have a fifth string, unlike most violins, which only have four strings. Country music fiddlers further differentiate that the fifth string is plucked and not bowed. Both instruments are usually made from either maple or spruce woods that give the instrument a beautiful finish — and the hairs on the bow are made from the hair from a horse's tail (no horses are harmed in making a violin or fiddle bow).
National Violin Day Activities:
Obviously! One of the best ways to celebrate National Violin Day is by playing some violin yourself for the occasion. If you already knows how to play it then you can simply record your performance playing violin and then upload it on social media so that others can be aware about this day as well. And if you don't know to play violin then you can use this day to complete your long time fantasy of playing violin. Sign up for the lessons be it online or offline and get started.
National Violin Day gives you absolute permission to indulge yourself with anything violin-related. We suggest you make it a cinema night. Kick off your "violin-a-thon" with every movie you can think of that revolves around violins. We're going to get you started with three — "The Red Violin," "The Devil’s Violinist," and "Soloist." So enjoy your day while watching some good movies or series based on violins!
This day also gives you an opportunity to listen to as much violin music as you can stand. National Violin Day encourages you to pack your iPod with an endless supply of violin tracks. Hop from genre to genre, starting out with Paganini compositions and ending up with your favorite bluegrass songs. Invite some friends, cook some food and there you go and enjoy having some good violin music.
National Violin Day FAQs:
1. When is National Violin Day celebrated?
National Violin Day is annually celebrated on December 13th in US.
2. What was the violin originally used for?
Violins were originally used for dance music in the 16th century. During the early 17th century, composer Monteverdi added violins to his infamous opera Orfeo. This was the first recorded use of violins in an orchestra.
3. How much does a violin cost?
A good violin for a beginner costs about $500. A good intermediate violin will cost ca. $1,000-2,000 while a good violin for a professional violinist may cost anything between $5,000 and $50,000.