10 Interesting Facts About the Violin
By Brendan Lai-Tong
Here are some interesting facts about the violin that you may not have known:
- The modern violin has been around for roughly 500 years. It was said to have been designed in the 1500’s by Andrea Amati.
- Playing the violin burns approximately 170 calories per hour. Forget about your workout and start practicing harder!
- Violins are typically comprised of spruce or maple wood.
- Violins come in many different sizes. Typically, students will start learning violin at a young age with a 1/32 or 1/16 size violin. As the student ages they will graduate up to a full sized violin.
- Violins are very complex. Over 70 different pieces of wood are put together to form the modern violin.
- The word violin comes from the Medieval Latin word vitula, meaning stringed instrument;
- The world record in cycling backwards playing a violin is 60.45 kilometres in 5 hours 8 seconds.
- The most expensive violin in the world was made by Giuseppe Guarneri in 1741. This extravagant violin was appraised with a value of $18 million.
- Violin bows typically contain 150 to 200 hairs. They can be made up of a variety of materials including nylon and horse hair.
- Violin strings were first made of sheep gut (commonly known as catgut), which was stretched, dried, and twisted. Other materials violin strings have been made out of include: solid steel, stranded steel, or various synthetic materials, wound with various metals, and sometimes plated with silver.
Brendan Lai-Tong holds degrees in trombone performance from University of Miami and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.