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The string instruments


A string instrument is an instrument that makes the sound by the vibration of their strings.

The pitch of these sounds depends on the thickness, length and tension of the strings of the instrument.

We can classify string instruments in three groups, depending on how we play them to make them sound.

The groups are: plucked string instruments, bowed string instruments and struck string instruments.

Group 1: Plucked string instruments.

In order to make a sound from these instruments, we have to pluck their strings with our fingers or a pick.

Most plucked string instruments belong to the lute family (such as guitar, bass guitar, balalaika, banjo, sitar…)

Now we are going to talk about one of the most popular instrument of this group: the guitar.

It has six strings and a long neck and the form of the body is like an eight and this works like a sounding board that amplifies the beautiful sound of this instrument. On the top of the neck, it has the pegs, which control the tension of the strings and we use them to tune the instrument.

Group 2: Bowed string instruments:

We have to rub their strings with a bow made of horsehairs and covered with rosin.

The violin, the viola, the cello and the double bass belong to this group.

They have four strings, a neck and pegs to tune them.

Now, let’s do a break to talk about the bow:

As you know, in the past, people used a bow and arrows to hunt, so they used to wear their bows like a normal accessory and, when they were, for instance, camped in the middle of the forest, they used to play instruments for dancing and singing. Someone rub the lute’s strings with a hunting bow and realized that it made a different sound. And they used these bows to play music but the shape was very uncomfortable for playing so the bow evolved but it conserved the name.

3. Struck string instruments:

The instrument that belongs to this group is the piano. How does it work? The piano has more than two hundred strings, but they are hidden inside the sounding board and that is the reason why you cannot see them at first sight.

It also has a keyboard and when we press a key, a hammer strikes the corresponding string.

The piano only can be tuned by professional tuners, who have to tune them every few months.



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