The Violin

The violin is the baby of the string family, and like babies, makes the highest sounds. There are more violins in the orchestra than any other instrument (there can be up to 30!) and they are divided into two groups: first and second. First violins often play the melody, while second violins alternate between melody and harmony. A typical-sized violin is around 24 inches (two feet) long, with a slightly longer bow. You play the violin by resting it between your chin and left shoulder. Your left hand holds the neck of the violin and presses down on the strings to change the pitch, while your right hand moves the bow or plucks the strings.