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Word Count: 1,124
Musical instruments are divided into four primary families determined by the manner of their construction and the way in which they are played These four groups are named Stringed Instruments Keyboard Instruments Wind Instruments and Instruments of Percussion The Stringed Instruments can once again be broken down into those in which the strings are plucked for example the harp or guitar and those in which the strings are played with a bow such as the cello or the violin Abele p1 The violin is the most important stringed instrument as it plays a chief role in orchestras and sets the fundamental design and confers its basic principles upon the lower stringed instruments such as the viola cello and double bass It is the essential and the unique design of the wood the bridge and the bow that provide the listener with an exclusive and distinctive sound only a violin can produce Violinmakers have always paid particular attention to their woods selection and the characteristics of each individual piece of wood Makers often use different kinds of wood in the different parts of the instrument They look at important properties such as elastic modulus acoustic velocity and acoustic damping Dunlop p37 The elastic modulus of wood is much stronger along the grain than across it and also depends on how moist or dry the wood is along with the species of wood Dunlop p38 Acoustic velocity or the sound speed of a medium has been measured in a wide range for different woods Sound traveling along the grain and across the grain have produced dissimilar values with each other and among various woods Studies show that sound passes through the wood medium at least four times faster along the grain than across the grain Dunlop p38 Acoustic damping can be described as the time required for vibrations to decay When high frequencies are played small motions of atoms will generate heat and cause damping When low
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