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Construction and Playing The main parts of the violin are the front also called the belly top or soundboard usually made of well-seasoned spruce the back usually made of well-seasoned maple and the ribs neck fingerboard pegbox scroll bridge tailpiece and f-holes or soundholes see illustration The front back and ribs are joined together to form a hollow sound box The sound box contains the sound post a thin dowel-like stick of wood wedged inside underneath the right side of the bridge and connecting the front and back of the violin and the bass-bar a long strip of wood glued to the inside of the front under the left side of the bridge The sound post and bass-bar are important for the transmission of sound and they also give additional support to the construction The strings are fastened to the tailpiece rest on the bridge are suspended over the fingerboard and run to the pegbox where they are attached to tuning pegs that can be turned to change the pitch of the string The player makes different pitches by placing the left-hand fingers on the string and pressing against the fingerboard The strings are set in vibration and produce sound when the player draws the bow across them at a right angle near the bridge Among the prized characteristics of the violin are its singing tone and its potential to play rapid brilliant figurations as well as lyrical melodies Violinists can also create special effects by means of the following techniques pizzicato plucking the strings tremolo moving the bow rapidly back and forth on a string sul ponticello playing with the bow extremely close to the bridge to produce a thin glassy sound col legno playing with the wooden part of the bow instead of with the hair harmonics placing the fingers of the left hand lightly on certain points of the string to obtain a light flutelike sound and glissando steadily gliding
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