Friday, October 14, 2011

Introduction to the String Family Part 1 - Violin, Viola, and String Basics

Music Adventures

There are 4 families of instruments: string, brass, woodwind, and percussion.  Today, we will learn about the string family.

All string instruments have strings or wires that are plucked, rubbed, or tapped to make a sound.  A string makes a higher or lower sound (which is called pitch) depending on how fast the string vibrates.  A short, thin, and/or a tight string vibrates fast and has a high pitch.  A long, thick, and/or loose string vibrates slower and has a lower pitch.

The string family is the most important part of an orchestra.

The violin is the smallest instrument in the string family that is used in the orchestra, so it makes the highest pitches.

Now, listen to Johann Sebastian Bach's Double Violin Concerto in D minor (2nd movement).

The viola is like the violin, but it is longer and has a lower sound.

Listen and watch as a gentleman named Scott Slapin plays Johann Sebastian Bach's Prelude to the 3rd Partita. This piece was originally written for a violin, but Mr. Slapin is playing the viola.

If you are new to the Music Adventures Lessons, please click on the graphic below for an introduction and more information.


  1. Thanks so much! This is very helpful for my Beginning Music class that I teach for our home school group. I will be returning!

    1. You're welcome, Christi! This is based on one of the many lessons I created and teach at our homeschool co-op. I created the class that I named Music Adventures back in the Fall of 2007 and am in fact teaching it again this session for about the 10th or 11th time (teaching it a couple of times a year a few times). I thoroughly enjoy my little musicians! ;)