NATIONAL VIOLIN DAY
Honoring an instrument also known as the fiddle, National Violin Day on December 13th celebrates the bow stringed instrument loved around the world.
By drawing the bow across the strings, the violinist manipulates the sound in several ways. A violinist uses numerous bowing techniques to master the violin. The strokes dictate not only notes, but the quality of the note played.
While we associate the violin with classical music, it easily crosses genres. For instance, the violinist demonstrates the versatility of the violin by extensive use in baroque music, jazz, folk music, rock and roll, and soft rock.
“Violin” comes from the Medieval Latin work “vitula” which means stringed instrument.
Although having ancient origins, violin-makers developed most of the violin’s modern characteristics in Italy during the 16th century. Further modifications formed in the 18th and 19th centuries.
When is National Saxophone Day?
It is believed that Turkic and Mongolian horsemen from Inner Asia were the world’s earliest fiddlers. They played two-stringed upright fiddles strung with horsehair strings. Likewise, they played using horsehair bows and often featured a carved horse’s head at the end of the neck. The violins we play today (as well as the violas and cellos) with bows still strung with horsehair are a legacy of the nomads.
- 1555 – Andrea Amati receives credit for the oldest documented four-string violin, like the modern violins.
- The “Lady Blunt” brought a record dollar amount when it was auctioned on June 20, 2011. The Stradivari violin sold for $15.9 million.
- Musicians and collectors alike seek instruments made by Stradivari almost more than any other maker.
- A luthier makes or repairs violins.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL VIOLIN DAY
The holiday season offers an excellent time to listen to the violin in concert. Whether you attend a holiday presentation or give tickets to the local chamber orchestra, the violin will certainly be a part of the performance. Other ways to enjoy this holiday include:
- Listen to concerts online.
- Attend a school performance.
- Re-discover your violin skills and take a lesson or two.
- Offer a violin concert to a classroom.
- Add violin music to your playlist.
- Give the gift of music for the holidays. Buy season tickets or lessons for someone longing to learn to play.
- Learn about the histories of musical histories by reading 5 Tuneful Origins of Celebrated Musical Instruments.
While celebrating the day, be sure to invite someone to enjoy it with you, too! Share your experience and use #NationalViolinDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL VIOLIN DAY HISTORY
Undeterred by our research, National Day Calendar® continues seeking the origins of this musical holiday.
Q. How many strings does a violin have?
A. Depending on the size of the violin, it can have between four to eight strings.
Q. What are the sizes of violins?
A. The standard-sized violin is the adult 4/4 violin and is determined by the length of the instrument’s body. From there the sizes reduce by fractions:
The smallest sizes are typically played by young children.