Materials used to make violins

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Over the past month, students have been learning about the different types of woods used to make violins.

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Maple (flame maple) is used for the violin back, scroll, neck, and bridge.

 

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Spruce is used for the violin top and the sound post. 

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The black and white stripe around the edge of the instrument (called purfling) consists of three pieces of wood that are inlaid into the top and back.  The black is usually dyed pearwood and poplar for the center. 

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Ebony is sometimes used for the fingerboard and pegs.   As the Ebony trees are endangered, more often the pegs are made from Rosewood, Boxwood, or Maple. 

pernambuco

Violin bow sticks in the past were usually made from Pernambuco wood (also called Brazilwood) from Brazil. The carbon fiber bow industry has taken off in recent years as the Brazilwood tree is an endangered species.  Carbon fibers are carbon atoms bonded together in crystals when combined with plastics they are lightweight and high in strength.  

The frog is usually ebony.    The grip is usually made out of leather.  The winding is usually made from nickel.  The slide on the bottom of the frog is usually made from abalone or mother of pearl (snail shells). The hair on the bow is 150-200 horse-tail hairs. 

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