Violins have been a part of the musical world for such a very long time. It is one of the most melodious instruments from which we can draw out various sounds depending on our mood and the occasion. It is so very dear to some people that Albert Einstein once remarked “A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?” This clearly highlights the pleasure one can draw from this musical instrument. It has a long tradition and has evolved over the centuries and seen many changes both in its appearance and the kind of music drawn from it.
History of Electric Violin:
Vanessa Mae had once commented that “Violin playing is a physical art with great traditions behind it.” This is indeed true when we look at the changes this instrument has undergone over the centuries. There were several stringed instruments like ravanstron, rebec and rabab long before the present day violin was created. But these existed in such ancient times that the modern scholars can hardly find any information about them. They have been seen only in the artwork or the written record. The current form of the samuel eastman violin was developed in the 16th century. The Italians were the first people to make the violin and it seems quite plausible that they might have been influenced by the other ancient stringed instruments from around the world.
The 11th century saw the invention of the rote and the vielle and these instruments looked somewhat similar to the modern violins with respect to the fingerboards that contain strings which players could press in order to produce different tones.
With the changes in technology and advent of electricity, some violins were remodeled to work on electric power. The first company to manufacture electric violin was made by Rickenbacker and it was named “Electro.” The instrument was made from molded Bakelite, then aluminum and wood. These kinds of violins were first seen in the jazz and blues music. Even though the violins are still made in wood, yet there are alternative materials like carbon fiber, plastic and resins are being used increasingly.
Types of Electric Violins:
An electrical violin is in fact the traditional violin that is built with an electric pick-up that amplifies sound and tone. It is made up of four-seven strings and a sleeker. These violins are available in multiple colors. This instrument produces a unique and loud sound which is slightly different from the conventional violins.
An electric violin can be used by both the amateurs as well as professionals. They are used for various performances that require various effects like chorus, reverb, delay and distortion. Electric violins are more popularly used in progressive music, jazz and experimental music.
There are mainly three kinds of electric violins which include the following:
Solid Electric Violin:
This instrument is made from solid Basswood and is usually sculpted for a light weight feel. Most of the times it is made with an ebony fingerboard, a maple neck and ebony chin rest. There are four and five strings varieties which are more popular and also feature steel electric strings that produce a brighter sound.
Semi-hollow Electric Violin:
Hollowed-out wooden body makes this instrument very light weight. It has a well defined cut and shaped body and comes in four-and -five string varieties. It also features steel electric strings that produce a bright sound.
Fancy Electric Violin:
This is the modern and a contemporary version of the conventional violin. Its body is made from polymer and acrylic, thereby giving it a glass like look. All the body parts like the chin rest, tailpiece and finger board are made of acrylic. It also comes in four and five strings varieties.
So whatever the occasion, violin can prove to be an effective means of communicating your thoughts in a musical manner. Even though Andres Segovia had once remarked cynically, “Whoever heard of an electric violin, electric cello or, for that matter an electric singer?” and yet this instrument has taken the musical fraternity by storm and with the technology advancing by leaps and bounds, it sure is getting a new lease every moment.