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String musical instruments produce sound from one or more vibrating strings which are attached to the instrument's extremities. The thicker and longer the string is, deeper the sound produced. The number of strings varies considerably, going from one, such as the berimbau, to over forty, in the case of the harp.

A bit of history

Strings have been used in music for thousand years, being present in the Greek and Roman civilizations.

The instruments belonging to this family are very diversified and can be played in many different ways. They are used in solo performances, chamber music ensembles and orchestras, among others. The most famous instrument of this family is the violin, considered one of the most important in the occidental music.

How do they work?

There are three main techniques used to produce string's vibration: plucking, striking and bowing. 

Plucked string instruments

The sound is produced from the vibration created by the string after it is plucked with fingers or some plastic plectra. 


Plucked string instruments being played


Bowed string instruments

Sound production is obtained when the strings vibrate through the use of a bow.

Examples that belong to this family have a wooden body shaped like an "8" whose top contain two orifices that resemble the shape of an "f", a fretless neck and 4 strings. The most remarkable difference between them concerns their size, which consequently influences the sound produced.

Bowed string instrument being played


Striked string instruments

The sound is produced by vibrating strings when some mecanism strikes its.

Striked string instruments being played