String Musical Instruments: A Gallery

of 09


Violin. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

The violin is believed to have evolved from the Rebec and the Lira da braccio. In Europe, the earliest four stringed violin was used in the first part of the century.

Violins are fairly easy to start learning and is mostly suitable for children 6 years and older. They come in a variety of sizes, from full size to 1/16, depending on the age of the learner. Violins are very popular and in demand so if you become a professional player it wouldn't be hard to join an orchestra or any musical group. Remember to opt for non-electric violins as it is more adequate for beginning students.

Learn More About Violins:

of 09


Viola. Public Domain Image from Wikimedia Commons

The first violas are believed to have been made in the 15th century and evolved from the viola de braccio (Italian for "arm viol"). During the 18th century, the viola was used to play the part of the cello. Although not a solo instrument, the viola is an important member of a string ensemble.

The viola may look like a violin but it certainly has its' own unique tone. It is tuned a fifth lower than the violin and functions as the tenor instrument in a string ensemble. Violas didn't enjoy immediate prominence when it first emerged. But thanks to great composers such as Mozart. Strauss and Bartók, the viola has become an integral part of every string ensemble.

Learn More About Violas:

of 09


Ukulele. Public Domain Image by Kollektives Schreiben

The word ukulele is Hawaiian for "leaping flea". The ukulele is like a small guitar and is a descendant of the machete or machada. The machada was brought into Hawaii by the Portuguese during the 1870's. It has four strings that is under 24 inches long.

The ukulele is one of Hawaii's most popular musical instrument. It became more widely used during the 20th century and popularized by musicians such as Eddie Karnae and Jake Shimabukuro. It is like a small guitar but its tone is much lighter.

Learn More About Ukuleles:

of 09


Mandolin. Image Courtesy of Sándor Ujlaki

The mandolin is a bowed string instrument believed to have evolved from the lute and emerged during the 18th century. The mandolin has a pear-shaped body and 4 pairs of strings.

The mandolin is another music instrument that belongs to the string family. One of the most popular brand of mandolins is the Gibson, named after the luthier Orville Gibson.

Learn More About Mandolins:

of 09


Harp. Public Domain Image by Erika Malinoski (Wikimedia Commons)

The harp is one of the oldest musical instruments; archaeologists discovered a wall painting in Ancient Egyptian tombs which resembled that of a harp and dates back to 3000 BC.

The harp is surprisingly easy to start. There are piano students who learn to play the harp with little difficulty because both instruments require reading music pieces in double-stave. Harps come in small sizes for kids age 8 years upwards and bigger harps for students 12 years and older. There are not a lot of people who play the harp and finding a teacher may be difficult. Nevertheless, it is one of the most beautiful sounding instruments and it's worth learning if you desire.

Learn More About Harps:

Types of Harps

Parts of a Pedal Harp

Parts of a Non-Pedal Harp

Tips on Playing the Harp

of 09


Guitar. Image © Espie Estrella, licensed to, Inc.

The origin of guitars may have dated back to 1900-1800 B.C. in Babylonia. Archaeologists found a clay plaque showing nude figures holding musical instruments, some of which resembled the guitar.

The guitar is one of the most popular musical instruments and is suitable for students age 6 years upwards. Folk style is easier to start with and remember to opt for non-electric guitars if you're a beginner. Guitars come in a variety of sizes and styles to suit any students' need. Guitars are a mainstay in most music ensembles and you can also play it solo and still sound appealing.

Learn More About Guitars:

Buying Your First Guitar

Guitar for Beginners

of 09

Double Bass

double bass
Double Bass. Public Domain Image by Lowendgruv from Wikimedia Commons

In 1493, there was mention about "viols as big as myself" by Prospero and in 1516 there was an illustration closely resembling that of a double bass.

This instrument is like a huge cello and is played the same way, by rubbing the bow across the strings. Another way of playing it is by plucking or striking the strings. Double bass can be played while standing up or sitting down and is suitable for kids 11 years and older. It also comes in various sizes from full size, 3/4, 1/2 and smaller. The double bass isn't as popular as other string instruments but is essential in most kinds of ensemble especially jazz bands.

Learn More About the Double Bass:

of 09


Cello owned by Dr. Reinhard Voss which he loaned to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Photo taken on November 29, 2004. Sandra Teddy/Getty Images

Another instrument that is fairly easy to start and suitable for kids 6 years and older. It is essentially a large violin but its' body is thicker. It is played the same way as the violin, by rubbing the bow across the string. But where you can play the violin standing up, the cello is played sitting down while holding it between your legs. It also comes in different sizes from full size to 1/4. The first known maker of cellos was Andrea Amati of Cremona during the 1500's.

Learn More About Cellos:

of 09


Banjo. Public Domain Image from the Nordisk familjebok (Wikimedia Commons)

A banjo is a stringed instrument that is played using different techniques such as the Scruggs-style or the "clawhammer". It also comes in different types and some manufacturers even experimented on other forms by blending the banjo with another instrument. The banjo originated from Africa and in the 19th century was brought into America by slaves. In its' earliest form it had four gut strings.

Learn More About the Banjo: