The violin, sometimes known as a fiddle, is a wooden chordophone (string instrument) in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body. It is the smallest and thus highest-pitched instrument (soprano) in the family in regular use. The violin typically has four strings, usually tuned in perfect fifths with notes G, D, A, E, and is most commonly played by drawing a bow across its strings.
It can also be played by plucking the strings with the fingers (pizzicato) and, in specialized cases, by striking the strings with the wooden side of the bow (col legno).
The viola is the alto instrument of the violin family (violin, viola, cello).
It is constructed using the same components as the violin, the only difference being the larger size. Its stately and dark timbre contrasts sharply with that of the violin and makes the viola perfectly suited as the violin family’s middle voice.
Its bow is a little heavier than the violin bow and the horsehair a little broader.
The piano is an acoustic, stringed musical instrument invented in Italy by Bartolomeo Cristofori around the year 1700 (the exact year is uncertain), in which the strings are struck by wooden hammers that are coated with a softer material (modern hammers are covered with dense wool felt; some early pianos used leather). It is played using a keyboard, which is a row of keys (small levers) that the performer presses down or strikes with the fingers and thumbs of both hands to cause the hammers to strike the strings.
The ukulele is a small guitar-like instrument, which was introduced to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants from Madeira in the late 1800's. It gained great popularity elsewhere in the United States during the early 20th century and from there spread internationally.
The tone and volume of the instrument vary with size and construction. Ukuleles commonly come in four sizes: soprano, concert, tenor, and baritone.
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