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The orchestral string family consists of four instruments, the Violin, the Viola, the Cello, and the Double Bass. Sound is made by each instrument in the family by plucking with the fingers or rubbing the horse hair bow across a string. Each instrument also comes in a variety of sizes, to fit the size of the student. All students are measured by a music teacher to determine the size that suits them as a individual. Despite these similarities, there are a few fundamental differences between each member of the family. The guitar is another stringed instrument, but it is not a member of the classical orchestral string family.

Guitar

The guitar is a stringed instrument that is an integral part of various musical styles. It is a common sight concerts promoting Blues, Country, Rock and Mariachi performances across the globe. This traditional solo classical instrument has ancient roots, dating as far back as 4000 years ago!

The three most common types of guitar are the classical, acoustic and electric.

Classical guitars are typically strung with nylon strings. They have a wide, flat neck for least string interference with scales and arpeggios. The acoustic guitar, typically strung with metal strings emits sound via a soundboard, typically a wooden mount on the front of the design. Electric guitars are fitted with electromagnetic pickups to convert string vibrations into electrical signals. These are then fed into an amplifier and modified via vacuum tubes.

The guitar is a versatile musical instrument. It can be played alone or with other instrumentalists and can cover a wide range of musical genres from rock and pop to classical.

St Canice’s guitarists can play alone or in groups with other guitars, instrumentalists and singers.

By |2019-10-11T14:35:44+01:00October 11th, 2019|

Double Bass

The video shows Shay McEvoy 5th Class 2013-2014 interviewed and performing in Senior Orchestra in the programme “Meet The Orchestra” recorded in May 2013 and aired on RTE Junior in September 2013

The double bass (pronounced like ‘base”) is the largest member of the string family. Other names for this instrument include the string bass, bass viol, the stand-up bass or frequently simply the bass. Like the other string instruments, sound is produced by drawing a bow across the strings or by plucking the strings. Since the bass is the largest of the string instruments, it is also the lowest.

Like other string instruments the double bass comes in just two pieces, the instrument and the bow. The bow uses horsehair or a synthetic material to vibrate the strings as it is drawn over the instrument. The double bass has four strings normally tuned to E, A, D and G. The strings on a double bass are tuned in fourths which makes it different from all other modern string instruments.The tuning in fourths makes the double bass different from all other modern string ins
The double bass is played in an upright position with the left hand resting on the back of the neck and the right either plucks the strings or holds the bow.

The bass is a very old instrument. It has been basically unchanged for hundreds of years. A popular new version of the string bass is the electric bass guitar. A bass guitar is tuned the same and has a similar sound to a plucked string bass. The electric guitar sound is amplified electronically rather than from the body of the instrument. Many players of the string bass also double on the electric bass for some occasions.

The double bass comes in various sizes. The correct size for each student depends on the overall size of the student. Students are measured by our double bass teachers to determine the correct size of instrument for them as individuals.

The double bass is not as popular as a violin for beginners. This means that a good double bass player will always be a very valuable member of the orchestra since the number of double bass players is so small. However, the double bass is still used in virtually all styles of music throughout the world. It is well known for its use in symphony orchestras as well as rock and roll, country and bluegrass bands and other popular groups. Most jazz groups include a string bass or at the very least an electric bass guitar.

St Canice’s double bassists perform in the Senior orchestra, Junior orchestra and Jazz band and may also get together with fellow string or woodwind players to form smaller performing groups.

By |2019-12-19T22:35:37+00:00October 11th, 2019|

Cello

The video shows Ella Brennan 6th Class 2013-2014 interviewed and performing in Senior Orchestra in the programme “Meet The Orchestra” recorded in May 2013 and aired on RTE Junior in September 2013

The cello (pronounced like ‘chello”) is the second largest member of the string family. Like the other string instruments, sound is produced by drawing a bow across the strings or by plucking the strings.

Like other string instruments the cello comes in just two pieces, the instrument and the bow. The bow uses horsehair or a synthetic material to vibrate the strings as it is drawn over the instrument. The cello has four stings which are normally tuned to a G, D, A and C. These are the same notes as a viola but are an octave lower.

The cello is played in an upright position with the left hand resting on the back of the neck and the right either plucks the strings or holds the bow. The player should be sitting with the body of the instrument resting between the legs.

The cello is a very old instrument. It has been basically unchanged for hundreds of years. Now, cellos come in various sizes. The correct size for each student depends on the overall size of the student. Students are measured by our cello teachers to determine the correct size of instrument for them as individuals.

The cello is not as popular as a violin for beginners. This means that a good cellist will always be a very valuable member of the orchestra since the number of cello players is so small. However, the cello is still used in many styles of music throughout the world. It is well known for its use in symphony orchestras and occasionally performs in popular music groups as well.

St Canice’s cellists perform in the Junior orchestra and Senior orchestra and may also get together with fellow woodwind, string or brass players to form quartets or other smaller performing groups.

By |2019-12-19T22:35:29+00:00October 11th, 2019|

Viola

The video shows Aideen Ryan 6th Class 2013-2014 interviewed and performing in Senior Orchestra in the programme “Meet The Orchestra” recorded in May 2013 and aired on RTE Junior in September 2013

The viola is slightly larger than the violin. Like the violin, sound is produced by the drawing the bow across one of the four strings or by plucking the string with a finger. All orchestra string instruments produce sound in the same manner. The main differences are the sizes of the instruments and how high or low each instrument can sound.

The viola comes in just two pieces, the instrument and the bow. The bow uses horsehair or a synthetic material to vibrate the strings as it is drawn over the strings. The viola is played with the instrument under the chin on the left side. The right hand holds the bow at the bottom (the bottom of the bow is called the “Frog”) and draws the bow over the strings.

The viola is a very old instrument. It has been basically unchanged for hundreds of years. The viola looks and sounds a lot like a violin. The difference has to do with size and pitch. Both instruments have four strings. The highest violin string is the E string. If you were to remove this highest string and add a new lowest string or C string, you would have a viola.

A unique feature of student violas is the huge variation in sizes. Buyers have the option of a 15, 14, 13 or 12 inch viola. The correct size for each student depends on the arm length and overall size of the student. Students are measured by our viola teachers to determine the correct size of instrument for them as individuals.

The viola is not nearly as popular as the violin. Because there are fewer violists, orchestra teachers consider a good viola player as a very valuable asset to the group.

St Canice’s violists perform in the Senior orchestra and the Junior orchestra and may also get together with fellow string, woodwind or brass players to form quartets or other smaller performing groups.

By |2019-12-19T22:36:06+00:00October 1st, 2019|

Violin

The video shows Ruth Kent 6th Class (Orchestra Leader) 2013-2014 interviewed and performing in Senior Orchestra in the programme “Meet The Orchestra” recorded in May 2013 and aired on RTE Junior in September 2013

The violin is the smallest member of the string family. Sound is produced by drawing the bow across one of the four strings or by plucking the string with a finger. All string instruments produce sound in the same manner. The main differences are the sizes of the instruments and how high or low each instrument can sound.

The violin comes in just two pieces, the instrument and the bow. The bow uses horsehair or a synthetic material to vibrate the strings as it is drawn over the instrument. The violin has four stings which are normally tuned to a G, D, A and E.

The violin is played with the instrument under the chin on the left side. The right hand holds the bow at the bottom (the bottom of the bow is called the “Frog”) and draws the bow over the strings.

The violin is a very old instrument. It has been basically unchanged for hundreds of years. It may sometimes be called a fiddle for country music or a violin for dozens of other types of music but the instrument is the same regardless of where it is played. Some variations on the violin include modern electric instruments which are very similar in the way they are played. They are just missing the body and shape of a violin. The sound is amplified electronically rather than from the body of the instrument.

A unique feature of student violins is the huge variation in sizes from full size, to 3/4 size, to 1/2 size all the way down to a 1/16 size violin. The correct size for a student depends on the arm length and overall size of the student. Students are measured by our violin teachers to determine the correct size of instrument for them as individuals.

St Canice’s violinists perform in the Junior orchestra and Senior orchestra and may also get together with fellow string, woodwind or brass players to form quartets or other smaller performing groups.

By |2019-12-19T22:29:53+00:00October 1st, 2019|