So you want to know what the Violin range is?
That’s why I wrote this article for you. I love the Violin because of its wide range of notes, dynamics, and expressions.
I wanted to give you all the information you need on this beautiful instrument that is the Violin. The smallest instrument in the string family.
Whether you are playing or writing some music for the Violin, understanding what this instrument can do is incredibly useful.
My favorite thing about this instrument is how when a soloist plays over a full-string orchestra in a Violin Concerto, for example, you can still hear it very clearly.
This is a testament to the amazing design and acoustics of this lovely instrument.
Note Range – What are its lowest and highest notes?
The playable note range of the violin starts on the low G below middle C (G3) all the way up to A7 which is a full two octaves higher than the open E string.
The Violin can actually go even higher than that if the player utilizes artificial harmonics which would allow the Violin to reach up to D8. Blimey.
Playing in these higher octaves on the Violin can be incredibly difficult and often result in tuning issues so when writing parts for the player in this area be mindful of these possible difficulties.
I tend to use this top range for slow soaring melodies that sit on top of the full orchestra playing. They add a sense of “opening up” in the music and give the sound a lovely shimmer too.
Decibel Range – How loud can it play?
Having played the Violin for years I can attest to the volume of this instrument.
When played at fortissimo (ff) the Violin can reach anywhere between 75-95 Db.
If you are playing the violin at this volume for extended periods of time I would suggest using some form of ear protection.
To counteract this volume I would often use a mute when practicing to bring those levels down to a more manageable volume. I know my ears appreciated it even if my flatmates did not.
If you do want to go even louder than that then you can of course mic it up or use an electric Violin and plug it into an amplifier.
Parts of the Violin
The Violin is made of wood that has been cut, glued, and shaped specifically for its acoustic qualities.
The woods used for making Violins are spruce, willow, maple, rosewood, and ebony. Spruce tends to be used for the front plate whilst maple is used for the back plate, rib, neck, and scroll.
The strings are held by the tailpiece and stretched across the fingerboard and wound around the pegs within the pegbox. This enables you to tune the Violin by turning the pegs and also to use the fine tuners set in the tailpiece.
The Violin’s Frequency Range in Hz
The lowest note a Violin produces is G3 which is a frequency of 196 Hz and the highest note of the Violin is A7 which is a frequency of 3520 Hz. If you include the highest artificial harmonic a Violin can play all the way up at D8 4698.63Hz then the frequency range of the Violin is 4502.63Hz.
What is Frequency?
Frequency is the rate per second of vibration of a material that constitutes a wave. Frequency is measured in Hertz. This basically means the number of vibrations produced in a second. So if a Violin string vibrates 196 times per second it is said to be a frequency of 196 Hz. So that top note on the Violin (A7) is vibrating 3520 times per second…that’s pretty fast!
Violin Range on a staff
What’s The Violin’s Range On Piano
You can see that when placed next to the other members of the string family the Violin has the biggest range and also produces the highest frequencies.
How Many Notes Are On The Violin?
The Violin is capable of playing 30 notes on each string which if you include e harmonic notes is a total of 120 notes.
If you are not including enharmonic notes then the Violin can play a total of 50 notes.
How Many Octaves?
The violin's range in octaves is just over 5 octaves (G3-A7).
This makes the Violin an incredibly versatile instrument that can cover a huge amount of ground.
What’s An Octave?
An octave is the same note 12 semitones higher or lower. The higher octave will have a frequency double that of the original note and the lower octave will have a frequency half that of the original note. If we take concert pitch A for example. This note is 440 Hz; an octave lower will be 220 Hz and an octave higher will be 880 Hz. All three notes will be an A.
What Makes The Violin So Great?
When you combine the wide range of notes that the Violin can play and the decibel range with the many textures, timbres, and articulations it can produce you get an incredibly diverse and useful instrument.
The Violin can play fast, slow, loud, quiet, gritty, smooth, wobbly, straight, and pretty much every descriptive word under the sun.
I love the Violin for the simple fact of the matter that it can cover all the emotions without making the listener feel like it’s being taken to a specific time (Victorian England for example) or place (the Scottish Highlands for example).
In that respect, it is very much like the piano – a must-have tool for any composer.