“If it is true that the violin is the most perfect of musical instruments, then Greek is the violin of human thought.” – Helen Keller
The violin, viola, and cello all originated in Europe and Italy, in particular.
So does that mean that the violin is played in the same way in Europe as it is in the Americas, Africa, and Asia?
Of course not!
While a lot of children learn to play the violin in the United States, very few in Ghana and Moldavia do. Violin playing varies all over the world and before you start taking violin lessons to learn how to play the violin, you should learn more about the instrument around the world.
So let’s have a look at what learning this orchestral musical instrument is like around the world.
For many musicians, playing the violin represents excellence, technique, and precision. It seems that many countries in Asia would agree with this, too, since they include some of the greatest violinists in the world. Asians represent 47% of entrants and 35% of winners in violin competitions such as the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition for Young Violinists. They need to adopt the right posture, coordinate their left and right hands, and get music theory lessons.
The violin is very popular across Asia. (Source: Quangpraha)
There are similar instruments, too. While you don’t necessarily need to play with a bow nor with a soundbox, the strings are essential for all instruments in the violin family. For example:
It should be mentioned that with 47 different countries in Asia, it’s difficult to generalise. In Southeast Asia, the traditional violin is popular as it is in the Middle East.
In China, Korea, and Japan, the violin is a sign of perfection and you need to know violin pieces off by heart.
Whether you’re a beginner or want to become the greatest violinist in Asia, here are some of the greatest Asian music schools:
In Asia, you could say that the violin is played in a variety of ways while respecting the traditional customs of the instrument.
So what’s it like elsewhere in the world?
Did you know that 79% of European violinists are under 25 years old?
That’s because, as the birthplace of the violin, there’s a culture of learning instruments from a young age. Keep in mind that the vielle was born in Cremona, near Milan, an essential town for luthiers.
Cremona, Italy, is the birthplace of the violin. (Source: maristeneva0)
Furthermore, the golden age of the violin took place in Europe with the Renaissance and the Baroque period when new variations on the violin came about (such as the baroque violin). There were also many talented musicians such as Bach, Paganini, Vivaldi, Pizzicato, Mozart, and Kreutzer, musicians who are still part of the violin’s classical orchestral repertoire.
You don’t need to play in a symphony orchestra in order to be a great violinist as there’s a lot of folk music being played on the fiddle and contemporary musicians using the electric violin in modern music.
Today the violin is universally popular in Europe for:
It’s hardly surprising that there are over 1,500 different establishments for teaching the violinists of tomorrow. If you want to learn to play the violin, you should check out the following places:
Without a doubt, Europe has no shortage when it comes to learning stringed instruments. After all, it’s the home of many of them.
What about the Americas?
Just like with Europe, the Americas have a long history with the violin. While the way the instrument is held may differ, the violin is played in the same way in the United States of America and Canada as it is in Europe. However, scordatura tuning is sometimes used in the US. There are a lot of similarities, unlike with Latin America.
The Americas are a mixing pot of musical genres and influences. (Source: Free-Photos)
For example, you mightn’t see as many violins. There are local variants that are more popular for making music:
It should be noted that in North America during the 1920s, the violin helped create two types of music.
If you’re looking to learn the violin or become a famous violin player in the Americas, you’ll probably need to study in some of the greatest music establishments:
Whichever American country you find yourself in, you can learn to play the violin at any time and even get beginners lessons from the locals.
In terms of music, Africa is quite different as the violin is rarely used and there are very few variants of it:
The violin has found crossing the Sahara dessert very difficult. (Source: parvel)
Generally, there are only really North and West African variants of the violin given their history with Europe. Across the rest of Africa, percussion is more popular than stringed instruments. A lot of the violin practices were borrowed from Europe in North Africa.
If you want to learn to play the violin in Africa, you should consider:
Except for North Africa, the violin isn’t very common in Africa as there isn’t much classical orchestra music or string quartet music. A musician in Africa is more likely to play percussion than become a violin virtuoso. That said, that doesn’t mean there are no African violinists and there are actually some exceptional African musicians playing violin music.
Whether you want to learn traditional Latin American violin, Jazz violin from North America, buy a Stradivarius in Europe, master the violin in Asia, or benefit from African music tuition, our private tutors are ready to help you.
So are you ready to learn to play the violin?
If so, you’ll need to learn more about the fingerboard, which violin strings are the best, how to hold a violin bow, fingering technique, how to apply violin rosin to your bow, and how to tune your instrument. Don’t worry, we’ve got plenty of other articles about the violin for you to check out!