The Structure of the Violin
[Experiment1]Using alternative materials for a bridge
Performing a sound experiment
The bridge is usually made from maple, but this experiment used bridges made with different materials.
- Prepare the wood, a vinyl chloride sheet, and a thick piece of paper
- Shape them into the form of a bridge
- Stand these bridges on the violin and play it
Results of the experiment
*As this was an experiment, the recorded pitches differed from the correct notes.
The wood used for the bridge was agathis, which is softer than the usual maple bridge. Of the three, the best sound came from the wood, of course. The vinyl was easy to shape, but the sound was not so clear, and the thick paper bent because it was not strong enough to support the tension of the strings, and so was unplayable.
The bridge is rounded on the side that faces the neck, and on the reverse side, it is perpendicular to the body. The left side of the bridge is lower than the right side when looking toward the neck, and it is curved on the bottom so that it fits perfectly to the arch of the top plate, which helps it to transmit sound. With all of these factors involved, it is difficult to build a bridge using anything but wood.