Violin Versatility

Exploring Pathways of Appreciation

To foster an awareness and appreciation of music by listening and coming to appreciate how the diverse application of shared elements of melody, harmony, rhythm, texture vocalizations and form gives rise to such diverse expressive pathways revealing an inner beauty of the human spirit.

Here are links to music performances showing diverse styles and performance as voiced around the world; each expressing a component part of a global diverse counterpoint of cultural contrast. Enjoy yourself and do check on the links.

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The Violin:

The ever-popular violin has had a major impact on the global music scene. It has been adopted and adapted by many and it, in turn, has often influenced change in native instruments themselves.

The technical level of violin playing representing centuries of refinement and ever-advancing performance sophistication (along with music written for violin) is splendidly displayed in this talent showpiece: Sarasate - Aires Zingaros - Sarah Chang (Violin) & Berliner Phil -Placido Domingo


Violin playing: as adopted by the Hindustani method

Not only is the melody line of the music very different but so is how the instrument is tuned, positioned and fingered. Vibrato is not produced, but instead, emphasis is placed on the melismatic properties of the melody.

hindustani classical violin recital by vinayak seth











Bartok Violin Solo Sonata: Fuga Gidon Kremer


"Fiddling" is a lively style of violin playing with origins in Ireland.

clarebannerman — February 08, 2008 —
James Kelly, from Capel Street, Dublin, is one of the greatest Irish traditional fiddlers alive today. He learned his music from his father John Kelly, the renowned fiddle and concertina player from County Clare. After years of careful study and practice, James began his recording and touring career at age sixteen.

maureenderry — April 08, 2008 — Declan & Patsy - from Patsy's CD "Complements" The landscapes are paintings by my sisters, Sheila and Caroline, both artists.


Fiddle playing was brought across from Europe to the United States. It is particularily well loved among the Irish immigrants who settled in the Appalachian regions of the country.

Here is some incredible talent. 12 year old fiddle champ Eric Dysart performes "Orange Blossom Special".

frontporchradio — April 15, 2007 — 12 year old Eric Dysart is the 2005 Walnut Valley Bluegrass Festival 3rd place winner. He really got the crowd hopping at the Front Porch Radio stage at the 2006 festival!


This is a good example of "Bluegrass" style. Note how the different instruments cooperate and take turns being in the spotlight with the melody.
SamwiseOfYell — May 23, 2009 — From the album "Clay Jones: Mountain Tradition" with: Clay Jones: guitar, Adam Steffey: mandolin, Jim VanCleve: fiddle, Jason Moore: acoustic bass, Ron Stewart: banjo


Many imusic instruments played in Japanese classical music owe their origins to China. The two stringed Erhu/ Urhu (Chinese Fiddle) is no exception.

Listen to the melody of a Japanese Urhu.

There are several main parts to the erhu. The first is a small resonating chamber, traditionally covered in snake skin. The resonating chamber is attached to a long, straight handle which may be curved or ornamented at the other end. Two strings run down this handle to the resonating chamber, and they are attached at the top with oversized tuning pegs.

An erhu is traditionally played with a bow. In many cases, the bow is actually attached to the erhu, with the strings of the bow threaded between the strings of the instrument and the handle. The player, therefore, pulls the bow against the back of the strings, rather than in front as is the case with a Western violin. Tuning for erhus varies, and the instruments generally span about three octaves.

The history of the erhu spans thousands of years. The first examples of erhus appear to have emerged during the Tang Dynasty, around 600 AD. Since the traditional Chinese character for “erhu” indicates that it has two strings, the erhu has probably changed little over the centuries. Alternate names for the erhu include huqin or hu, and Westerners sometimes call the instrument a “Chinese violin.”

For more on traditional instruments of China check out this site at:


Here is a traditional piece from Iran played on the Kamancheh.


The kamanche ( spiked fiddle) is a Persian instrument related to the violin. Played with a variable-tension Bow. the kamancheh consists of a round body made from gourd or wood, which acts as a sound box covered with a thin sheep skin membrane. Traditional kamanchehs have three silk strings  however, modern ones have four metal ones. At the bottom of the instrument is a spike to support the kamancheh while it is being played.

The kamancheh is the only bowed string instrument in classical Persian and Kurdish music.

The four strings ( low to high)are tuned to G,D,A,E. This tuning shows the strong influence of the western violin. Other alternative tunings include D,A,D,A. This spacing lends itself more towards Indian- Asian music styles.


Note: This site on "Global Music Appreciation" is a work in progress. Thie main purpose of being online at this point of development is to allow collaborators and friends to view the progress, make suggestions and provide comments.

You may find "scratch notes" concerning future implementaion of goals. Pages will still be partially complete or even blank.

Yet, there is still an ever-evolving growing selection of music from around the world linked too in this site. You are welcome to look, play and experience music as performed from around the world.