thumbnail of Music in the making; Strings of the orchestra
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
Music in the making. Produced by Milliken university under a grant from the Educational Television and Radio Center in cooperation with the National Association of educational broadcasters. The Milliken School of Music presents Elton Bergdahl or assistant professor of music in a recorded consideration of the strings of the orchestra. Professor Briggs dollar a versatile and prolific young composer is the conductor of the Milliken civic orchestra members of the string section will play the musical illustrations including your Highness Brahms trio Professor Bergdahl I will direct your attention to the various members of the string family. But first a few measures by the strings.
The strings are the oldest melodic family of the orchestra from the time of the orchestra that established itself with the set orchestra the strings were the most prominent group. This fact is not so strange when one listens to the tonal quality produced by the string family playing together. The standard arrangement of the string family is the first violin. The second violin which is actually the same instrument but plays a different part. The viola. The cello.
And the double bass. Early composers knew a string forerunner of our present strings called Viles. These vials had got frets much as our present guitars. This produces a pure tone with more perfect intonation than today but it also had a rather straight and colorless tone. Listen to the straight tone of the violin. Now the same phrase with a bravo to add the pulse of life.
The strings have many tonal possibilities frequently used as the plucking of the strings called it's a capo. A mute may be clamped on the bridge of the violin deadening the sound. A technique of bouncing the bow on the strings is referred to as it's because. Sometimes the bow is turned over and the strings are struck with the wood of the bow. Harmonics are produced by partially stopping the string. The resulting tone is a bas Derrius whistling sound.
Still another tonal effect one of mystery and suspense is the tremolo. Didn't. The strong family members all have four strings and are tuned to perfect fits except the double bass. The size of this instrument and the limitation of the hand necessitates the tuning of the double bass in perfect fourths to show the comparative ranges in tuning. Listen to the violin. The viola the cello and the double bass player open strings first violin. The viola. The cello.
BA double bass. Two notes played simultaneously or what we call double stops may be produced by drawing the bow over adjacent strings. The tone of the string family all being put into motion in the same manner produces a harmony that is unparalleled by any of the family. It is this likeness of tone and Amber that has made string ensemble as popular as chamber groups for centuries. Listen to the emotion inspiration and warmth of a standard string quartet. Consisting of first and second violin viola and cello.
The piano was accepted into the nobility of the strings Occasionally its most frequent use is in the string trio consisting of piano violin and cello. Listen to a portion of your highness Brahms trio.
You're. You are.
Listen to the strings as they play a cannon with all members of the family represented. The first violin. Second. Nominee.
Please note: This content is only available at GBH and the Library of Congress, either due to copyright restrictions or because this content has not yet been reviewed for copyright or privacy issues. For information about on location research, click here.
Music in the making
Strings of the orchestra
Producing Organization
Millikin University
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/500-wd3q111j).
Episode Description
This program describes the various string instruments used in orchestras, as well as different string performance techniques.
Series Description
Instructional comments and musical illustrations using faculty and students from the Millikin University School of Music. The first thirteen programs in the series focus upon historical aspects of music. The second half of the series explores music's technical side.
Broadcast Date
Media type
Producing Organization: Millikin University
Speaker: Burgstahler, Elton
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 56-8-23 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:14:17
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “Music in the making; Strings of the orchestra,” 1962-06-13, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed November 28, 2022,
MLA: “Music in the making; Strings of the orchestra.” 1962-06-13. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. November 28, 2022. <>.
APA: Music in the making; Strings of the orchestra. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from