Range of the Violin

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 43,619
    Professional violinist and pedagogue Slavico Ilic discusses the range of the violin.

    Slavico Ilic

    Slavico Ilic is a professional violinist and pedagogue. She has performed concerts in Italy, Israel, US, former Yugoslavia, and currently she is a principal second violin with Mount Vernon Symphony Orchestra. She is on the faculty at the International School of Music (ISM) in Bethesda, where she teaches violin to all ages, levels, and styles. With a distinguished faculty of 55 teachers, ISM provides students with a rich music education experience. The ISM faculty’s friendly personalities, insightful approaches, and individually tailored teaching methods have helped students become complete and versatile musicians. ISM provides an atmosphere that is warm and supportive so every student can achieve his/her best.

    Slavica Ilic: My name is Slavica Ilic and were here today in International School of Music. My next clip will be about the violin positions and the range of the instrument.

    When we start to play the violin the first position we learn, its the first position thats what we call the First Position. The lowest note that we can play in first position is of course open G string, the highest note in first position will be fourth finger on E string which is note B or extended fourth note C. Later on when we become more advanced we might learn another positions like second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh altogether basically, theoretically there are 15 positions on the violin, and how it works? The lowest position actually on the violin is the half-position which we dont use that often and a half-position means just the half-step higher than the violin nut. Every time we move to a higher position what do we do? For example, if we play first position on G string, the notes are G, A, B, C, and the fourth finger will be D. So, every time you put a fourth finger on the lower string thats the next open string. Now, if we substitute first finger with the second finger that will be a second position. So the previous note B that we played with second finger in the first position, we can play the same note with first finger in the second position.

    The third position will be position when we substitute third finger in first position with the first finger, so in that case as you can see our whole hand is moving, also the same situation is in the second position and the thumb follows the point finger and that would leave the thumb behind.

    The third position will be when we substitute third finger with first and then the same notes C on G string that weve played with third finger we can play with first finger in third position. The fourth position will be substituting the fourth finger with first. The fifth position will be substituting third finger and third position with the first finger, so thats the first position where thumb needs to be placed in this place right here and the hand is slightly out.

    As I said there are as many as 15 positions on the violin. Most of the time, in the first several years of playing the violin you might learn up to third or fifth position on the violin. My next clip will be about basic notes and the double stops on the violin.