||Online Musical Encyclopedia:
Instruments: Stringed Instruments
The Stringed Instruments
The term "stringed instrument" is a very inaccurate phrase because all stringed instruments
are made of different wires. These wires are usually made a metal such as steel,
bronze, gold, iron, etc or such objects as silk and gut. The wires are usually tied at one end to a stationary knot while at the other end, it is tied to a so-called tuner. The tuners allow the changing of pitch of each string. The pitch of a string depends on the
tension, length, flexibility and thickness of the string. Until the fourteenth century, the main composition of strings was gut in Egypt, Italy and Greece. The main preference in the composition of strings in Asia was silk. During the fourteenth century wired strings were first made. This allowed the invention of such instruments as the clavichord, the piano, the harpsichord and other instruments. Today, all instruments like the piano are made of wire while gut strings are still present in such instruments as the violin. Many gut strings are spun again with an outside coating of steel, copper or silver.