String instruments produce sound through the vibration of thin strings by plucking, bowing or strumming.
The most prominent of these is the violin.
The player draws a bow across the strings to produce a singing tone. The pitch of the tone depends on the length, thickness, tautness, and the material of the string. Instruments in the violin family from highest to lowest in pitch are:
violoncello (or cello)
All of these instruments are noted for their smooth singing tone. The high-pitched instruments can produce a nearly human tone while a warm, vibrant tone can be heard from the low-pitched instruments. Violins can be plucked (pizzicato) or bowed. Sometimes they can be touched slightly to produce sharp, high tones called harmonics.
Also prominent in most cultures is the harp family. Whilst the shapes and sizes of harps vary considerably, they all share one common characteristic: they are generally plucked. These have developed into the large and complex form that is commonly used today.
The guitar has developed to a large extent in the twentieth century. Its ability to produce clear solo tunes as well as rhythmical chords is very useful to modern music. Electric guitars have changed the world of music dramatically with their louder and sharp tones.
Other string instruments
include the banjo and ukulele. The lute is a string instrument that
was used in early music.