World’s smallest Violin


Amongst the stringed instruments within the violin family, the violin is the most diminutive as well as one having the highest pitch and that is what makes it so special and sets it apart from the viola and the cello which are the other members of this family. When you consider that it is just a bowed string instrument having just four strings tuned to the required frequency or pitch, you are really amazed at the important role this instrument plays in all types of music formats such as jazz, folk, pop and even rock and roll.

The violin is also referred to as the fiddle and though its origin goes back a long way, it really came of age and got most of the current features during the 16th century and the 18th century. Violinists from Austria, Italy were instrumental in giving it the unique identity it now possesses through continuous innovation and modifications.

It usually is made of a soundboard or spruce, maple ribs, a neck, bridge, two end posts, the four strings and many other fittings that include a chinrest. It has a very sexy hourglass shape well accentuated by the two concave depressions at its waist. The violinist generates wonderful music by using the bow and drawing it across the strings and manipulating the strings either with the fingers or by other techniques to produce the required pitches. The sound produced out of a violin depends on the wood, its thickness and the coat of varnish on the surface. The last two that is the wood and the varnish usually tends to improve and get better as the years go by and that is the reason why old violins are so much in demand.

To put together the various components as mentioned above and make it functional as in a normal violin which is about 35.5cm long requires great expertise and craft. When you consider that somebody spent more than seven years in taking pains and effort to make a violin that is only 1cm in length with all the normal components and is due to be accepted as a Guinness World Record, it is something worth applauding and marveling at. When you consider that this gentleman from Guangzhou has improved on his own previous effort of making one only 2.2cms long in the year 2002, you are in a better position to appreciate his zeal, enthusiasm and dexterity of hand.

Chen Lianzhi, the 66 year old violinist who has made this amazing violin comes from a family of musical instrument creators and has been at this craft since he was nine years old. He was thus able to bring in to play all his experience and nimbleness of fingers, despite his age to make what is arguably the smallest violin in the world. He has the proud distinction of making such violins of different sizes from the usual 35.5cm to the 3.55cm tiny violin and they all adorn his display table looking like pretty dolls. All of them however have all the 30 odd components of a regular violin and that is the most amazing aspect of his feat.

He had to use a drill that is only 0.1mm in diameter and rely on his hands to put together the maple wood that itself was just nail sized. The hardest part of this process was in the making of the curved panel at the side and he ended up breaking at least 10 violins before he could succeed in making a complete one.

The 1cm violin which is referred to as the super miniature violin can be placed on the tip of your fingers and the strings that will be used would be finer than hair strands. The only problem would be the sound which would be very weak owing to the fine strings and the short bow that would have to be used.

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