Why do simple melodies typically sound better on the violin?



Why do simple melodies typically sound better on the violin?

In: Biology

Every musical note played on an instrument is played at a certain frequency. This frequency is not exact but moreso a bell curve. Violins have a wider bell curve leading too a smoother sound when played correctly.

So violins tend to sound nicer for simple melodies as the notes blend better together. It is sort of the equivalent of listening to MP3 audio (piano) Vs lossless audio (violin)

Violin playing really packs a lot of room for expressiveness into each and every note. The pitch can be modulated with glissando and vibrato, the bowing technique and pattern can be switched up to change the timbre and attack of the note so that it’s short and harsh or long and smooth and flowing. This means that a very simple composition can sound quite rich on a violin.

Maybe you notice that woodwinds, like a clarinet or a saxophone, can also sound very rich when playing a very simple line. These instruments also offer the player a lot of expressive options for how to play a single note.

A single note on a piano, well, there’s velocity – how hard you hit the note – and there’s duration – how long you hold it. And that’s just about it. You can’t play a note that starts quiet and gets louder. The loudness you started the note with is all you get. You can’t make its pitch wobble up and down; the pitch it’s tuned to is all you get. You get a *bit* more timbral variation through the use of the pedals. So in order to make a piano performance expressive, it’s usually necessary to do other stuff like add extra little ornamental notes – which makes things sound less simple.