What strings to choose
Strings? Which ones? How long?
To write a post about string choice is probably one of the most subjective posts that we may be writing and editing over the next century:) Since the time of Stradivarius and the other great makers who used stretched, twisted and dried sheep gut to string up an instrument things have changed and improved considerably.
Maker, method, materials used, type of sound that they produce, responsiveness and price are all things to take into consideration at the same time as personal preference.
In the early 20th century, experimentation with string construction became combinations of either gut, perlon, silk, aluminium or different alloys of steel and silver. With modern engineering and a deeper knowledge of materials and better machining there are now many different types of string that all have completely different character.
When a violinist plays on the strings, the oil from their hands and the acidity in their sweat and rosin from the bow will slowly corrode the strings. Apart from obvious things, such as the winding of a string coming undone from wear, players generally change a string when it no longer plays “true” (with good intonation on the harmonics), losing the desired tone, brilliance and intonation. String longevity depends on string quality and playing intensity.
to be continued…