This page introduces you to the four bowed string instruments found in a symphony orchestra, from highest to lowest: violin, viola, cello, and double bass. Then are included some plucked stringed instruments.
Bowed orchestral instruments
Niccolo Paganini, Moto perpetuo, Op. 11 No. 6, performed by Yehudi Menuhin
Johann Sebastian Bach, Sonata in G minor, BWV 1001, II. Fugue (1720), performed by Lara Trotovsek
Robert Schumann, Fairy Tales for Viola and Piano, Op. 113 (1851), performed by Yuri Bashmet
Dmitri Shostakovich, Sonata Op. 147 (excerpt) (1975), performed by Maxim Rysanov
Johann Sebastian Bach, Cello Suite No. 1, BWV 1007, I. Prelude, performed by Micha Maisky
Bob Marley, “No Woman, No Cry” (1974), performed by Sheku Kanneh-Mason
Francois Rabbath, Poucha Dass (1968)performed by Lauren Pierce
Jazz bass, performed by Willie Dixon
Other string techniques
Bowed string instruments can produce sound in other ways, too. Here are some of the techniques a violin, viola, cello, or double bass player has to master.
Béla Bartók, String Quartet No. 4, IV. Allegro pizzicato 1928), performed by the Amadeus Quartet
Demonstration by James Ehnes
Demonstrated by David LePage
The “seagull effect”
Plucked string instruments
These instruments all produce sound by plucking the strings rather than bowing.
George Friedrich Handel, Harp Concerto in B-flat Major Op. 4 No. 6, HWV 294, cadenza (1738), performed by Josh Layne
Benjamin Britten, Suite for Harp, Op. 83, I. Introduction (1969), performed by Catrin Finch
Isaac Albéniz, Asturias (1892), performed by Johannes Möller
Performance by Russian Renaissance (2016) Balalaika, domra, button accordion (not a string instrument!), and balalaika contrabasso