V is for…

The violin, viola and violoncello are stringed instruments in ascending order of size. The largest of them is usually called a cello – with or without an apostrophe. It is pronounced chello, as it is an Italian word. There are a few odd pronunciations here. A violin has the same sound for ‘vi’ as violet – ‘I’ as in tie. A viola is also a flower family including the pansy. The flower is pronounced with a long ‘I’ like violin, but the instrument is pronounced vee-o-la, with the stress on the ‘O’. A viol (long ‘I’) was also a stringed instrument. Viols were of various sizes – the precursors of the modern orchestral strings.

A valiha is also a stringed instrument. It is played in Madagascar and bedrooms around the world belonging to musical travellers!
Virginals are an early form of spinet without legs.

The voice may be considered to be an invisible instrument.

A vibraphone is similar to an instrument beginning with X. Vibes is an abbreviation for vibraphone or vibrations. Sound is propagated through solids by vibration or through air by sound waves. There are some models in the Science Museum, South Kensington to demonstrate how sound waves work. Have you been there? Is there a similar model in a museum near you?


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