The string making process has evolved quite a bit since they were first made hundreds of years ago. Believe it or not, most strings were made from sheep gut, which were collected, cleaned, and processed until they were playable on an instrument. As technology developed, gut strings started to get wrapped in thin wire which helped to amplify the sound of the string instrument. Now, most strings are synthetic (usually made of nylon) and wrapped with wire. Some players, especially baroque musicians, choose to put gut strings on their violins, violas, cellos, and basses to create a more authentic sound.
Want to hear the difference between a gut string and a metal string?
As You Listen...
- How would you describe the sound of the cello with the gut strings? Was it warm? Full?
- In contrast, what did the pure metal string sound like compared to the gut string? Brighter? Louder?
- Which sound did you prefer? Why?
Want to see how gut strings are made?
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The BSO is a proud participant and a founding member of the new Whatcom Arts Project, a group of over 30 community arts nonprofits. The goal of the Whatcom Arts Project is to reach our community during this time of need to provide hope, entertainment, learning opportunities, and a sense of togetherness. Each week during the pandemic, the BSO posted learning activities and videos on our website and to social media as part of the Whatcom Arts Project.