This question is often asked when someone says “Hey, I’m buying violins or pianos.” The truth is that violins and pianos share similar characteristics when it comes to acoustic sound quality and acoustic properties. For one thing, the wood used for a violin is very different than wood used for the same instrument for the purpose of playing stringed instruments. Furthermore, there are even specific acoustic properties that are specific to each instrument. For example, violins are mostly made up of plywood—the most expensive part of a viola—and tend to have low resonant frequencies, which is a key trait for acoustic sound quality. For a pianos, the wood is often treated with a polymer called “rubber,” which changes the sound and sound quality over time.
One type of violin, for example, has more resonant frequencies—a few Hz higher than the pitch—which gives it its character of being “low-frequency” while a classical piano tends to have a higher resonant frequency, about 20 Hz higher.
Viola and Violin Player Information
So why is violin playing really more expensive than piano playing? Well, one theory is that the price difference between the instruments is made up, in part, by the price difference between the instruments’ manufacturers and the cost of materials to make each instrument. Additionally, the difference in materials can vary from year to year, making it difficult to pinpoint the exact prices for the instruments.
There is a huge variation between materials used in the manufacturing of these instruments. A “faster” violin has a stiffer, heavier wood that can take up more room in a violin case, and thus costs more. Conversely, violins have thicker, lower-quality wood that is much more flexible, meaning it is very easy to hold and play in one instrument, allowing it to cost less when compared with the same piano. While there are many factors to consider when purchasing a violin or piano, the following list will help you determine whether you may like to consider a different instrument.
Wood Type Sizes and Materials Weight and Size
Viola Type Calf $6,000 or $4,000 Calf Handmade
Nylon or Acrylic $14,000 to $12,000 Pianos/Contrabass $7,000 to $6,000 Pianos Calf $12,000 to $12,000 Calf Handmade
Nylon or Acrylic
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