Soal Latihan dan Jawaban Reading Comprehension 10
Of all modern instruments, the violin is apparently one of the simplest. It consists in
essence of a hollow, varnished wooden sound box, or resonator, and a long neck, covered
with a fingerboard, along which four strings are stretched at high tension. The beauty of
design, shape, and decoration is no accident: the proportions of the instrument are
(5) determined almost entirely by acoustical considerations. Its simplicity of appearance is
deceptive. About 70 parts are involved in the construction of a violin, Its tone and its
outstanding range of expressiveness make it an ideal solo instrument. No less important.
however, is its role as an orchestral and chamber instrument. In combination with the
larger and deeper-sounding members of the same family, the violins form the nucleus
(10) of the modern symphony orchestra.
The violin has been in existence since about 1550. Its importance as an instrument
in its own right dates from the early 1600’s, when it first became standard in Italian
opera orchestras. Its stature as an orchestral instrument was raised further when in 1626
Louis XIII of France established at his court the orchestra known as Les vinq-quatre
(15) violons du Roy (The King’s 24 Violins), which was to become widely famous later in
In its early history, the violin had a dull and rather quiet tone resulting from the fact
that the strings were thick and were attached to the body of the instrument very loosely.
During the eighteenth and nineteenth century, exciting technical changes were inspired
(20) by such composer-violinists as Vivaldi and Tartini. Their instrumental compositions
demanded a fuller, clearer, and more brilliant tone that was produced by using thinner
strings and a far higher string tension. Small changes had to be made to the violin’s
internal structure and to the fingerboard so that they could withstand the extra strain.
Accordingly, ,a higher standard of performance was achieved, in terms of both facility
(25) and interpretation. Left-hand technique was considerably elaborated, and new fingering
patterns on the fingerboard were developed for very high notes.
Reading Comprehension 10
the competition in the 1600's between French and Italian orchestras
the superiority of French violins
how the violin became a renowned instrument
why the violin was considered the only instrument suitable to be played by royalty
The violin had reached the height of its popularity by the middle of the eighteenth century.
The technique of playing the violin has remained essentially the same since the 1600's.
The violin has been modified to fit its evolving musical functions.
The violin is probably the best known and most widely distributed musical instrument in the world.
inspired more people to play the violin
had to be adapted to the violin
demanded more sophisticated violins
could be played only by their students
Civaldi and Tartini
internal structure and fingerboard
thinner strings and a higher string tension
produced softer tones
were easier to play
broke down more easily
A small body
High string tension
A long fingerboard
fingering patterns (lines 25-26)
left-hand technique (line 25)
solo (line 7)
resonator (line 2)
use of rare wood for the fingerboard and neck
more complicated techniques for the left hand
minor alterations to the structure of the instrument
different ways to use the fingers to play very high notes