Holding the violin properly is the first and most important issue for those who start to receive their primary education on the instrument and for violin pedagogues who provide this education. The most important criteria about how the violin should be held is easiness and comfort; violin must be placed between the left shoulder and chin without being contrary to the natural posture of the player. Numerous suggestions and different approaches concerning this subject have taken place in violin treatises written since the 18th century onwards. The invention of chin-rest in the 19th century is one of the most important developments providing a more comfortable violin hold. This adaptation has become a standard part of the violin in time. Another supportive method in order to keep the insrtument in a more relaxed way is the use of shoulder pads – cushions made of clothing and sponge-like materials – which aim to fill the space between the left shoulder and chin. Following the invention of shoulder-rest in the 20th century, more practical and removable shoulder rests began to be produced. As chin-rest has become a standard part of the violin today, very few violinists choose not to employ one; which might be regarded as an exceptional situation. However, use of shoulder rests, altough being widely preffered are still not adopted by many violinists. The important thing about chin-rest and shoulder-rest preferances is to take into consideration one’s individual physical needs and to find the most relaxing method.
Keywords: Violin, chin-rest, shoulder-rest