This ornately carved, upright, unvarnished wooden device holds the violin’s strings in place. It sits on top of the instrument, between the little cross-bars of the f-holes, supported above the soundboard.
The bridge isn’t glued or fixed to the instrument … it’s kept in place by the pressure of the strings. So, if you loosen all the strings, then the bridge will fall off! The bridge should be pretty much perpendicular to the surface of the violin; it shouldn’t lean too far forward, or too far back … that is an accident waiting to happen!
The bridge transfers the vibrations of the strings into the body of the violin for amplification, out into the surrounding air, and into the ears, and souls, of your listeners! Without it, the strings would only produce a faint, somewhat pathetic, sound!
The top of the bridge is slightly curved, so that we can play on one string at a time. Small adjustments to its position can have a significant effect on the violin’s sound.