World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Sound hole

Article Id: WHEBN0002634995
Reproduction Date:

Title: Sound hole  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Violin family, Viol, Gibson ES Series, Violin technique, Nashville Sounds
Collection: Guitar Parts and Accessories, String Instrument Construction
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sound hole

A sound hole is an opening in the upper sound board of a stringed musical instrument. The sound holes can have different shapes: round in flat-top guitars; F-holes in instruments from the violin, mandolin or viol families and in archtop guitars; and rosettes in lutes. Bowed lyras have D-holes and mandolins may have F-holes, round or oval holes. A round or oval hole is usually a single one, under the strings. F-holes and D-holes are usually made in pairs placed symmetrically on both sides of the strings. Most hollowbody and semi-hollow electric guitars also have F-holes.

Though the purpose of sound holes is to help acoustic instruments project their sound more efficiently, the sound does not emanate solely (nor even mostly) from the location of the sound hole. The majority of sound emanates from the surface area of both sounding boards, with sound holes playing a part by allowing the sounding boards to vibrate more freely, and by allowing some of the vibrations which have been set in motion inside the instrument to travel outside the instrument.

In 2015 researchers at MIT published an analysis charting the evolution and improvements in effectiveness of violin f-hole design over time.[1] [2]


  • Alternative sound hole designs 1
    • Gallery 1.1
  • References 2
  • External links 3

Alternative sound hole designs

Some Ovation stringed instruments feature a particularly unique soundhole architecture with multiple smaller soundholes that, being combined with a composite arch-top guitar body are said to produce a clear and bright sound.

Tacoma Guitars has developed a unique "paisley" soundhole placed on the left side of the upper bout of their "Wing Series" guitars. This is a relatively low-stress area that requires less bracing to support the hole.[3]

A few hollowbody or semi-hollow electric guitars, such as the Fender Telecaster Thinline and the Gibson ES-120T, have one f-hole instead of two, usually on the bass side.

Holes not positioned on the top of an acoustic guitar are called soundports.They are usually supplementary to a main soundhole, and located on an instrument's side facing upward in playing position, allowing players to monitor their own sound.[4]



  1. ^ MIT News: Power efficiency in the violin
  2. ^ The Royal Society: The evolution of air resonance power efficiency in the violin and its ancestors
  3. ^
  4. ^ Shelley Parks

External links

  • Stringworks U - brief explanation of the effects of sound holes, with a closeup diagram of an f-shaped soundhole
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.