The neck of a string instrument is the upper part that has been inserted into the instrument body. Maple is the most common wood for the neck which comprises the base of the neck, the grip, the peg box and scroll or head respectively. The neck is vertically aligned to the middle of the instrument and the angle at which the neck is fitted into the body determines the height of the bridge. Thus, it is very important for the sound character of a violin, viola, or cello as the height of the bridge influences the tension of the strings; the higher the bridge, the higher the tension.
An experienced violin builder determines the angle of the neck and thus the height of the bridge according to the following criteria:
- There must be sufficient room at the low and high strings for the bow at the waist of the instrument
- The arching of the instrument
- The width of belly and back