Baroque violinists today, as they did in the Baroque era, use raw-gut strings, often with a metal-wound gut-core string for the lowest string (Boyden, 1965, p. 322; Dann, 1977, pp. 65–66; Dlugolecki, 2018). I usually string my instrument with the following:

I (E5) – raw sheep- or beef-gut, gauge 60-64

II (A4) – raw sheep- or beef-gut, gauge 85-88

III (D4) – raw pistoy[1] wound sheep-gut, gauge 116-120

IV (G3) – silver wound sheep-gut, gauge equivalent to 180 or heavy plus


The difference in texture and response of the three raw-gut strings compared to the silver-wound gut-core lowest string, as well as between the varying textures and gauges from one raw-gut string to the next, often results in different reactions by each string to the various treatments and techniques applied. Where applicable, these different reactions will be discussed in detail throughout this Catalogue.


[1] Pistoy gut refers to a winding of the strands of gut, giving the string a rope-like texture.