When you think about string instruments and physics, the thing that most people think about is the vibration of the strings to make a sound. Notes can be changed by placing fingers at certain intervals to change the length of the string. But another way to change the sound of a violin, is by using a mute. A mute is most commonly made of rubber, and attaches to the bridge of the string instrument. When attached, it adds weight to the bridge and changes the fundamental frequency of the bridge, which also vibrates when the instrument is played. The result is a softer sound, and a muted tone. In orchestra’s mutes are often used when there is a soloist playing with the ensemble. By using mutes, the full orchestra can still play without overpowering the soloist. However, some instrumentalists prefer not to use a mute because it changes the tone quality. But in other cases and for other instruments, mutes are used for different music genres resulting in a greater variety of music possible.