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Rosin is the substance that a violinist uses to make the hair on his bow sticky. If a bow's hair has never been rosined it will not produce usable sound when drawn across the strings. Once rosined, the hair actually grips the string and pulls it . . . but since the bow keeps moving the string snaps back to its original position . . . where it is caught again by the rosin on the hair and the cycle is repeated. This happens very, very quickly. In the case of your A-string 440 times per second. Without the rosin's grip, the hair just slides over the string and you essentially hear nothing.