History of the Violin

Topics: Violin, Cello, Guitar Pages: 3 (1184 words) Published: October 26, 2012
The History of the Violin

The violin is a descendant from the viol family of instruments, which can be traced back to ninth century Europe. The first violins were made in 1520 and they have drastically changed since then. The violin was originally used for additional vocal and dance accompaniment. They incorporated features of the existing bowed instruments such as the rebec, the Renaissance fiddle, and the lira da braccio. The rebec was pear shaped and it had strings that were tuned in fifths, and this method was adopted for the violin. The shape and structure of the violin was taken from the Renaissance fiddle and the lira da braccio. These instruments produced a much larger sound and the hourglass shape that they had made bowing more efficient. The violin eventually evolved and progressed to meet the requirements of soloists and larger concert halls. The three string violin was in existence by at least 1520. By 1550, the top E string was added to the violin. The names of the oldest violin makers are unknown for the most part. Many musicians, on the other hand, built their stringed instruments themselves. Famous violin makers, such as the Amati family, held a high importance in establishing the basic proportions of the violin. The family’s contributions to the art of violin making were noticeable and evident in the improvement of the instrument itself. Antonio Stradivari has been recognized as one of the most prominent and well-known violin makers. He developed about 1000 violins in his life. The instruments he developed in the 1680s created a more powerful sound than earlier violins, as he finalized and refined the violin’s form and symmetry. The years from 1700 to 1720 were the greatest years of Stradivari’s career and the time was often referred to as the “golden period” of the artisan. It was during this era that he perfected his violin design, after years of experimenting. The new styles of violins that he developed were remarkable...
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