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History of Violin

History of Violin

Middle Ages stringed instruments

Although playing a stringed instrument (on which the strings vibrate by a bow) is believed to have originated in Central Asia in the 9th century AD, it could also have evolved independently on different continents. The older technique of plucking strings is known. Two forms of the bowed stringed instrument were used in Europe, and reliable evidence was available in the 10th Century.

The rebec, which is rubber, lira, and gigue, was one of the first instruments invented. It originated in Spain, but it was descended from Arabian rabab. It was a pear-shaped instrument with one, two, or three strings. The body and neck of the instrument were made from one piece of wood. It had no frets or ribs. The neck was level with the body, and it had side pegs. The upper side was covered with a flat table, and the fingerboard was above it. Three-string instruments were tuned to fifths (G3, D4, A4). The lyre was closely related to the rebec, a popular instrument from Byzantium. They are both of the same types. Both were played in the standing position and supported by either the chest or the shoulder.

The fiddle, the second form of early stringed instrument, is also known as the French vielle (Latin ridicule or French vielle). It was trendy in Europe and came in many forms. A fiddle was a flat oval instrument with one to six strings. It was composed of many pieces of wood interlocked by interlocking. The fiddle has ribs and small concavities on the sides. It also has a raised neck. The table was slightly vaulted, and frets were rare. The fiddle’s characteristic feature was its round hole in the middle, which evolved into two crescent-shaped openings. Its agility and wide range were the main reasons it was so popular in Middle Ages. It was typically supported on the left side and accompanied the musician’s singing. Drone strings were relatively standard. The fiddle was popular because it mirrored some aspects of the development of the violin, which occurred later. It is still used in popular culture today in many forms.

Renaissance instrument families

The fusion of characteristics from medieval stringed instruments resulted in two distinct instrument families: the viola de gamba (Ital). Gamba was the foot held between your knees and the viola de braccio (Ital). Bracco = arm held at shoulder height with the left arm.

The viola da gamba or viol had unusually high ribs and a vaulted top, flat back, sound holes in the C- or F-shaped shape, and a flat table. The neck was extended beyond the body. The fingerboard had seven frets, and the five to seven-string arrangement lay across a flat bridge. This allowed the bow to play more than two strings simultaneously. In addition, its dark, mellow tone made it ideal for playing chords.

The Viola da Braccio had lower ribs and a rounded back. It also had f-holes, a fretless fingerboard, a fretless fingerboard, and a neck raised from the body. There were four strings along a curved bridge. Bowing the outer strings was made more accessible by the indentation at the body’s center. As a result, the timbre of the viola da braccio instruments was brighter and more robust and made it ideal for carrying melody lines. The 16th-century vocal accompaniment was provided by the seven-stringed Lira da Braccio. It was flat in body and flat on the bridge.

The rise of the violin in Upper Italy

Between 1520-1550, the viola da braccio family was responsible for creating the violin, with the most important Italian cities, Milan, Brescia, and Cremona, being the main centers. From the Italian word Violino, the term “violin” is derived. It was initially a small-stringed instrument that meant “small viola.” Andrea Amati, a Cremonese violinmaker, made the earliest violins that survived. He made them in 1542. They only have three strings: A4, D4, and G3. Amati probably made the first violins that had four strings after 1550. Andrea Amati was most likely the first instrument maker who produced instruments with the characteristics that earned the name “violin.”

It was a massive success in Italy. The violin quickly replaced all other small stringed instruments in the soprano register, held in the da braccio (arm) position. It was the only instrument that had seen most of its development before 1650 that was so readily accepted as an integral part of musical practice. This was due to the unlimited range of expression is provided. The development of the violin’s expressive techniques and playing skills is closely tied to Western music history. While violins, and later other members of the violin clan, were played only by professionals, the viol was adopted by educated laymen such as merchants and noblemen and thus, enjoyed a certain social status. Italian players introduced the new instrument to a broader audience by European courts.

The golden age: 1600-1750

The popularity of the violin led to the emergence of the most renowned violin-making school: the Cremonese School, which Amati’s children ran until Nicola Amati (1596-1684). Master craftsmen like Gasparo da Salo (1540-1609) and Giovanni Paolo Maggini (1580-1632) were a part of the Brescian school. The Cremonese school continued with Andrea Guarnieri (1626-1698), Andrea Amati’s student, and then later Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737), presumably a Guarnieri’s pupil. Antonio Stradivari was the master of violin-making, making around 1000 instruments in his career, of which 600 are still in existence. It has been impossible to replicate the Stradivarius’s brilliance in timbre despite repeated attempts. These efforts continue today and use the most advanced technology. Later generations accepted the dimensions of Stradivari’s model as final.

Giuseppe Guarnieri (1698-1744), also known as “del Gesu,” made instruments admired for their sustaining tone. Niccolo Paganini (1782-21840), the greatest violin player, was a Guarnieri.

Jacob Stainer (1621-1683), a violin-making school in Absam, Tyrol, gained immense renown north of the Alps. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a Stainer violin player. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart used a violin made by Agidius Klutz from Mittenwald.

France’s foremost violin maker was Nicholas Medart (1628-1672), England was Barak Norman (1678-1740). The most influential people in Vienna were Joseph Stadlmann (1720-1781) and Daniel Stadlmann (1720-1781).

The art of making violins in Italy disappeared towards the end of the 18th Century. Production was moved to a “production line,” which specialized division. Violin factories were created as new materials like varnish, which dried quicker, became more popular. France was home to Nicolas Lupot (1758-1824), one of the most prominent violin makers in the next era.

Modernization around 1800

The music industry also suffered from the repercussions of the French Revolution’s upheavals. Concerts became a common feature of society, and the responsibility for financing and organizing musical events passed from the aristocracy and onto the bourgeoisie. These concerts were held in larger venues, requiring louder instruments and thicker brows. The violin makers had to modify the instrument to create the modern violin. Old instruments were “modernized” to meet new requirements. For example, the bridge was raised to increase the string tension and thus the volume. The angle of the fingers to the strings was also changed, which meant that high notes could have been played with more pressure. The neck was placed at an angle that allowed equal spacing between the strings and fingerboard. Both the neck and fingerboard were also lengthened. The bass bar and soundboard were reinforced to withstand the pressure from the string on the table.

To withstand increased tension, the strings were also strengthened. The tradition of covering the G strings with metal, which have a gut core, has been in place for a long time. The G string is now often silver-wound. Although it isn’t clear if the D and A strings were covered in the 19th Century, aluminum-wound gut strings are used today. The 19th-century E string was made from the gut and was not replaced until the 20th. Currently, steel and nylon strings are in use.

The modern bow was created within a matter of decades, with Francois Tourte (1747-1835), a French bow maker, leading the charge. The bow became more robust, its center of gravity moved, and tension increased. This made it possible to use more powerful strokes, such as Martell, which are short, powerful strokes that are hammered.

Around 1820, Louis Spohr (1784-1859), a German composer and violin virtuoso, invented the chin-rest. This allowed for the sliding movement of the left arm.