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Instrument Of The Week


Being one of the most popular instruments of the last five or so centuries, the violin is also one of the most amazing and detailed of string instruments. The modern violin is both an admired work of art and a musical instrument appreciated for its sound and look. How well the violin sounds depends on a couple of things, including the way the violin is made and designed, as well as the skill of the player. But where exactly violins originate from, is a long and argued discussion.

There are people that say the violin has been around since the early biblical times, but others argue that the modern violin did not first appear until the seventeenth to eighteenth century. These differences in judgement are because of varying opinions people have of what defines the violin as different from closely related instruments. Today the word is, that the 'fiddle is the same as the violin'.





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However, most people agree that the violin was founded in Italy in the early 1500s. The violin evolved from the fiddle, a similiar bowed string instrument from the Medieval period. The viol, which came before the violin,is closely related as well.

The earliest known developer of the violin is Andrea Amati, who apprenticed as a lute maker (an instrument similiar to a guitar) before 1525, when he became a well known master instrument maker.

But it wasn't until during the 17th and 18th centuries that the art and music of the violin peaked. The famous Italian Antonius Stradivari was in his prime during this period.

The form of the violin as it originated is very different from the modern violin. The first violins had a neck that was smaller, fatter and less angled. The fingerboard was also smaller, the bridge was shorter and flatter and the strings were made of animal gut.
To start with, the violin was anything but popular. It was considered a low status musical instrument. But when famous composers started to use the instrument in opera, the violin's popularity grew hugely. The violin continued to rise in use during the Baroque period when it was made use of by figures such as Johann Sebastion Bach.

By the middle of the 1800s, the violin had secured its place in musical history. This is when the evolution climaxed. Stradivarius made it look the most beautiful and made it sound the most beautiful. These days everyone tries to do it as well as Stradivari. In the 19th and 20th century the violin was seen in a whole new perspective, reaching new musical and artistic heights.

All and all, the violin has definitely come a long way in the last five hundred years from when it originated.

Questions & Answers :: A Short History of the Violin. 23rd of January, 2010. 19th of September, 2012. <>

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