It is believed that Andrea Amati did not make the first modern violin when it was made in Brescia in the 16th century. Although he was trained as a lute maker, there are no documents describing him as a lute maker and very few of his violins survive.
For this reason, it is helpful to consider the violin as an instrument that has evolved over time, and not as a perfect product that was once invented. What is certain is that in the sixteenth century, before modern violins, a multitude of different stringed instruments was present and that the “modern violin” family developed with the Lira da Bracciano, a string instrument, and the violin, which was very popular in the Renaissance. It is believed that the Italian violin maker Andrea Amati, in 1555, created the first modern violin, but neither bow nor string instrument was invented in 1555.
A violin (or viola and cello) from Italy in the early 16th century. In the middle of the 16th century, the violin reached its present form and the instruments of the Baroque look identical to modern violins at first sight. In fact, most of the most valuable modern violins of this period were built by the makers of Amati, Stradivarius and Guarneri.
The earliest evidence of the existence of violin, viola and cellos is a painting by Gaudenzio Ferrari from the 1530s in which he owns the instrument with three strings.
Other stringed instruments preceded the violin, including the Arabic Rabab, which led to the medieval European Rebec. It may have been inspired by the Byzantine lyre, which resembled the lyra, a bow-stringed instrument from medieval Rebec, or the lira braccio, another bow and string instrument from the Renaissance, but the earliest version of the violin originated in Italy in the early 15th century. The Musicale Academie, a treatise written by Philibert Jambe de Fer in 1556, describes this violin family and much of what we know about it today most clearly.
Stringed instruments from many cultures have been involved in the development of the instrument, which is now known as the violin. Stringed instruments were made in different countries, but the instrument we know today, violin, viola and cello, were all made in Italy in the 16th century. Before the invention of Italy, this and many other stringed instruments existed at different times and in different parts of the world, with different characteristics, but all had something in common with the violin and dated it several millennia ahead.
My intention in this article is to show the immediate forerunners of the instrument known today as the violin and to give readers an idea of how it came to exist and dominate our western musical culture. While instruments such as the Greek Kithara from the 7th century BC and the Chinese Erhu from the mid-8th century AD were important for the development of string instruments, bow and string instruments are not directly related to violins.
The origin of the instrument, now known as the violin, is uncertain and open to debate, but there is agreement that the instrument originated in Arabic as Rabab. No one has yet determined its true origin, but Rabab Rebec, which came from the Arabian Peninsula to Spain, is considered the forerunner of the violin.
As one of the earliest instruments that still exists today, we can trace the history of the violins through paintings from the 1550s. Andrea Amati from Cremona made the first four-string violin in 1555, the oldest surviving one dating back to 1564. As with any other instrument, there has been a gradual improvement in the violin from the time it first appeared in 1550 to the form we know today.
The earliest surviving violin of the Cremonese violin maker Andrea Amati (1500-1576) dates back to 1542. But it was not until 1550 that he built the first violin with four strings.
The word “violin” is only mentioned under Henry VIII when it existed under the name Fydyl. Andrea Amati, the cremonese violin maker (1500-1576) was probably the first maker of instruments to produce an instrument with the features that justified the name of the violin. The violin was first recognized in Italy, its native country, for its vocal tone, and early makers like Gasparo da Salo, Amati and Giovanni Paolo Maggini settled in average proportions on the instrument towards the end 16th century.
The instrument had three strings of the same size and shape as the Vielle but the C-shaped soundhole in the body had been replaced with the more familiar F-hole.
The viola da gamba was an important instrument in the Renaissance but was replaced by a louder instrument from the aristocratic Lira da Braccio family, from which the modern violin was developed. The seven-string lira da braccio was used in the 16th century to accompany singing performances. The timbre of the viola da brACCIO was a bright and powerful instrument that was well suited to carry melodies and lines.
Origin of the violin in northern Italy The violin developed between 1520 and 1550 from the viola of the family da Braccio. The most important centres of northern Italy were the cities of Milan, Brescia, Cremona, and Venice.
The violin of today owes its existence to an ancient instrument called the lira, which was already in use in Europe in the 9th century. The term violin, derived from the Italian word Violino, is from the word viola, with the general meaning of a small string instrument or a small viola.
The narrow violin was made in northern Italy with the viola da Braccio between 1520 and 1550. The influence of the Arab Rabab and Rebec, which originated in Spain, can also be seen in the violin. These two separate instruments families enjoyed great success and widespread usage at times and were held by arms in the square form of the lira together, but the da Braccio became more popular, which led to the development of the violin in the 1550s.
In 1485, there were schools and prizes for strings in Brescia, northern Italy. Some of the most famous string manufacturers of the Renaissance were Viola da Gamba, Violone Lyra, Lyrone de Violetta and Viola da Brazzo. The word “violin” appeared in Brescia’s documents in the 1530s, but instruments from the first decade of the 15th century survive, and the violin is seen in several paintings of this period.