A violin is said to be the most difficult musical instrument to learn and handle. Yet many are still drawn to acquire violin playing skills, despite the difficulty perceived when contemplating on it as an endeavor.
The music produced by this musical instrument is often described as romantic. More so when watching accomplished violinists perform complex hand movements, creating refined musical sounds full of passion. This makes us wonder how such an exquisite sounding instrument ever came to be, which up to the present captivates the hearts of many. Not only among traditional lovers of classical music but also among followers of mainstream music.
Origins of the Violin and Other Bowed Stringed Instruments
Bowed stringed instruments are said to have originated from the Arab fiddle known as rabāb. The Arabic term, actually refers to bowed musical instruments in general. The first recorded mention of the Arab rabāb instrument was in the 10th century. It was said to have been introduced by the Arab to Spain in the 11th century. During the 14th century, the rabāb developed into a European bowed stringed version called rebec,
Yet unlike the rebec, which developed gradually over time, the emergence of the violin during the 1500s was said to have been sudden. The history of how this popular bowed stringed instrument evolved was mostly inferred from paintings featuring violins from the same era.
All that can be said as legend, about the earliest violins is that they were first produced in Northern Italy, either by Andrea Amati of Cremona or by Gasparo de Bertolotti of Salon.
It was the small town of Cremona that rose to prominence as the center of violin production between the 16th and 18th centuries. Families began producing violins by developing their own production techniques, to make their violins unique and a class of their own. The most famous violin makers were from the Amati family, Guameri family, and the Stradivan family. As a matter of fact, many of the most expensive and famous violins of today came from these violin makers.