Noble families and royal courts during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries commissioned the making of these instruments. Thus the occupation, craft, and art of violin making were born. There were many great Cremonese makers, such as Stradivari, Guarneri, Stainer, and Bergonzi, who for brevity’s sake will have to go unmentioned. Countless contemporary makers also produce instruments that provide superior sound.
The development of the violin bow and violin has always followed a recurring pattern of musical and artisanal/technical factors mutually influencing one another. Every significant advance in violin making either was followed by new musical standards or created the conditions necessary for them to evolve
The modern bow was developed in France by Françoise Xavier Tourte ( 1747 - 1835 ) (thus the name for the modern bow - the tourte bow)
The violin comes in just two pieces, the instrument and the bow. The bow uses horsehair or a synthetic material to vibrate the strings as it is drawn over the instrument. The bow should be tightened to just the right tension before it is used and loosened before it is put away.
Though his earliest known violin is dated 1666, he manufactured his best instruments from 1700 to 1725. During this “golden period,” he set the standard for artisans of the future by crafting soundboxes which remain unmatched today and adding his trademark deep red varnish, black edging and wide corners.
The oldest surviving violin, dated inside, is the "Charles IX" by Andrea Amati, made in Cremona in 1564. Perhaps the most famous, and certainly the most pristine is the "Le Messie" (also known as the 'Salabue') made by Antonio Stradivari in 1716 and never used. It is now located in the Ashmolean Museum of Oxford.
instruments of approximately 300 years of age, especially those made by Stradivari and Guarneri del Gesù, are the most sought after instruments (for both collectors and performers). In addition to the skill and reputation of the maker, an instrument's age can also influence both price and quality.
Stradivarius violins are instruments made by Antonio Stradivari – an Italian craftsman considered the greatest violin maker ever to have lived.
The earliest important violin makers were the northern Italians Gasparo da Salo [1540-1609] and Giovanni Maggini [1579-c. 1630] from Brescia and Andrea Amati [c.1520-c. 1611] from Cremona. The craft of violin making reached unprecedented artistic heights in the 17th and early 18th centuries in the workshops of the Italians Antonio Stradivari and Giuseppe Guarneri, both from Cremona, and the Austrian Jacob Stainer.
The violin emerged in Italy in the early 1500s and seems to have evolved from two medieval bowed instruments--the fiddle, also called vielle or fiedel, and the rebec--and from the Renaissance lira da braccio [a violin-like instrument with off-the-fingerboard drone strings]. Also related, but not a direct ancester, is the viol, a fretted, six-string instrument that appeared in Europe before the violin and existed side by side with it for about 200 years.
The violin was officially designed by Andrea Amati, an Italian lute maker. Amati was asked to build the violin as a lighter alternative to the lyre, in the 1500s. It was a stringed instrument, comprising four strings tuned a fifth apart. It is the smallest and highest-tuned member of the violin family of string instruments, which also includes the viola, cello and double bass.
The violin is the smallest member of the string family. Sound is produced by drawing the bow across one of the four strings or by plucking the string with a finger. All string instruments produce sound in the same manner. The main differences are the sizes of the instruments and how high or low each instrument can sound.