Who does not love listening to the violin? The sound of the violin strings evokes feelings to the surface. We can see the use of violin in orchestras and music concerts. If we dive deeper into the history and origin of violin, then it is quite a debatable topic. The origin of a violin is quite uncertain. Even the creator of the violin is a debatable issue, but according to texts, it is very sure that Violin originated in Italy in the first half of 16th century. But have you ever wondered who created the modern violin that we see nowadays? Again, it is quite uncertain, but most of the scholars give credit to Andrea Amati as the first violin maker. He might not be considered as the inventor of the violin, but he is the first “known” creator of the violin.
It can be said that Andrea Amati is the first “known” creator of the violin that we see today. Historians have found two documentations that witness the existence of early days’ violin. From these documents, we can infer that these violins were created somewhere between 1542 and 1546. Moreover, his created violins have survived until today, and some of them can even be played as well. These violins that have survived were from the batch that was delivered to Charles IX of France in 1564. These violins were 38 in number. Also, these violins were smaller in size than the modern day violins. It had higher arches, wider purflings, more curved body, and scrolls. Later on, the standard size was given by another world-renowned violin maker Antonio Stradivari.
Dispute of First Violin Maker
Some other scholars have dispute with the claim of Andrea Amati as the first violin maker. Instead, some of them award Gaspara da Salo of Brescia as the first violin maker. The dispute arose because Andrea Amati was a lute maker and he had no prior experience with any kind of instruments similar to what violin is today.
Start of Mass Production of Violins
As soon as the violins got renowned for their sound, many composers started to include violins as the primary musical instrument. To satisfy the demands of the customers, many violins were mass produced. The names of violin makers were tagged without the authentic proof and such works have been carried out until now. But, no matter what, the creation of Andrea Amati and his lineage will never be forgotten as violins have become the permanent part of the music concerts and orchestras.
Andrea Amati was born in 1505. He was a luthier, the one who builds string instruments, in Cremona, Italy. He was originally a lute, viols, and rebecs’ maker in Italy. He opened the school of violin in Italy. His children were also known as one of the best violin creators of the world. Andrea Amati died on 26th December 1577, a day after Christmas.
Lineage of Andrea Amati
Antonius (Antonio) and Hieronymus (aka Girolamo) were the sons of Andrea Amati. Actually, they were half brothers who had skills in the creation of the newly created musical instrument that came to be known as the violin. Antonius and Hieronymus are also known as “The Brothers Amati.” Actually, they were half brothers. Both were born from different mothers. It is quite evident from the past records that they created many instruments together but they were known for working separately. Their renowned violins were the separate works and that is why it is said that most of their violins were created separately.
Son of Hieronymus Amati became a renowned violin maker as well. His name was Nicolo (also known as Nicola or Nicolaus). He was born in 1596. Violins and other instruments created by Nicolo are considered as the finest of his whole family line. He died in 1684.
Antonio Stradivari cannot be ignored when it comes to the history of Violin. He is known for making a remarkable presence in this field. His violin is also mentioned in the novels of Arthur Conan Doyle.
Antonio Stradivari was born in 1644. Actually, his birth date is not exactly known. His birth year has been presumed between 1944 to 1649. He was one of the most important apprentices of Nicolo Amati. He learned the art of creating violins so perfectly from him that his one of his violins is the most expensive violins ever sold in the world. In May 2006, a violin called “The Hammer” was auctioned by Christie’s Auction House at $3,544,000. This violin was created and crafted by the most important apprentice of Nicolo Amati, Antonio Stradivari.
Apart from modern day violins, Antonio Stradivari made more than 1000 instruments. These 1000 instruments include mandolins, guitars, harps, cellos and violas. His life can be divided into three periods. In the first period of his life, he learned a lot from Nicolo Amati and he derived inspirations from his work into his own work. In the second, or middle period of his life, he experimented a lot with his new designs. Many instruments were a failure but this lead to the third period of his life. In his third period of life, he created violins that are still in use. His violins from the third period of his life are the modern day violins.
The violins created by Antonio Stradivari has set the standard of the today’s violins. Instruments made by Antonio Stradivari were slightly larger than earlier instruments. To be specific, instruments created by Andrea Amati were larger than today’s standard instruments. Violins made by Antonio Stradivari were less deeply arched. They had wider purflings. These violins produced stronger tones than the tones produced by early instruments.
Conclusion About Who Invented The Violin
Since then, Violin has achieved a standard size and arch. It has been possible because of Antonio Stradivari who was one of the most important apprentices of Nicolo Amati. It might still be disputed who should be considered as the first creator of the violin but it is Andrea Amati who is known as the inventor of the violin.