The History of Violin
With a rich history of over 400 years, the origin of the violin can be traced way back to the 9th century when instruments from other countries began to arrive in Europe. The role of the violin was small initially but evolved quickly during the renaissance period when its popularity was at its peak. Not only is the violin one of the most important instruments used in teaching classical music, it is also relevant in popular music culture today and used in performances worldwide.
The Byzantine lira was one of the first medieval bowed stringed instruments that influenced the development of the violin.
The Rabãb, an ancient Perisan fiddle, and the 3-string Rebec could also be found in Europe from the 11th century onwards. These stringed instruments were pivotal in advancing the creation of the violin.
However, the modern violin we recognise today only emerged in the early 16th Century in Northern Italy. This was when the French queen regent, Catherine De Médicis, tasked Andrea Amati (a master craftsman) with the job of creating an array of stringed instruments for the Royal Ensemble. It was believed that this proportion of work crystallized the construction of the basic form of the modern violin. Andrea Amati then passed on the skill of crafting violins to his grandson, Nicolò Amati, who went on to mentor Andrea Guarneri and Antonia Stradivari; two of the most celebrated violin makers in history.
In the initial years, the violin was primarily used as a vocal and dance accompaniment. By the 1600s, the violin’s popularity in Italy solidified its role as the “go-to” small-stringed instrument, allowing it to supersede other less desirable instruments in the same category. By the end of the 17th century, the violin had secured its position as a vital instrument in the orchestra as composers like Claudio Monteverdi and Antonio Vivaldi started to focus more on the sounds of strings in their compositions. Today, with modernization and technology, the violin has a much better projection and brilliance to it, allowing it to stand out from the orchestra and play some of the highest pitches (only second to the piccolo).
Currently, violin lessons Singapore are one of the most sought after music curriculums in many parts of the world. Many parents send their children for violin lessons Bukit Timah because of the numerous benefits that come from learning the instrument.
Here are some surprising facts about the violin:
1) One hour of violin playing burns around 170 calories, which is roughly two-thirds of a Snickers bar.
2) Early training in violin improves memory retention.
3) Playing the violin improves fine motor skills, allowing violinists to have greater control over their hands and reducing the risk of carpal tunnel syndrome.
4) Research shows that violinists tend to have quicker cognitive responses than the average person who does not play an instrument.
5) The age of a violin is not directly proportional to its price.
6) Violinist Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840) was one of the first musicians to pioneer the “rock star” image.
7) Violinist Linsey Stirling has over 12 million Subscribers on YouTube
8) Fritz Kreisler is a prominent violinist who served in WWI. His well-developed aural ability allowed him to pinpoint the location of incoming artillery shells by listening to their pitches.
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