7 Musical Facts about the Violin
The violin is one of the world’s most popular instruments and has been around for a several centuries now, but do you know these particular fiddles as well as you think you do?
Here are some interesting facts about the violin that you might not have known before!
There is a lot that you can tell about a particular thing if you know the meaning behind its name.
The noun Violin is a diminutive of an Italian word, viola which is said to be a derivation of a Medieval Latin word vitula that means ‘a stringed musical instrument.’
This word alone proves just how ancient violins are as they date back to the time when Latin was a language being used.
As it is said above, Violins have been around for centuries, roughly 500 years to be exact.
The credibility of this fact has been judged from the documentation that exists from 1511 to 1577.
The 15th century is also said to be the century in which violins were first invented and by the time the 17th century rolled around and orchestra started to establish, the violin was already fully developed and not many visual changes have been made to the violin since the medieval times.
The violin was first made at the request of a Medici famil of Italy who commissioned a famous Italian luthier called Andrea Amati.
The Medici family wanted something similar to a lyre, but also different and more melodious and that is how Andrea came to be the name of the man who invented the violin.
After Andrea, Antonio Stradivari another famous name in the history of Violin. Antonio was a student at the Ceremonese School of Violin Making which was founded by Amati himself.
Stradivari made adjustments and alterations to Amati’s original model and made remarkable improvements to the instrument.
Violins come in varying sizes and you may start with smaller ones and move onto the larger ones or a full sized violin as you grow, but that is ordinary information.
Here we are talking about the largest and smallest.
The largest violin in the world was made by fifteen devoted violin makers in Markneukirchen, Germany.
t stands about 4.27 meters tall and 5.22 meters wide. That’s quite impressive, huh?
However, the impressive part is that it isn’t just the largest violin to exist on earth, but it’s also playable!
After the largest, comes the smallest (not literally). The smallest violin to exist has been measured to be about 37 millimeters. Millimeters! It is, however, it’s unclear whether it is playable of not.
Being able to play a violin doesn’t only make you a violinist or musician, but also a braniac!
Researchers have found that individuals who receive musical training since an early change develop faster and more enhanced motor skills in both parts of their brain.
Stringed-instrument players also have better co-ordination in both their hands.
Hence being able to play music isn’t only an impressive skill, but also good for you brain, wow!
The best violins are mainly made from maple or spruce and it turns out, making a violin is just as complicated as playing it.
Are you wondering why? Here is how.
Constructing a violin requires about 70 separate pieces of wood to be arranged and assembled.
Not only that, but in the older times, the strings of a violins (which nowadays are made from steel or plated with steel) were made from sheep’s gut or catgut that was dried and molded into the form of a string, yikes!
An original model of Andrea Amati’s violin still exists to this date and is on display for all in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) in New York City, USA.
There also exists a Stradivarius violin made by Antonio Stradivari in 1721 dubbed as Lady Blunt after Lord Byron’s granddaughter, Lady Anne Blunt who had it for 30 years.
Lady Blunt was later auctioned and sold at £9.3 million for charity which also makes not only one of the finest and oldest violins to exist, but also the most expensive.
To this day, it is known for its well-kept condition and famed owners.
About the Author:
Kristal Bean is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes guitarist. In her free time, she homeschools, works out and listens to live music. She regularly posts at Green Light Booking.