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History of the Violin
The violin was first known in 16th-century Italy, with some further modifications occurring in the 18th and 19th centuries. In Europe it served as the basis for stringed instruments used in western classical music, the viola and the violin. Violinists and collectors particularly prize the instruments made by the Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati families from the 16th to the 18th century in Brescia and Cremona and by Jacob Stainer in Austria. According to their reputation, the quality of their sound has defied attempts to explain or equal it, though this belief is disputed. Great numbers of instruments have come from the hands of "lesser" makers, as well as still greater numbers of mass-produced commercial "trade violins" coming from cottage industries in places such as Saxony, Bohemia, and Mirecourt. Many of these trade instruments were formerly sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co. and other mass merchandisers. A person who makes or repairs violins is called a luthier. The parts of a violin are usually made from different types of wood (although electric violins may not be made of wood at all, since their sound may not be dependent on specific acoustic characteristics of the instrument's construction), and it is usually strung with gut, Perlon or other synthetic, or steel strings The earliest stringed instruments were mostly plucked (e.g. the Greek lyre). Bowed instruments may have originated in the equestrian cultures of Central Asia, an example being the Tanbur originated in modern-day Uzbekistan or Kobyz (Kazakh: қобыз) (kyl-kobyz) - an ancient Turkic, Kazakh string instrument or Mongolian instrument Morin huur: Turkic and Mongolian horsemen from Inner Asia were probably the world’s earliest fiddlers. Their two-stringed upright fiddles were strung with horsehair strings, played with horsehair bows, and often feature a carved horse’s head at the end of the neck. The violins, violas, and cellos we play today, and whose bows are still strung with horsehair, are a legacy of the nomads. The modern European violin evolved from various bowed stringed instruments from the Middle East and the Byzantine Empire. It is most likely that the first makers of violins borrowed from three types of current instruments: the rebec, in use since the 10th century (itself derived from the Byzantine lyra and the Arabic rebab), the Renaissance fiddle, and the lira da bracci (both derived from the Byzantine lira). One of the earliest explicit descriptions of the instrument, including its tuning, was in the Epitome musical by Jambe de Fer, published in Lyon in 1556.By this time, the violin had already begun to spread throughout Europe. The violin immediately became very popular, both among street musicians and the nobility, illustrated by the fact that the French king Charles IX ordered Andrea Amati to construct 24 violins for him in 1560. One of these instruments, now called the Charles IX, is the oldest surviving violin. Up through at least the 1970s, most types of popular music used bowed string sections. They were extensively used in popular music throughout the 1920s and early 1930s. With the rise of swing music, however, from 1935 to 1945, the string sound was often used to add to the fullness of big band music. Following the swing era, from the late 1940s to the mid-1950s, strings began to be revived in traditional pop music. This trend accelerated in the late 1960s, with a significant revival of the use of strings, especially in soul music. Popular Motown recordings of the late 1960s and 1970s relied heavily on strings as part of their trademark texture. The rise of disco music in the 1970s continued this trend with the heavy use of string instruments in popular disco orchestras (e.g., Love Unlimited Orchestra, Biddu Orchestra, Monster Orchestra, Salsoul Orchestra, MFSB). With the rise of electronically created music in the 1980s, violins declined in use, as synthesized string sounds played by a keyboardist with a synthesizer took their place. However, while the violin has had very little usage in mainstream rock music, it has some history in progressive rock (e.g., Electric Light Orchestra, King Crimson, Kansas, Gentle Giant). The 1973 album Contaminazione by Italy's RDM plays violins off against synthesizers at its finale ("La grande fuga"). The instrument has a stronger place in modern jazz fusion bands, notably The Corrs. The fiddle has also always been a part of British folk-rock music, as exemplified by the likes of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span. The popularity of crossover music beginning in the last years of the 20th century has brought the violin back into the popular music arena, with both electric and acoustic violins being used by popular bands. Dave Matthews Band features violinist Boyd Tinsley. The Flock featured violinist Jerry Goodman who later joined the jazz-rock fusion band, The Mahavishnu Orchestra. James' Saul Davies, who is also a guitarist, was enlisted by the band as a violinist. For their first three albums and related singles, the British group No-Man made extensive use of electric and acoustic solo violin as played by band member Ben Coleman (who played violin exclusively). Independent artists, such as Owen Pallett, The Shondes, and Andrew Bird, have also spurred increased interest in the instrument. Indie bands have often embraced new and unusual arrangements, allowing them more freedom to feature the violin than many mainstream musical artists. It has been used in the post-rock genre by bands such as A Genuine Freakshow, Sigur Rós, Zox, Broken Social Scene, and A Silver Mt. Zion. The electric violin has even been used by bands like The Crüxshadows within the context of keyboard based music. Lindsey Stirling plays the violin in conjunction with electronic/dubstep/trance rifts and beats. Eric Stanley improvises on the violin with hip hop music/pop/classical elements and instrumental beats. The successful indie rock and baroque pop band Arcade Fire use violins extensively in their arrangements. Indian, Pakistani, Turkish, and Arabic pop music is filled with the sound of violins, both soloists and ensembles.
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History of the Violin
The violin was first known in 16th-century Italy, with some further modifications occurring in the 18th and 19th centuries. In Europe it served as the basis for stringed instruments used in western classical music, the viola and the violin. Violinists and collectors particularly prize the instruments made by the Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati families from the 16th to the 18th century in Brescia and Cremona and by Jacob Stainer in Austria. According to their reputation, the quality of their sound has defied attempts to explain or equal it, though this belief is disputed. Great numbers of instruments have come from the hands of "lesser" makers, as well as still greater numbers of mass-produced commercial "trade violins" coming from cottage industries in places such as Saxony, Bohemia, and Mirecourt. Many of these trade instruments were formerly sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co. and other mass merchandisers. A person who makes or repairs violins is called a luthier. The parts of a violin are usually made from different types of wood (although electric violins may not be made of wood at all, since their sound may not be dependent on specific acoustic characteristics of the instrument's construction), and it is usually strung with gut, Perlon or other synthetic, or steel strings The earliest stringed instruments were mostly plucked (e.g. the Greek lyre). Bowed instruments may have originated in the equestrian cultures of Central Asia, an example being the Tanbur originated in modern- day Uzbekistan or Kobyz (Kazakh: қобыз) (kyl-kobyz) - an ancient Turkic, Kazakh string instrument or Mongolian instrument Morin huur: Turkic and Mongolian horsemen from Inner Asia were probably the world’s earliest fiddlers. Their two-stringed upright fiddles were strung with horsehair strings, played with horsehair bows, and often feature a carved horse’s head at the end of the neck. The violins, violas, and cellos we play today, and whose bows are still strung with horsehair, are a legacy of the nomads. The modern European violin evolved from various bowed stringed instruments from the Middle East and the Byzantine Empire. It is most likely that the first makers of violins borrowed from three types of current instruments: the rebec, in use since the 10th century (itself derived from the Byzantine lyra and the Arabic rebab), the Renaissance fiddle, and the lira da bracci (both derived from the Byzantine lira). One of the earliest explicit descriptions of the instrument, including its tuning, was in the Epitome musical by Jambe de Fer, published in Lyon in 1556.By this time, the violin had already begun to spread throughout Europe. The violin immediately became very popular, both among street musicians and the nobility, illustrated by the fact that the French king Charles IX ordered Andrea Amati to construct 24 violins for him in 1560. One of these instruments, now called the Charles IX, is the oldest surviving violin. Up through at least the 1970s, most types of popular music used bowed string sections. They were extensively used in popular music throughout the 1920s and early 1930s. With the rise of swing music, however, from 1935 to 1945, the string sound was often used to add to the fullness of big band music. Following the swing era, from the late 1940s to the mid-1950s, strings began to be revived in traditional pop music. This trend accelerated in the late 1960s, with a significant revival of the use of strings, especially in soul music. Popular Motown recordings of the late 1960s and 1970s relied heavily on strings as part of their trademark texture. The rise of disco music in the 1970s continued this trend with the heavy use of string instruments in popular disco orchestras (e.g., Love Unlimited Orchestra, Biddu Orchestra, Monster Orchestra, Salsoul Orchestra, MFSB). With the rise of electronically created music in the 1980s, violins declined in use, as synthesized string sounds played by a keyboardist with a synthesizer took their place. However, while the violin has had very little usage in mainstream rock music, it has some history in progressive rock (e.g., Electric Light Orchestra, King Crimson, Kansas, Gentle Giant). The 1973 album Contaminazione by Italy's RDM plays violins off against synthesizers at its finale ("La grande fuga"). The instrument has a stronger place in modern jazz fusion bands, notably The Corrs. The fiddle has also always been a part of British folk-rock music, as exemplified by the likes of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span. The popularity of crossover music beginning in the last years of the 20th century has brought the violin back into the popular music arena, with both electric and acoustic violins being used by popular bands. Dave Matthews Band features violinist Boyd Tinsley. The Flock featured violinist Jerry Goodman who later joined the jazz-rock fusion band, The Mahavishnu Orchestra. James' Saul Davies, who is also a guitarist, was enlisted by the band as a violinist. For their first three albums and related singles, the British group No-Man made extensive use of electric and acoustic solo violin as played by band member Ben Coleman (who played violin exclusively). Independent artists, such as Owen Pallett, The Shondes, and Andrew Bird, have also spurred increased interest in the instrument. Indie bands have often embraced new and unusual arrangements, allowing them more freedom to feature the violin than many mainstream musical artists. It has been used in the post-rock