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Before the 16th and 17th centuries, violins had been used to make music for decades. After so many decades, Amati and Antonio Stradivari made them more renowned in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Violins can make sounds by sticking, bowing or plucking. It was formerly used for dance music.

The violin is arguably the world’s most popular instrument. It is known as the king of all instruments because it was built to imitate the voice. It produces expressive tones which suit a variety of musical styles, from fast music to slow and sanguine music. Violin became popular in the 16th century. It is well used by both the commoners and nobles. The violin has remained a democratic instrument, universal and versatile.

A good number of historians agree that today’s violin arose in the early 16th century in northern Italy, an area which is known to be a factory for violin making and will maintain the tradition of building violins over the coming centuries. Also, Maple and spruce, the two types of wood most preferred and favoured by violin makers then and since, were readily available in the Lombardy region. Brescia, the city located at the foot of the Alps, was the earliest to excel in the crafting of violins, but Cremona, home to the world’s most famous luthiers, Giuseppe Guarneri, Antonio Stradivari, and the Amati family, became known with the art of violin making.

During the 17th century, the violin became a significant instrument amidst other instruments in the orchestra. It became prominent in the 17th century as composers like Claudio Monteverdi incorporated it into their compositions. Composers and musicians, such as Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741), Franz Joseph Haydn (1731-1809), and Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840), continued to focus on the sounds of the strings, bringing the violin to greater prominence in the orchestra. 

François Tourte created the modern bow, standardizing its length and weight in the year 1786. The chin rest of the violin was invented around 1820. The chin rest makes the instrument easier to hold and increases its range of play. The neck and fingerboard were both lengthened and tilted in the 19th century, enabling the violinist to play the highest notes, and the bass bar was made heavier to produce a bigger, more brilliant sound.

The ability of the violin to sound in various tones and moods, that is sweet or sad, playful or somber, and the ability to evoke almost any mood has helped take it to the top of the list of other instruments.  Often referred to as the "concertmaster," the first chair violinist has become the leader of the orchestra, second only to the conductor. She tunes the orchestra, plays the violin solos, and coordinates how the other strings should play their parts in perfect harmony.

There are 8 different kinds of the violin that are being played. Violin makers had been able to get the right shape than would give good sounds. 

1. The Modern Violin (Classical)

2. The Baroque Violin

3. The Fiddle

4. Electric Violins

5. Semi-Acoustic Violins

6. The Hardanger Fiddle (Hardingfele)

7. Five-String Violins

8. The Stroh Violin

Writer: Rhoda Makinde. 
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