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A Brief History of the Violin In India and Around the World

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The violin is one of the most commonly used modern string instruments today. This stringed instrument was  first manufactured in the early sixteenth century, at the forefront of the European Renaissance. The first known modern violin was made by Andrea Amati in 1555. However, the history of the violin in India and around the world can be dated much further back. The violin is believed to have drawn inspiration from various stringed instruments dating all the way back to the Middle Ages, including the rebec and the lyra.

History of the Violin in India

The first violin was remarkably similar to the stringed instrument we are familiar with today. When Charles IX, the King of France saw the violin, he was immediately enthralled by the beauty of the instrument. He ordered Amati to make 24 violins for him. One of these violins still survives today and was duly named the Charles IX. Ever since then, violins have captivated the hearts of those who have come across them.

The history of the violin in India and around the world  is interesting, especially due to the pace at which violins spread after the first known modern violin was developed in 1555. Andrea Amati, the father of the modern violin, continued to build his masterpieces in Italy. He, along with his sons, were responsible for training future generations of violin makers, who ensured that the art of violin-making was not going to be lost forever.

As the history of the violin progressed, its popularity all over Europe increased dramatically as well. By the mid-1600s, violin-building was at an all-time peak. It was during this time period that some of the world’s most renowned violin-makers, or luthiers, were practicing their art. The Stradivari and Guarneri family of luthiers, based in Cremona, Italy and trained by Amati’s children, made some of the best violins known to man today. The Hammer, a Stradivari violin, recently sold for a staggering $3.5 million.

The history of the violin in India is believed to have begun in the early 17th century. Baluswami Dikshitar is the first known violinist to infuse the violin into traditional Karnatic music, and it is no surprise that this instrument became extremely popular in the country in no time. While the Indian violin is identical to its foreign counterparts, it is normally tuned differently and played in a different position.