History and Development of Violin

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History and Development of the Violin Today the violin is regarded as one of the seminal classical instruments. From adolescent age students to seasoned musicians the violin often conjures images of orchestras and a historical trajectory of music dating back to the Renaissance.


While the violin is generally associated with European classical music, the instrument itself first emerged in the 9th century Byzantine Empire. In terms of the first written records of the instrument Persian geographer Ibn Khurradadhbih is noted as the first to write about the instrument. Khurradadhbih noted that the instrument was a bowed Byzantine lira; this geographer compared the violin to a rabab, a similar stringed instrument used by the Byzantines during this time (Sandys 2006). From these early incarnations the violin steadily gained popularity. During the 11th and 12th centuries the instrument gradually gained popularity throughout Europe and general western regions. This period also contains increased written reference to the violin. While it had not yet taken on the contemporary articulations, writers during these centuries frequently referred to the instrument as a fiddle or lira. While the violin would later become the predominant stringed instrument, its acceptance during the 11th and 12th centuries was greatly aided by the spread of a variety of stringed instruments throughout Europe; for instance, rabab gained great prominence during this period of European history (Sandys 2006). Indeed, the modern incarnation of the violin would emerge from a hybridization of many of these stringed instruments. ...
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