Jan 11, 2011

The Violin

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By Tanveer Khadim

Albert Einstein once said: 

         " A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; 
           what else does a man need to be happy? " 

Such is the nature of this versatile instrument. The violin's melodious tone stands out among other instruments and is suited to jazz, bluegrass and orchestral background.

The family of violins (include the viola and cello) emerged in the 15th century. The violin itself evolved from the rebec (in use since the 10th century and itself a derivation of the Arabic rubab), the renaissance fiddle and the lira da braccio (a bow string instrument used by Italian poet-musicians during the 15th and 16th centuries).

Andrea Amati constructed the first four-string violin much like the modern day violin in 1555. Other renowned violin makers called the Luthiers (between the 16th and 18th centuries) include the Gaglino, Guarneri, Stradivari families as well as Giovanni Battista Guadagnini and Jacob Stainer.

Some of the great classical violin composers include Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Sebastian Bach, Niccolo Paganini, Max Bruch, Ottorino Respighi and Igor Stravinsky.

The 20th century modern violin, is made from a wooden box, has parts such as the neck, fingerboard, bridge, four strings, tailpiece, base bar, etc. and comes in varying sizes to suit the age of the player. Two types of violins are commonly available these days - the traditional acoustic violin and the electric violin which uses an electronic signal output.

(Published on 'International Violin Day' June 17)

Source: Dawn News paper (Pakistan)