How the violin & other bowed string instruments came to be?
Given how much work is involved in getting a good sound and develop agility as well as what's involved in making a good instrument it seems like something of a miracle that violins & other orchestral string instruments exist. Beyond the painstaking precision of fabricating the pieces and putting them together, they had to know what raw materials to use and how to treat them before turning them into an instrument.
Anyone have insight as to how it came about? Who came up with the configuration? It seems someone had to have skill on predecessor instruments to seek out something better.
I feel personally, that the evolution of violins haven't really changed significantly ever since the invention of synthetic strings and workshops in China. I'm probably very incorrect when professionals come and look at what I've just written, but I'm going to say this:
I think there are variations on the generally accepted 17th century design poping up here and there with varying degree of success, but at which point do these variations make the instrument no longer a violin?
@Roger well, I never meant that they aren't a violin anymore, but rather sort of their own individual kind of string instrument. Perhaps, like it's comparable to your typical violin to a Stroh violin. The Stroh is kind of it's own thing, but it's original basis is still the violin.
I think the violin developed from other similar bowed string instruments, and the general design of the modern violin was developed during the 19th and 20th centuries with smallish changes made like the invention of the shoulder rest, chin rest, steel and synthetic strings, etc.
The design came from outer space.
Well, the short answer is the violin as we know it was invented in Italy in the 16th century, apparently by Amati. However, there have been many types of bowed string instruments in different cultures. I guess I could go on and on but all you have to do is google "violin."
Invented in Italy by Andrea Amati.
And before the violin family there was the viol family, before that the rebec from medieval/moslem Spain. The bow is literally prehistoric, from multiple cultures, and may have been used as a music instrument before it was used as a weapon. jq
The violin has not changed (very) much for 4 centuries, probably because its proportions and dimensions make it effective. Playable violas are another matter, and no two violists agree on what they want.
Caught between violin and cello envy and vacillating between the two;)
Nomadic horse people in Mongolia - way back. Records go back as far as 600 - 800 of a bowed instrument.
Bowed instruments were introduced around the same time that humans coexisted with dinosaurs. Many of the unidentified pottery shards found at Olduvai were actually parts of primitive shoulder rests. Those mysterious drawings in Leonardo's sketchbook are blueprints for gear pegs.
The Divine Proportion.
@Paul. Da Vinci was not responsible for gear pegs, they were the work of Lucifer himself!