Did Experts Find the Oldest Surviving Violin and Its Maker?
2017-07-06 String Instrument News
History tells us that it was during the early 16th century that the violins came into existence. Records would lead us to Brescia in northern Italy as what they call the birthplace of violins. Historical documents hold the record that during that time Brescia was popular for its musical institution where they teach and train string players and string instrument makers. The masters of making and playing instruments like Lyra, Viola da Gamba (Viol), Violetta, Lyrone and Viola da Brazzos are called “Maestros.” Several paintings in the first decade of the century illustrate these instruments. In fact, the first violin was shown only with three strings like the Violetta and not with four.
Because of this evidence of the existence in the school in Brescia, history would tell us that the school started 50 years earlier before Cremona. These facts lead to debate if Andrea Amati is the first one to create the first violin. Andrea Amati was one of the most well-known luthiers or lute makers by order of Medici in the early 16th century.
Today, the Metropolitan Museum of Arts in New York has the possession of what is considered as the oldest surviving violin. The violin has a label with the inscription “Charles IX,” made in Cremona by Andrea Amati in 1564.” However, they were not certain if this label was authentic. Another old violin possessed by the Metropolitan Museum of Art but they were not able to confirm if the date was 1558.