Jump to content
Maestronet Forums

Simplified history of violin making...


germain
 Share

Recommended Posts

A not very simplified, not very short origin story, followed by a very short and simplified history:

 

The not very short origin story: 

(This is a very rough draft of some ideas I've played with in recent months)

 

A (Somewhat) Short History of Violins and Their Origins

part 1

 

The ancient yoked lyres led to a later Greek Kathari tradition, using specialized instruments, professional players, and elaborate playing techniques.

 

         ~ 3,000 BC Lyre          937968118_50adc_Apollon_seated_with_cithara_-_Rome_(Palatine_-_house_of_Augustus)_-_Roma_AdP_379982.thumb.jpg.9833cf8b05f8b58102dd365603e21e8c.jpg

          ~3,000 B.C. Lyre        circa 50 A.D. --  Apollo as a Kathari player

 

Later, necked Kathari developed.   These had fretted necks and constructed sounding box bodies.

873802443_CytharainDrawingB.jpg.716564506b94e3c6f23bbabd9d8d1a62.jpg    Lute_Charles_the_Bald_Bible.thumb.jpg.01e5b1c5c37f0e77d0c6be81d0bff663.jpg  

Depictions of necked Kathari, circa 850 A.D.

 

This tradition and its instruments led to the Medieval cythara.   These also had a constructed sounding box body, and a neck with frets.  The neck and body were rather continuous and in line.  Compared to kithara lyres, these were long bodied and rather more like later European lute family instruments.

Characteristically, the cytharas where played with a plectrum.  These were single strung, often with spade type pegheads.

1788690754_820cadMusician_playing_a_medieval_cythara_1.jpg.ca2394741e3e8f5671ea14e174ef7d30.jpg     1731681119_820jan1Musician_playing_a_medieval_cythara_2.jpg.9a6261c0ccd429e9a74909053b2e49af.jpg     61408047_825cFrenchCytharaStuttgarter_Psalter_Folio_23_-_Miniatur_108r_Detail.jpg.ab777202fc3191db6fa48ca53274d47a.jpg    

Examples circa 830, from a French manuscript

 

286003633_960cADCytharasplucked_with_the_Lamb_of_God.jpg.983638cdee5d82fbab28b84ff3cb4a96.jpg       1576860746_1175cCytharaEnglishc1175adRylands_Beatus_Cythara_2.jpg.4cf1cf82400d5575080d82e28d0fcb77.jpg  

A Spanish example c960,                      and an English example c1175

 

From even before 1000AD, there are examples of Cythara type instruments and Necked Lyre type instruments being bowed in Europe.

1762935319_960cSpainViolas_de_arco_en_un_manuscrito_del_ao_900_-_950.jpg.f3541a65c4240a56760236ddbc9e9da0.jpg     1028551210_1000cByzantine_Lyra_Museo_Nazionalecirc1000ad.jpg.c064a09b3e5c3bebacde0e2e33123122.jpg  

Spain c960                                                              Byzantine Lyre  c1000

Where did bowing originate?  This isn’t clear by any means.   But, a good case can be made for Mongolia, circa 600 AD.   Chinese traditions point to this as the origin of their original ‘stick fiddles’ and horsehair bows. 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 60
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

part 2

From these early Medieval roots, somewhat more familiar instruments developed out of the cytharas.

330502873_1260Cantigas_1260_Spain_Guitarra_two_Moresque-5str-C-holes_BEST_clr-deta.jpg.0287f2e5057a7c0f001fdcfe3d9bd8c1.jpg

Spain c1260: A cythara variant with simplified neck and more familiar body to neck proportions.

Here, we still see a *constructed body, *flat soundboard top, *relatively few single course strings, a plectrum for playing.

 

But, Medieval stringed instruments developed from a couple of further roots besides the Kithara/Cythara line of development. 

We also see solid carved body instruments, in contrast to the constructed body types derived from the Cythara.  This are sometimes called Citole, and may have heritage back to the ancient ‘long necked lutes’ the appear in ancient Egypt and perhaps even early.   Such instruments have a carved solid body, integrally connected to the neck, but then a separately attached sounding board, or perhaps a skin.  The earliest long necked lutes sometimes had a turtle shell or skull body, with a pole neck running through all.

1107582803__1425BCTombpainting-JusttheLongNeckedLute.jpg.606d41e0aad6fc768e5f8c156180d56e.jpg           1664131732_frontlength3qfullnottop.thumb.jpg.c20d7a92e785a90b92f72f5e4f687c0a.jpg

~1425 B.C.  Egyptian 'long necked lute'         ~ 400 A.D.  Coptic Lute

 

In Medieval times, a hybrid of this solid body concept with the cythara gave the line of 'citole' type string instruments.

citole_from_Robert_de_Lisle_psalter.jpg.a77caf52890c26f15ac300b3587a35ce.jpg         1670915572_1320cEnglishCitoleatAshmolean(16).thumb.jpg.b555b8b51911d6b68026f722119617bc.jpg

An English 'Citole' c1310                                 A later English 'Citole' with violin influence

Notice these citoles display their lyre heritage with ornate shoulders, among other features.   Like bowing, this solid body idea eventual gets tried with virtually every kind of stringed instrument.

Other distinct variants of the cythara developed, but the naming gets confused.

One early Medieval variant introduced double stringing.  These can rather easily be distinguished in paintings as these double strung instrument required more pegs.  The early versions of these used long curling pegheads to accommodate the many strings.   These are the earliest 'gitterns'.

Another variant used a smaller number of single courses, and used either a solid body or a heavily constructed body with the top 'set in'.  These used a shorter curled back peghead.  These are the earliest 'citterns'.   This term particularly gets problematic later though.  I very wide range of experimental bowed and plucked instrument types in the late Medieval and Renaissance times seem to have developed off this starting point.  But eventually the term is only applied to solid skinny bodied plucked instruments.  And, in this later incarnation, citterns were often double strung.

We also see a 'bean' or 'peanut' shaped version of the cythara emerge, which sometimes was plucked but sometimes was bowed.  These, particularly the bowed version, might be called the earliest 'vielles'.

263054085_1260Cantigas_1260_SpainLatina_and_Moresque_BEST_clr-deta.jpg.3fba4000196ca42e51ddda891143b586.jpg           30724596_1280cVielles_and_Citole_Manuscript_T_(El_Escorial_Biblioteca_del_Real_Monasterio_MS._T._I._1)_fol._5r_detail.jpg.8bda9d7f152c37776375e8d5c601ae98.jpg 

  Spain c1260, the early Cittern and Gittern        Spain c1280, the early Vielle and Cittern

 

Besides these specifically European developments from the Cythara, we also see some more or less direct medieval imports of instruments that most likely developed in the middle east.

We see this early on with early lute like instruments and rebecs:

39132653_1260cIberianRebabsCantigasRebabs.thumb.jpg.8effcd512590e2f80f8e58f14c127390.jpg

Spain c1260

But also, we see the quintessential Renaissance lute as a very direct import, following after the very influential innovations and manual by Safi Al-Din around 1250.

75461835_1250cADSafi_al-Din_lute.thumb.png.37296e7db1b13e7b12d57ee837daa932.png

Safi Al-Din c1250

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

part 3

Development from Medieval Roots:

 

Our direct line to the violin so far consists of Lyre >> Kithara>> Necked Kithara >> Medieval Cythara >> Bowed Cythara = ‘Vielle’.     

And, as side interests, we’ve noted the solid bodied Citole, the double strung Gittern, the single strung Citterns, as well as rebec/rebabs and lutes.

The development from here gets confusing to say the least.  Names and features get interchanged and swapped around over time.  But let’s attempt a look at some of the main threads of development.

 

One thing to note is that instruments very much like the later renaissance Lira D’ Braccio appear very early in the ‘vielle’ line of instruments.

1249721070_1365FL1.thumb.jpg.6934d3dee14860955b37b361b36b6459.jpg   1768737527_1365FlorenceAndreaDiBonaiuto1365.OrazioGentileschi1612-Copy-Copy.thumb.jpg.80465be7a739978a6d4c6bb0934ee069.jpg    62152021_1428cSiennaVielleBridges-Copy-Copy.thumb.jpg.3c16ac8fe85096cc66e53ad0e4a9dc38.jpg 

1350c Boethius                             1365  Florence                                c1428  Sienna, Italy

The other big thing to note is that starting from around 1250 people tried bowing many kinds of instruments, including the increasingly diverse family of cittern type instruments.

1446682873_1400sbraccio_15th_bw-engraving_no-ID_deta.jpg.046fffbb83761599b8a07e1e92ac37b0.jpg   1499286094_1400cbraccio-viola_round-lancet-lute-rosettes_2juxta_deta-Copy.jpg.1031ac133a442787e7eb5b83c67e3708.jpg   1781767949_1399cbowedgitternMariottoDiNardo_Italian_1380-1420_deta-Copy.jpg.507097a2862457cdd05686fb554f2aad.jpg 

All circa 1400

Lastly, we should note the pictures of ensembles before 1500 tend emphasize a diversity of instrument types as opposed to a range of sizes of instruments of one related type.

360315627_1480sFlandersMemlingMusicians.thumb.jpg.c9e9382dae714da643871f866eb66dea.jpg

                      1480c Antwerp

 

 

 

 

Heading into the Renaissance and the 1500s, the lines between ‘Vielles’ descended from bowed cytharas and other bowed instruments more directly descended from bowed citterns begin to blur.

374424719_1480cAntwerp.thumb.jpg.cab7ecad6731c91ee4bf354c04dd2cb2.jpg                1185285654_1490cLorenzoCosta1550(assocFerrara)(2).thumb.jpg.278b6ea6fac9e8e642cf0332a13714fd.jpg

Bowed Cythara = “Vielle”    Antwerp c1480        a bowed Cittern type?  a violette? Italy, 1490c

All through the Renaissance era however, Lira D’ Braccios continued to show features from their late medieval heritage as bowed cytharas.

108561185_1495cItalianVielleAngelInGreenWithVielle.thumb.jpg.24ae54601c75735090edb6b499b786a4.jpg         217008468_1525cGiovanniMariaLira1056136.jpg.62304218c59706fe395c094a5169f772.jpg             2023921255_04203_LinarolLiraDaBraccio_001-Copy.thumb.jpg.4cf28532f9df799304f2fc03706678a6.jpg

1490s Italian                                                      G. Maria  c1550                          Linarol  c1563

 

 

 

 

 

The labeling of different sorts of instruments is in many cases problematic.   ‘Cittern’ particularly is a difficult term.   In the medieval era it seems mostly to mean a more solid bodied variant of the plucked cythara, but with a curling back small peg head allowing a relatively small number of strings.  Then, in the later medieval and renaissance times it seems more to apply to a range of constructed body shapes, still with a small curling peg head accommodating a limited number of strings, variously plucked or bowed.  Later, in the 1500 and 1600s it comes again to mean instruments with solid carved bodies, often very shallow bodied, and now with many doubled strings.   

1670682609_1260Cantigas_1260_Spain_guitarra_pair_BEST_clr-super-deta.jpg.f3ef2dc45321413b12e487d381b943a2.jpg      628320962_1400cbraccio-viola_round-lancet-lute-rosettes_2juxta_deta-Copy.jpg.a49b6811f6897ac314c211fd1c421394.jpg   1118662982_cittern_gasparo_da_salo1560t70atAshmolean.jpg.0cd3aae5b8bdaebddf69311b70ebc4fd.jpg

All called 'cittern' at different times.

Perhaps cittern is not truly the right term, but it is these diverse ‘bowed citterns’ that are of the most interest in tracing the emergence of violins.

It is in this diverse range of instruments that we see a wide exploration of body shapes, waists to accommodate bowing, and sides the constructed in ways that point toward the later familiar violins, viols, and guitars.

Some of the earliest examples are in Spain and Italy, but in the Northern countries we see some of the more extreme experiments in body shapes. 

120679226_15139-gruenewald-gr.jpg.1b6e6e4f7596ca91f219a26e3b74cbcd.jpg   1953072534_1510cangelconcert_1510-15_Ferrara_ClrFiddle_deta.jpg.665f5ba4858b0cd48b8d142bc19fa231.jpg   2078921659_1520152509_altdorfer_arion_nereide_hirsch.thumb.jpg.7aeb4b520e3a7a5e4cec6f0ee1056935.jpg

       1513c in Issenheim,  by Grunewald           1510c  Ferrara                    1520c Altdorfer

And, this sort of instrument points rather directly toward the Germanic style Giegen/Lyre/Fiddles reported by Agricola and others.

2136011164_1529MartinAgricola4strggeigen.thumb.jpg.b6ebf4afb4bf9d1cdee869a781ffe888.jpg

                      Martin Agricola  1529c

 

 

None of these are properly violins yet, but they start to play around with many of the elements of violins.  

 

 

Notice also that so far all these instruments have flat top plates.  And, for the most part, the necks and top plates are in line, like a modern guitar more or less is.   But, it is among this range of instruments exploring different body shapes and curved viol or guitar like sides that we begin to see indications of arched and contoured top plates.  Later back plates are also shaped, but it mostly begins with top plates.   And, virtual all illustrations of such arching depict the plates rises beginning some little way inset from the edges of the instruments.

1353768866_1557viols-leafpegs3-GasparOrGiorgioGhisi-1557-det-lowrightviol_deta.jpg.f897141672ad7c8735f601114732486e.jpg   1082803815_1557viols-leafpegs2-GasparOrGiorgioGhisi-1557-det-centralviol_det.jpg.804d5fddeb8e3a73b35d2b11ac5f7a65.jpg   2061959455_1535cferrariItalyGaudenzioFerrari_ConcertOfAngels1534-36-scaled-Copy.thumb.jpg.57470cc2e17898d13cde4576a21488e8.jpg  37846640_1520-1500cMilanLiraDaBraccio1500-Copy.thumb.jpg.3f80c08978557c4c96e5d6c987cbfc4f.jpg

     1557                             1557                                  1535c Italian          1520c Tenor Lyre D’Braccio

 

 

 

 

Moving into the 1500s, we see a further significant change. We start to see more ensembles arranged not for a diversity of instrument types, but for diversity of sizes of related instrument types.

1558049853_1560viol-consort_PaoloVeronese_Italian_WeddingCana_1560_focusonTenor.jpg.7aadfe9cf3fb90c13a07d52c9c4bd05b.jpg

          Veronese  1560c  Venice

 

 

 This final sets the stage for the emergence of the violin, amid a bestiary of exploratory bowed string designs.   Sometime in 1500s the violin, viola, and cello came into a world of diverse and exploratory stringed instruments.   And, it would be a mistake to believe this old diverse world of instruments disappear as soon as the violin appeared.  Far from it. 

In deed, in some regions the archaic forms continued to be made for 2 centuries.  Here for example, we have an old Germanic shaped viola with a flat back.  But rather than dating from 1520 or 1540, this was made by Maussiel in Nuremberg around 1731.

29941587_03428_MaussielViolaBody_007-Copy.jpg.6b32920d2c89fb2fb933070c17e61c0c.jpg   613342708_03428_MaussielViolaBody_010-Copy.jpg.7a46c282e4f9eb1b97cac6e3776be437.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

We don’t know when Andrea Amati started making his violin family of instruments, but in all likelihood it was sometime after 1520 and before 1580.  We also know that by 1619 the success of the violin was broad enough and powerful enough that Preatorius shows different sizes geige as actual violins.  Where, previously in 1529, Agricola shows the German geige as a very different sort of archaic instrument.

 

 

In away, the idea that Andrea Amati’s violin family pushed out the German geige family in the short time from 1580 to 1619 seems suspiciously quick.  We might reasonably suspect that this replacement was fueled by some broader tide of change that was already underway.   My suspicion is that move toward ensembles with a range of sizes from bass to descant was the driving force for change.  And, I suspect that this change was already in motion before Andrea Amati made his contribution. 

 

 

In this regard, bass instruments are interesting in the sense that they partial defy family classification.   Even in a modern orchestra today, you will find an array of archaic features, including flat backs and viol shaped sides.  Just as almost any flavor of bass can today be co-opted into the violin family.  In earlier times, almost any flavor of bass could help pave the way for the new violin family.

157506548_1510cangelconcert_1510-15_Ferrara_CLR_FULL_deta.jpg.471ed9c8bd74cf01b9c6419f98ccd46d.jpg

1510c an ensemble of diverse instruments in descant, tenor, and bass ranges.

One thing that distinguishes violins from most of the archaic bowed strings is that the neck and fingerboard run at an angle to the body and travel over the body without touching it. 

 

 

In some of the first instruments showing an angled neck, the top plate is nevertheless still flat.  In such a case, the motive is not clearance for an arched top shape.  However, this arrangement does allow a higher bridge and increased break angle for the strings.

We can see this in the Grunewald example from earlier.

120679226_15139-gruenewald-gr.jpg.1b6e6e4f7596ca91f219a26e3b74cbcd.jpg

1513c

 

 

Obviously, when there is arching of the top plate, this further forces running the neck and fingerboard at an angle to the body.

If we look at top arching in a selection of early bass strings, we see a very minimal approach to the top arching, and generally simply flat back plates.

572539188_1500sBassZanettone03376_ZanettoViolaDaGambaBodyView_012.thumb.jpg.5f4449efb055ac94ef4cdc01e262b8d5.jpg      1402098758_1550cGMariavielle6581e714b74564ee143814df0e9d9fed-Copy.thumb.jpg.5f26b67f1128f03db0e1348d6e0a6c05.jpg       811651936_1610bassPaoloMagginiDelmas(8).thumb.jpg.5c4eb5112c7b9d17788047234c9c7d45.jpg    1597689037_1598violtenor551RoseLondonAshmoleanWA_1939_33-c-L.thumb.jpg.886680e35d5b8d0f73aac323e5c7b012.jpg

 1500s ‘Zanetto’             1550c G Maria   1610 Maggini                  1598  Rose

 

In a similar way, the very well established Lira D’Braccio provided a ready foundation for the first violas.  Even before Andrea Amati’s work, some Lira D’Braccios were just small steps away from being violas.

37846640_1520-1500cMilanLiraDaBraccio1500-Copy.thumb.jpg.3f80c08978557c4c96e5d6c987cbfc4f.jpg   217008468_1525cGiovanniMariaLira1056136.jpg.62304218c59706fe395c094a5169f772.jpg    2023921255_04203_LinarolLiraDaBraccio_001-Copy.thumb.jpg.4cf28532f9df799304f2fc03706678a6.jpg    825863006_1515LiraDaBraccio_anon_1515_Italy_deta.jpg.b593ae38bf06bd84d882a2ac00801dd3.jpg

1520c Milan                                1525c  Maria      1563 Linarol            1515

 

Regardless of exactly how they arose, we also have the ‘Zanetto’ instruments from Brescia.  Some of these are basically violin family tenor violas which appear to be precursors to Andrea Amati’s work.   Especially if we go into the detail choices of the geometry proportions in these ‘Zanetto’ violas and in Andrea Amati’s violin family work, it’s clear that both are closely related.  And, it’s plain that Andrea Amati’s geometry choices are more complex and sophisticated variations on the same themes as the Zanetto geometry.

183332284_1550cZanettoviola.jpg.48215a55d37d06dfb4d5ccea9d55dede.jpg      861588444_1580cviolaZanetto(11).jpg.ac7c65bec0ec8b2efb4cd3d718c58e42.jpg

867343185_1580cviolaZanetto(18).jpg.a98ba1b90fb593ea3872503c562be1a1.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, David Beard said:

part 2

From these early Medieval roots, somewhat more familiar instruments developed out of the cytharas.

330502873_1260Cantigas_1260_Spain_Guitarra_two_Moresque-5str-C-holes_BEST_clr-deta.jpg.0287f2e5057a7c0f001fdcfe3d9bd8c1.jpg

Spain c1260: A cythara variant with simplified neck and more familiar body to neck proportions.

Here, we still see a *constructed body, *flat soundboard top, *relatively few single course strings, a plectrum for playing.

 

But, Medieval stringed instruments developed from a couple of further roots besides the Kithara/Cythara line of development. 

We also see solid carved body instruments, in contrast to the constructed body types derived from the Cythara.  This are sometimes called Citole, and may have heritage back to the ancient ‘long necked lutes’ the appear in ancient Egypt and perhaps even early.   Such instruments have a carved solid body, integrally connected to the neck, but then a separately attached sounding board, or perhaps a skin.  The earliest long necked lutes sometimes had a turtle shell or skull body, with a pole neck running through all.

1107582803__1425BCTombpainting-JusttheLongNeckedLute.jpg.606d41e0aad6fc768e5f8c156180d56e.jpg           1664131732_frontlength3qfullnottop.thumb.jpg.c20d7a92e785a90b92f72f5e4f687c0a.jpg

~1425 B.C.  Egyptian 'long necked lute'         ~ 400 A.D.  Coptic Lute

 

In Medieval times, a hybrid of this solid body concept with the cythara gave the line of 'citole' type string instruments.

citole_from_Robert_de_Lisle_psalter.jpg.a77caf52890c26f15ac300b3587a35ce.jpg         1670915572_1320cEnglishCitoleatAshmolean(16).thumb.jpg.b555b8b51911d6b68026f722119617bc.jpg

An English 'Citole' c1310                                 A later English 'Citole' with violin influence

Notice these citoles display their lyre heritage with ornate shoulders, among other features.   Like bowing, this solid body idea eventual gets tried with virtually every kind of stringed instrument.

Other distinct variants of the cythara developed, but the naming gets confused.

One early Medieval variant introduced double stringing.  These can rather easily be distinguished in paintings as these double strung instrument required more pegs.  The early versions of these used long curling pegheads to accommodate the many strings.   These are the earliest 'gitterns'.

Another variant used a smaller number of single courses, and used either a solid body or a heavily constructed body with the top 'set in'.  These used a shorter curled back peghead.  These are the earliest 'citterns'.   This term particularly gets problematic later though.  I very wide range of experimental bowed and plucked instrument types in the late Medieval and Renaissance times seem to have developed off this starting point.  But eventually the term is only applied to solid skinny bodied plucked instruments.  And, in this later incarnation, citterns were often double strung.

We also see a 'bean' or 'peanut' shaped version of the cythara emerge, which sometimes was plucked but sometimes was bowed.  These, particularly the bowed version, might be called the earliest 'vielles'.

263054085_1260Cantigas_1260_SpainLatina_and_Moresque_BEST_clr-deta.jpg.3fba4000196ca42e51ddda891143b586.jpg           30724596_1280cVielles_and_Citole_Manuscript_T_(El_Escorial_Biblioteca_del_Real_Monasterio_MS._T._I._1)_fol._5r_detail.jpg.8bda9d7f152c37776375e8d5c601ae98.jpg 

  Spain c1260, the early Cittern and Gittern        Spain c1280, the early Vielle and Cittern

 

Besides these specifically European developments from the Cythara, we also see some more or less direct medieval imports of instruments that most likely developed in the middle east.

We see this early on with early lute like instruments and rebecs:

39132653_1260cIberianRebabsCantigasRebabs.thumb.jpg.8effcd512590e2f80f8e58f14c127390.jpg

Spain c1260

But also, we see the quintessential Renaissance lute as a very direct import, following after the very influential innovations and manual by Safi Al-Din around 1250.

75461835_1250cADSafi_al-Din_lute.thumb.png.37296e7db1b13e7b12d57ee837daa932.png

Safi Al-Din c1250

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The later English Citole has a replacement top to make it look more like a violin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A simplified short history of the violin:

 

Somewhere around 1540 to 1560, Andrea Amati started making a range of different sizes of violin family instruments as variations of the already existing Brescian violas (and perhaps basses/cellos).   He worked using techniques of design and working already substantially exampled in some makers like Giovanni Maria.

 

The work of this patriarch led to generations of makers in his and a handful of other families working in close community and continually evolving their tradition of design choices for about 200 years.  Mostly, these makers all lived and worked on one small square in the town of Cremona.  This continual development of the instrument led to a peak in making in Cremona running from about 1700 to about 1750.

 

The cultural and economics of the world around them eventually changed enough to disrupt this most successful period of Cremona making. What had evolved culturally as a competition for ultimate quality, now devolved as an economically driven competition for sales and efficient production.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

31 minutes ago, David Beard said:

A simplified short history of the violin:

 

Somewhere around 1540 to 1560, Andrea Amati started making a range of different sizes of violin family instruments as variations of the already existing Brescian violas (and perhaps basses/cellos).   He worked using techniques of design and working already substantially exampled in some makers like Giovanni Maria.

 

The work of this patriarch led to generations of makers in his and a handful of other families working in close community and continually evolving their tradition of design choices for about 200 years.  Mostly, these makers all lived and worked on one small square in the town of Cremona.  This continual development of the instrument led to a peak in making in Cremona running from about 1700 to about 1750.

 

The cultural and economics of the world around them eventually changed enough to disrupt this most successful period of Cremona making. What had evolved culturally as a competition for ultimate quality, now devolved as an economically driven competition for sales and efficient production.  

This whole idea of Cremonese superiority wasn't present in the 18th century, it was only after conversion to modern dimensions that the superiority of Cremonese design showed up in the 1800s, in the 18th century Stainer was considered the best maker, Stradivari wasn't even that well known.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, David Beard said:

What had evolved culturally as a competition for ultimate quality, now devolved as an economically driven competition for sales and efficient production.  

Same applies for the development of TV, dish washers, cars and other cultural important devices.B)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...