Presentation of the


Here is some important information to know about the instruments you will discover during the European Crafts Days exhibition.

The violin

A little history …

Evolution of the instrument

Derived from several stringed musical instruments (the Arab rebec, the medieval fiddle and the lira da braccio), the first violin appeared in the sixteenth century, around 1520, inNorth Italy.

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, great Italian violin makers, the Amati family, and later Stradivari and Guarneri shaped the modern silhouette of the violin, creating a world-wide reputation for the Italian school in particular that of the city of Cremona.

Subsequently, in order to meet the needs of composers and musicians, the violin would be perfected. In the 19th century, violin makers will notably lengthen the neck, the soundpost and the diameter of the soundpost. These modifications allow musicians to play higher notes and produce louder sounds.

About 1820, the composer and violinist Louis Spohr invented the chin rest, an ebony piece, known as the chin rest. Since the instrument is easier to hold, this also allows for amplification of the register.

The more recent chapter of history is marked by thecreation of the electric violin in 1874 and its gradual use from the 1920s.



The sound of the violin comes from the friction between the bow and the strings which will be set into vibration. This will be transmitted by the bridge to the resonance box through the violin’s core (wooden cylinder). These vibrations will be transformed into sound that comes out through the instrument’s soundholes.

The violin’s range extends over 4 octaves.

Listen to the sound of the violin

VIOLON.mp3Le son du violon

Neighbor in the …

Clarinettes, flutes, violas

Holding the instrument

The violin is held in theleft hand, resting at the crook of the neck, below the chin. It should be parallel to the ground and at a 45° angle.



The violin consists of approximately 71 to 85 pieces of wood. The main species used are maple, spruce, ebony, boxwood. It has four strings which can be made of boyau, metal or synthetic.

As for the bow, it is carved from aBrazilian wood, permambuco and made of horsehaircrushes coated with rosin (powdered fir resin) for a better adhesion to the strings.

Violin, instructions for use
Violin, instructions for use
[Figures de Notes] Le violon, mode d’emploi

Some composers

Named vacarmini, the violin was originally a popular instrument that accompanied outdoor dances, while the viol, with its more delicate sound, was reserved for the royal court. But very quickly, the violin will impose itself on the other bowed instruments of the time.

In fact, in the eighteenth century, the violin is introduced into symphonic orchestras by Vivaldi (1678-1741), Tartini (1692-1770), Locatelli (1695-1764) or even Mozart (1756-1791).

The notoriety of the instrument was amplified by the composer Vivaldi with his work The Four Seasons (1723).

With the advent of the electric violin, the instrument has become versatile, it is found in various popular works such as in the music of the group LEJ.

The Four Seasons
The Four Seasons
Vivaldi - Les quatre saisons - Le printemps - Orchestre de Chambre de Marseille