Showing posts with label Lira. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lira. Show all posts

Aug 28, 2012

Nero Didn't Fiddle

The violin (fiddle) was invented a thousand years after the Great Fire of Rome. It belongs to a family of stringed instruments, which includes the cello and viola. Among these three, it is the highest-pitched and smallest.

Renowned violin maker Andrea Amati constructed the very first violin sometime in 1555. Before that, there was a violin-like instrument called violetta, which only had three strings instead of the usual four strings that are found in modern-day violins.

Many archive documents relate that from about 1585 Brescia, Italy was the cradle of a magnificent school of string players and makers, all called with the title of 'maestro' of all the different sort of multi-string instruments of the Renaissance: viola da gamba, violone, lyra, lyrone, violetta, and viola da brazzo.

A Persian geographer, Ibn Khurradadhbih of the 9th century was the first to cite the bowed Byzantine lira, which is held upright as a typical instrument of the Byzantines and equivalent to the rabāb used in the Islamic Empires of that time. The Byzantine lira spread through Europe westward and in the 11th and 12th centuries European writers use the terms fiddle and lira interchangeably when referring to bowed instruments.

The rabāb was introduced to the Western Europe and both bowed instruments spread widely throughout Europe giving birth to various European bowed instruments.