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Origin of the violin.
The invention of stringed instruments is certainly of great antiquity, but exact information with regard to the origin of the violin has not come down to us. Although stringed instruments were in use before Christian times, we know that these had nothing in common with the violin, or that at any rate the bow was not then known. It is therefore presumed that its invention and use in connection with stringed instruments occurred in the first century of the Christian era.
Many are, notwithstanding, of the opinion that the use of the bow was known in pre-Christian times, — in India and in Persia. Pictures of Indian and Persian bowed instruments exist, but the period when they were employed is not exactly known. See Fig. a and b of page 2.
The oldest violins
known are those of the Tyrolese Lute maker Gaspard Duiffopruggar (Tieffenbrucker), made in the 16th century. A few of these instruments remain to the present day, and are noticeable on account of their fine, clear tone, as well as for the neatness and elegance of their workmanship.
Schroeder, Catechism of Violin playing. r