Uppalapu Srinivas was an Indian mandolin player in Carnatic classical music and composer. He was regarded as the Mozart of classical Indian music, he was awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India. He was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 2009 given by Sangeet Natak Akademi, the National Academy of Music, Dance & Drama, in India. Srinivas was born 28 February 1969, in Palakollu in Andhra Pradesh. At the age of five, he picked up his father U. Satyanarayana's mandolin, after he heard it being played at a concert he attended with his father. Upon realizing the talent of his son, his father, who had studied classical music, bought him a new mandolin, started teaching him. Guitarist Vasu Rao, introduced seven-year-old Srinivas to western music in 1976. Soon, Satyanarayana's guru, Rudraraju Subbaraju, who had taught Srinivas' father and Vasu Rao, recognized the astounding potential in the child Srinivas and started teaching him. Since Rudraraju Subbaraju did not know how to play the mandolin, he would just sing pieces from the Carnatic classical repertoire, U.
Srinivas, all of six, would play them on the mandolin, thus developing a phenomenal style of playing his own, astonishingly, on an instrument that had never been played in the rigorous and difficult Carnatic style before. Soon, the family moved to the mecca of Carnatic music, where most Carnatic musicians live; when Srinivas gave his first performance it led to him being compared to the world's greatest prodigies: "Some of you have heard or read about exceptionally gifted children, our own Mandolin Srinivas, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Sir Isaac Newton, Madam Curie, the list is endless."At a young age he was internationally viewed as the successor to Pandit Ravi Shankar. He made his debut public Carnatic concert performance in 1978 during the Thyagaraja Aradhana festival at Gudivada in Andhra Pradesh. Thereafter, at age eleven, in 1981, he gave his first public concert in Chennai at the Indian Fine Arts Society during the December Music Season, never looked back; the skeptics were convinced and soon mesmerized, connoisseurs fell in love with him, patrons of the arts could not have enough of him.
At age eleven, a star was born, both revered and adored. He started off playing the acoustic mandolin, but he switched to the electric mandolin as he felt it allowed the playing of lengthy, sustained notes - the quintessential component in classical Indian music - in addition to making them audible. George Harrison's favorite piece of Indian music was Mandolin Ecstasy. "It was, like, my dad's favourite album of all time," says Harrison. "U Srinivas is still making music. He plays an electric five-string mandolin, he's fantastic...." Over his career, he toured across the world, collaborated with John McLaughlin, Michael Nyman, Michael Brook. He was the first musician to use the electric mandolin in Carnatic music: he modified the electric western instrument, using five single strings instead of the traditional four doubled strings to suit the Carnatic pitch, raga system, gamakas, or nuanced oscillations. After initial reluctance, he found wide acceptance and critical acclaim in the following decades.
Starting in 1982, he performed during the December season of the prestigious Madras Music Academy, performing there every year except in 2002 - December 23 of each year was a reserved slot for U. Srinivas - the highest accolade. Srinivas stormed the world music scene at age thirteen at the Berlin Jazz Festival. Booked to play a half-hour concert after Miles Davis, Srinivas so enthralled the audience in Berlin that he won a standing ovation, had to play for another hour. "He's got it in him. He's fantastic," raved the legendary Don Cherry at the time. Guitarist John McLaughlin first heard a tape of this concert by the thirteen-year-old prodigy, was left impressed, he played at the Olympic Arts Festival, Barcelona in 1992 and in 1995 recorded a successful fusion album with Michael Brook. When John McLaughlin revived his group Shakti, renamed it Remember Shakti, in 1997, he asked Srinivas to join the group and tour the world with it, along with other celebrated Indian musicians Zakir Hussain, Shankar Mahadevan, V. Selvaganesh.
Srinivas, of course, was the undisputed superstar of the group. Srinivas toured extensively across the world, in his own right, as a prodigy and leading star from the classical Indian music firmament, receiving thunderous applause and appreciation wherever he performed - he played in Australia, Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, extensively and across the United States and Canada. Soon, the mandolin became synonymous with Srinivas and he started being called Mandolin Srinivas. Thus, Srinivas stands as a trailblazer and pioneer, who introduced and adapted an unlikely western instrument, the mandolin, at age six, made it suitable for performing in the rigorous Carnatic style of music, in the same manner that the violin had been introduced into Carnatic classical music some two hundred years before, his gifted younger brother, U. Rajesh, has studied with Srinivas for some twenty-seven years, is an accomplished mandolin player, who has accompanied him at concerts over the last twenty years, he plays jazz and western music, played the mandolin in the John Mclaughlin album'Floating Point' which received a Grammy nomination in the Best Contemporary Jazz Album Category in 2008.
Srinivas and Rajesh have together composed music as well, besides Carnatic music, they have extensively worked on the fusion of Carnatic and western music. They played with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra, with French
A musician is a person who plays a musical instrument or is musically talented. Anyone who composes, conducts, or performs music is referred to as a musician. A musician who plays a musical instrument is known as an instrumentalist. Musicians can specialize in any musical style, some musicians play in a variety of different styles depending on cultures and background. Examples of a musician's possible skills include performing, singing, producing, composing and the orchestration of music. In the Middle Ages, instrumental musicians performed with soft ensembles inside and loud instruments outdoors. Many European musicians of this time catered to the Roman Catholic Church, they provided arrangements structured around Gregorian chant structure and Masses from church texts. Notable musicians Phillipe de Vitry Guillaume Dufay Guillaume de Machaut Hildegard of Bingen John Jenkins Beatritz de Dia Tyagaraja Purandara Dasa Bhimsen Joshi Bismillah Khan A. R. RAHMAN Renaissance musicians produced music that could be played during masses in churches and important chapels.
Vocal pieces were in Latin—the language of church texts of the time—and were Church-polyphonic or "made up of several simultaneous melodies." By the end of the 16th century, patronage split among many areas: the Catholic Church, Protestant churches, royal courts, wealthy amateurs, music printing—all provided income sources for composers. Notable musicians Giovanni Palestrina Giovanni Gabrieli Thomas Tallis Claudio Monteverdi Leonardo da Vinci The Baroque period introduced heavy use of counterpoint and basso continuo characteristics. Vocal and instrumental "color" became more important compared with the Renaissance style of music, emphasized much of the volume and pace of each piece. Notable musicians George Frideric Handel Johann Sebastian Bach Antonio Vivaldi Classical music was created by musicians who lived during a time of a rising middle class. Many middle-class inhabitants of France at the time lived under long-time absolute monarchies; because of this, much of the music was performed in environments that were more constrained compared with the flourishing times of the Renaissance and Baroque eras.
Notable musicians Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Joseph Haydn Ludwig Van Beethoven The foundation of Romantic period music coincides with what is called the age of revolutions, an age of upheavals in political, economic and military traditions. This age included the initial transformations of the Industrial Revolution. A revolutionary energy was at the core of Romanticism, which quite consciously set out to transform not only the theory and practice of poetry and art, but the common perception of the world; some major Romantic Period precepts survive, still affect modern culture. Notable musicians Ludwig van Beethoven Frédéric Chopin Franz Schubert Niccolò Paganini Franz Liszt Charles-Valentin Alkan Richard Wagner Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky Johannes Brahms Johann Strauss II The world transitioned from 19th-century Romanticism to 20th century Modernism, bringing major musical changes. In 20th-century music and musicians rejected the emotion-dominated Romantic period, strove to represent the world the way they perceived it.
Musicians wrote to be"... objective. While past eras concentrated on spirituality, this new period placed emphasis on physicality and things that were concrete."The advent of audio recording and mass media in the 20th century caused a boom of all kinds of music—pop, dance, folk and all forms of classical music. Musicians can experience a number of health problems related to the practice and performance of music; these can include tinnitus and noise-induced hearing loss, which occurs and over a long period of time, most musicians do not seek help until they start to experience secondary symptoms such as tinnitus, distortion of sounds and hyperacusis. In addition, musicians are at increased risk for both musculoskeletal and vocal health problems when producing high sound levels on musical instruments. Increased biomechanical demands, whether at the hands, embouchure, or vocal cords, elevates the risks for occupational health problems like tendonitis, carpal tunnel, rupture of facial muscles, vocal cord malfunction.
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Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman
Umayalpuram Kasiviswanatha Sivaraman is a Carnatic mridanga vidwan. He was awarded the Madras Music Academy's Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 2001, he is the son of Sri P. Kasiviswanatha Srimati Kamalambal, his father encouraged his musical pursuits. He learned the art of the carnatic mridangam from four illustrious masters of the art - Sri Arupathi Natesa Iyer, Sri Tanjavoor Vaidyanatha Iyer, Sri Palghat Mani Iyer & Sri Kumbakonam Rangu Iyengar; the pursuit of this art under the gurukula system for well over fifteen years did not deter him to qualify for law, he graduated from The University of Madras with a B. A. & B. L.. He has accompanied several top ranking Carnatic and Hindustani musicians in their concerts, such as Sri Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Sri Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, Sri Musiri Subramania Iyer, Sri Palladam Sanjeeva Rao, Sri Mysore Chowdiah, Sri Rajamanickam Pillai, Sri Papa Venkataramiah, Sri Dwaram Venkataswami Naidu, Sri Mudikondan Venkatarama Iyer, Sri G. N. Balasubramaniam, Sri Madurai Mani Iyer, Sri Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer, Sri Alathur Brothers, Dr Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Dr M. Balamuralikrishna, Sri Palghat K.
V Narayanaswamy, Sri Nedunuri Krishnamurthi, Sri Voleti Venkateswarulu, Sri S. Balachander, Sri T. R. Mahalingam, etc, he has to his credit several jugalbandhi concerts with the top artistes of Hindustani music like Pt. Ravishankar, Sri Hariprasad Chaurasia, Pt. Ram Narain and top tabla artistes like Pt. Kishen Maharaj, Pt. Samta Prasad, Ustad Allah Rakha, Mr. Zakhir Hussain and others, he continues training more disciples. He was conferred the award ‘Padmashri’ by the Government of India in 1988, he received Sangeet Natak Akademi award for mrudangam for the year 1992. He was conferred Kalaimamani, awarded by the Iyal Isai Nataka Mandram of Tamilnadu, he had been appointed ‘State Artiste’ of the Government of Tamil Nadu from 1981 for a period of six years. Sri Sankaracharya Swamigal has appointed Sri Sivaraman as ‘Asthana Vidwan’ of Shri Kanchi Sankara Mutt. Shri Sankaracharya Swamigal of Shri Sharada Peetam Sringeri has bestowed on Sivaraman the title of Mrudanga Kalanidhi and has appointed him as ‘Asthana Vidwan’ of Shri Sarada Peetam, Sringeri.
His titles include Laya Jyothi, Laya Gnana Bhaskara, Sangeetha Kala Sikhamani, Mrudanga Nadamani, Mrudanga Chakravarthi, Nada Sudharnava, Tal Vilas, Laya Gnana Tilaka, etc. He was awarded the Padma Vibhushan, India's second highest civilian honor, on the occasion of the country's 61st Republic Day observance on 26 January 2010 and received an honorary doctorate from the University of Kerala in 2010. Erode Nagaraj Sangeetha Kalasikhamani from The Indian Fine Arts Society in 1984 Padma Shri from Government of India in 1988 Kalaimamani from Government of Tamil Nadu in 1992 Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1992 Sangeetha Kalanidhi from Madras Music Academy in 2001 Padma Bhushan from Government of India in 2003 Padma Vibhushan from Government of India in 2010 Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, 2011 Umayalapuram K. Sivaraman's Homepage at the Wayback Machine Interview with Sri Sivaraman after the Sangeetha Kalanidhi award Carnatic corner - short biography
India known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country as well as the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia; the Indian subcontinent was home to the urban Indus Valley Civilisation of the 3rd millennium BCE. In the following millennium, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism began to be composed. Social stratification, based on caste, emerged in the first millennium BCE, Buddhism and Jainism arose. Early political consolidations took place under the Gupta empires. In the medieval era, Zoroastrianism and Islam arrived, Sikhism emerged, all adding to the region's diverse culture.
Much of the north fell to the Delhi Sultanate. The economy expanded in the 17th century in the Mughal Empire. In the mid-18th century, the subcontinent came under British East India Company rule, in the mid-19th under British Crown rule. A nationalist movement emerged in the late 19th century, which under Mahatma Gandhi, was noted for nonviolent resistance and led to India's independence in 1947. In 2017, the Indian economy was the world's sixth largest by nominal GDP and third largest by purchasing power parity. Following market-based economic reforms in 1991, India became one of the fastest-growing major economies and is considered a newly industrialised country. However, it continues to face the challenges of poverty, corruption and inadequate public healthcare. A nuclear weapons state and regional power, it has the second largest standing army in the world and ranks fifth in military expenditure among nations. India is a federal republic governed under a parliamentary system and consists of 29 states and 7 union territories.
A pluralistic and multi-ethnic society, it is home to a diversity of wildlife in a variety of protected habitats. The name India is derived from Indus, which originates from the Old Persian word Hindush, equivalent to the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historical local appellation for the Indus River; the ancient Greeks referred to the Indians as Indoi, which translates as "The people of the Indus". The geographical term Bharat, recognised by the Constitution of India as an official name for the country, is used by many Indian languages in its variations, it is a modernisation of the historical name Bharatavarsha, which traditionally referred to the Indian subcontinent and gained increasing currency from the mid-19th century as a native name for India. Hindustan is a Middle Persian name for India, it was introduced into India by the Mughals and used since then. Its meaning varied, referring to a region that encompassed northern India and Pakistan or India in its entirety; the name may refer to either the northern part of India or the entire country.
The earliest known human remains in South Asia date to about 30,000 years ago. Nearly contemporaneous human rock art sites have been found in many parts of the Indian subcontinent, including at the Bhimbetka rock shelters in Madhya Pradesh. After 6500 BCE, evidence for domestication of food crops and animals, construction of permanent structures, storage of agricultural surplus, appeared in Mehrgarh and other sites in what is now Balochistan; these developed into the Indus Valley Civilisation, the first urban culture in South Asia, which flourished during 2500–1900 BCE in what is now Pakistan and western India. Centred around cities such as Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Kalibangan, relying on varied forms of subsistence, the civilization engaged robustly in crafts production and wide-ranging trade. During the period 2000–500 BCE, many regions of the subcontinent transitioned from the Chalcolithic cultures to the Iron Age ones; the Vedas, the oldest scriptures associated with Hinduism, were composed during this period, historians have analysed these to posit a Vedic culture in the Punjab region and the upper Gangetic Plain.
Most historians consider this period to have encompassed several waves of Indo-Aryan migration into the subcontinent from the north-west. The caste system, which created a hierarchy of priests and free peasants, but which excluded indigenous peoples by labeling their occupations impure, arose during this period. On the Deccan Plateau, archaeological evidence from this period suggests the existence of a chiefdom stage of political organisation. In South India, a progression to sedentary life is indicated by the large number of megalithic monuments dating from this period, as well as by nearby traces of agriculture, irrigation tanks, craft traditions. In the late Vedic period, around the 6th century BCE, the small states and chiefdoms of the Ganges Plain and the north-western regions had consolidated into 16 major oligarchies and monarchies that were known as the mahajanapadas; the emerging urbanisation gave rise to non-Vedic religious movements, two of which became independent religions. Jainism came into prominence during the life of Mahavira.
Buddhism, based on the teachings of Gautama Buddha, attracted followers from all social classes excepting the middle
The flute is a family of musical instruments in the woodwind group. Unlike woodwind instruments with reeds, a flute is an aerophone or reedless wind instrument that produces its sound from the flow of air across an opening. According to the instrument classification of Hornbostel–Sachs, flutes are categorized as edge-blown aerophones. A musician who plays the flute can be referred to as a flute player, flutist or, less fluter or flutenist. Flutes are the earliest extant musical instruments, as paleolithic instruments with hand-bored holes have been found. A number of flutes dating to about 43,000 to 35,000 years ago have been found in the Swabian Jura region of present-day Germany; these flutes demonstrate that a developed musical tradition existed from the earliest period of modern human presence in Europe. The word flute first entered the English language during the Middle English period, as floute, or else flowte, flote from Old French flaute and from Old Provençal flaüt, or else from Old French fleüte, flaüte, flahute via Middle High German floite or Dutch fluit.
The English verb flout has the same linguistic root, the modern Dutch verb fluiten still shares the two meanings. Attempts to trace the word back to the Latin flare have been pronounced "phonologically impossible" or "inadmissable"; the first known use of the word flute was in the 14th century. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this was in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Hous of Fame, c.1380. Today, a musician who plays any instrument in the flute family can be called a flutist, or flautist, or a flute player. Flutist dates back to at least 1603, the earliest quotation cited by the Oxford English Dictionary. Flautist was used in 1860 by Nathaniel Hawthorne in The Marble Faun, after being adopted during the 18th century from Italy, like many musical terms in England since the Italian Renaissance. Other English terms, now obsolete, are fluter and flutenist; the oldest flute discovered may be a fragment of the femur of a juvenile cave bear, with two to four holes, found at Divje Babe in Slovenia and dated to about 43,000 years ago.
However, this has been disputed. In 2008 another flute dated back to at least 35,000 years ago was discovered in Hohle Fels cave near Ulm, Germany; the five-holed flute is made from a vulture wing bone. The researchers involved in the discovery published their findings in the journal Nature, in August 2009; the discovery was the oldest confirmed find of any musical instrument in history, until a redating of flutes found in Geißenklösterle cave revealed them to be older with an age of 42,000 to 43,000 years. The flute, one of several found, was found in the Hohle Fels cavern next to the Venus of Hohle Fels and a short distance from the oldest known human carving. On announcing the discovery, scientists suggested that the "finds demonstrate the presence of a well-established musical tradition at the time when modern humans colonized Europe". Scientists have suggested that the discovery of the flute may help to explain "the probable behavioural and cognitive gulf between" Neanderthals and early modern human.
A three-holed flute, 18.7 cm long, made from a mammoth tusk was discovered in 2004, two flutes made from swan bones excavated a decade earlier are among the oldest known musical instruments. A playable 9,000-year-old Gudi was excavated from a tomb in Jiahu along with 29 defunct twins, made from the wing bones of red-crowned cranes with five to eight holes each, in the Central Chinese province of Henan; the earliest extant Chinese transverse flute is a chi flute discovered in the Tomb of Marquis Yi of Zeng at the Suizhou site, Hubei province, China. It dates from 433 BC, of the Zhou Dynasty, it is fashioned of lacquered bamboo with closed ends and has five stops that are at the flute's side instead of the top. Chi flutes are mentioned in Shi Jing and edited by Confucius, according to tradition; the earliest written reference to a flute is from a Sumerian-language cuneiform tablet dated to c. 2600–2700 BCE. Flutes are mentioned in a translated tablet of the Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem whose development spanned the period of 2100–600 BCE.
Additionally, a set of cuneiform tablets knows as the "musical texts" provide precise tuning instructions for seven scale of a stringed instrument. One of those scales is named embūbum, an Akkadian word for "flute"; the Bible, in Genesis 4:21, cites Jubal as being the "father of all those who play the ugab and the kinnor". The former Hebrew term is believed by some to refer to some wind instrument, or wind instruments in general, the latter to a stringed instrument, or stringed instruments in general; as such, Jubal is regarded in the Judeo-Christian tradition as the inventor of the flute. Elsewhere in the Bible, the flute is referred to as "chalil", in particular in 1 Samuel 10:5, 1 Kings 1:40, Isaiah 5:12 and 30:29, Jeremiah 48:36. Archeological digs in the Holy Land have discovered flutes from both the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, the latter era "witness the creation of the Israelite kingdom and its separation into the two kingdoms of Israel and Judea."Some early flutes were made out of tibias.
T. N. Krishnan
Trippunithura Narayanaiyer Krishnan is a Carnatic music violinist. He was awarded the Madras Music Academy's Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1980, he is grouped with Lalgudi Jayaraman and M. S. Gopalakrishnan as part of the violin-trinity of Carnatic Music. Krishnan was born in Kerala to A. Narayana Iyer and Ammini Ammal, he learned music from his father and was mentored by Alleppy K. Parthasarathy a great patron of Music and sishya of Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar and joined Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, he was a Professor of Music at a music college in Chennai and he was Dean of the School of Music and Fine Arts at the University of Delhi. TN Krishnan is married to Kamala Krishnan and has two children, Viji Krishnan Natarajan, Sriram Krishnan. Both Viji Krishnan Natarajan and Sriram Krishnan are well-known violinists and follow the footsteps of their father. T N Krishnan's sister N. Rajam is a famous violin player in Hindusthani tradition. TN Krishnan, a child prodigy, made his debut concert at the age of eight.
At a young age he accompanied legends like Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, Musiri Subramania Iyer, Alathur Brothers, M D Ramanathan and Maharajapuram Viswanatha Iyer. Krishnan first arrived in Madras in 1942. Sri Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer installed him in the care of Sri R. Aiyadurai, a prominent industrialist and connoisseur of Carnatic Music. Mr. Aiyadurai and his wife Smt. Thangam Aiyadurai welcomed the young Krishnan in to their home as their own; the Krishnan family and the Aiyadurai family share close ties till date. It has been said that his performance gives the importance he gave to expressional restraint and He scans the ragas with an eye on beauteous light and shade. In the present generation of musicians, he is one of the few instrumentalists who can provide this experience to listeners and create in their minds nostalgic memories of a bygone era, he travels extensively on musical tours all over the world. In the midst of his concert commitments Krishnan has carried on his father's tradition of teaching music to a number of students, both in the traditional parampara setting and more formal academic environments.
Among his many talented students, some are, his daughter Viji Krishnan Natarajan, his son Sriram Krishnan, Charumathi Raghuraman etc. Krishnan was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1974 and became a Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship of the academy in 2006, he received the Sangeetha Kalanidhi in 1980. Krishnan was awarded the Padma Shri in 1973 and the Padma Bhushan in 1992 by the Government of India, he received the Sangeetha Kalasikhamani award for the year 1999 given by The Indian Fine arts Society, Chennai. Maestros Choice Legendary Solo Classical instrumental Violin A Duet On Strings Indian Classical Violin Maestro A conversation with Violin Maestro T. N. Krishnan T N Krishnan Official Blog T N Krishnan honoured
The violin, sometimes known as a fiddle, is a wooden string instrument in the violin family. Most violins have a hollow wooden body, it is highest-pitched instrument in the family in regular use. Smaller violin-type instruments exist, including the violino piccolo and the kit violin, but these are unused; the violin has four strings tuned in perfect fifths, is most played by drawing a bow across its strings, though it can be played by plucking the strings with the fingers and by striking the strings with the wooden side of the bow. Violins are important instruments in a wide variety of musical genres, they are most prominent in the Western classical tradition, both in ensembles and as solo instruments and in many varieties of folk music, including country music, bluegrass music and in jazz. Electric violins with solid bodies and piezoelectric pickups are used in some forms of rock music and jazz fusion, with the pickups plugged into instrument amplifiers and speakers to produce sound. Further, the violin has come to be played in many non-Western music cultures, including Indian music and Iranian music.
The name fiddle is used regardless of the type of music played on it. The violin was first known in 16th-century Italy, with some further modifications occurring in the 18th and 19th centuries to give the instrument a more powerful sound and projection. In Europe, it served as the basis for the development of other stringed instruments used in Western classical music, such as the viola. Violinists and collectors prize the fine historical instruments made by the Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati families from the 16th to the 18th century in Brescia and Cremona and by Jacob Stainer in Austria. According to their reputation, the quality of their sound has defied attempts to explain or equal it, though this belief is disputed. Great numbers of instruments have come from the hands of less famous makers, as well as still greater numbers of mass-produced commercial "trade violins" coming from cottage industries in places such as Saxony and Mirecourt. Many of these trade instruments were sold by Sears, Roebuck and Co. and other mass merchandisers.
The parts of a violin are made from different types of wood. Violins can be strung with Perlon or other synthetic, or steel strings. A person who makes or repairs violins is called a violinmaker. One who makes or repairs bows is called an bowmaker; the word "violin" was first used in English in the 1570s. The word "violin" comes from "Italian violino, diminutive of viola"; the term "viola" comes from the expression for "tenor violin" in 1797, from Italian viola, from Old Provençal viola, Medieval Latin vitula" as a term which means "stringed instrument," from Vitula, Roman goddess of joy... or from related Latin verb vitulari, "to exult, be joyful." The related term "Viola da gamba" means "bass viol" is from Italian "a viola for the leg"." A violin is the "modern form of the smaller, medieval viola da braccio." The violin is called a fiddle, either when used in a folk music context, or in Classical music scenes, as an informal nickname for the instrument. The word "fiddle" was first used in English in the late 14th century.
The word "fiddle" comes from "fedele, fidel, earlier fithele, from Old English fiðele "fiddle,", related to Old Norse fiðla, Middle Dutch vedele, Dutch vedel, Old High German fidula, German Fiedel, "a fiddle. As to the origin of the word "fiddle", the "...usual suggestion, based on resemblance in sound and sense, is that it is from Medieval Latin vitula." The earliest stringed instruments were plucked. Two-stringed, bowed instruments, played upright and strung and bowed with horsehair, may have originated in the nomadic equestrian cultures of Central Asia, in forms resembling the modern-day Mongolian Morin huur and the Kazakh Kobyz. Similar and variant types were disseminated along East-West trading routes from Asia into the Middle East, the Byzantine Empire; the direct ancestor of all European bowed instruments is the Arabic rebab, which developed into the Byzantine lyra by the 9th century and the European rebec. The first makers of violins borrowed from various developments of the Byzantine lyra.
These included the lira da braccio. The violin in its present form emerged in early 16th-century northern Italy; the earliest pictures of violins, albeit with three strings, are seen in northern Italy around 1530, at around the same time as the words "violino" and "vyollon" are seen in Italian and French documents. One of the earliest explicit descriptions of the instrument, including its tuning, is from the Epitome musical by Jambe de Fer, published in Lyon in 1556. By this time, the violin had begun to spread throughout Europe; the violin proved popular, both among street musicians and the nobility. One of these "noble" instruments, the Charles IX, is the oldest surviving violin; the finest Renaissance carved and decorated violin in the world is the Gasparo da Salò owned by Ferdinand II, Archduke of Austria and from 1841, by the Norwegian virtuoso Ole Bull, who used it for forty years and thousands of concerts, for i