Not sure what makes violins so unique? Start here to discover the weirdest, funniest, and most interesting facts about this beloved instrument.
With its easily recognizable shape, the violin has long been a popular musical instrument. But did you know that some violins can fetch millions of dollars? Or that the first known violin was built in 1555? Read on to learn 10 of the strangest and most intriguing facts about this beloved instrument.
Violins Can Be Traced Back To The 9th Century
While the modern design of the violin wasn't solidified until the early 16th century, instruments similar to the violin were being used over 1,000 years prior dating back to 9th century medieval Europe.
These early instruments, called fiddles and Rebecs, were most likely inspired by lute and c ney designs from Arabian countries. Though not always directly related in terms of lineage, these structures and techniques gave rise to what eventually became the modern day violin.
A Violin Is Constructed Of Up To 70 Different Pieces
Yes, you heard that right. A violin can actually be constructed from up to 70 different tiny pieces and takes countless hours to assemble.
Each component has a specific purpose and is chosen for its particular shape, material strength, and size, with these varying pieces merging together to create an incredibly versatile sound full of sound tones and rich resonance that is only possible with the instrument's unique construction.
The Strings On A Violin Are Made From Sheep Or Cow Intestines
It's true! The strings of a violin are not made from metal or plastic, but rather from the dried intestines of animals such as cows and sheep.
This material provides the strings with thickness, durability, and elasticity to ensure they vibrate correctly in order to provide the warm and captivating sound unique to violins.
The Bridge Holding The Strings Has No Nails Or Glue And Needs To Be Perfectly Balanced For The Instrument To Play Properly
The bridge of a violin is held in place on the instrument without any nails or glue, but rather by relying on its perfect balance. The bridge needs to be positioned perfectly so that it can divide the vibrating strings evenly to each side. This creates the desired tone and sound from the strings when played.
Some Of The World’s Most Expensive Violins Have Sold For More Than $15 Million!
Violins are sometimes called “Strads” in reference to Antonio Stradivari, an Italian master craftsman from the 17th and 18th centuries who produced some of the most expensive instruments in history.
Many of his violins sold at auction have fetched millions of dollars. In 2011, a 1697 Stradivarius violin sold for a world-record $15.9 million!
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