|Hobgoblin Music - Fiddles|
Primitive bowed instruments of many types exist around the world and some are still widely used, but the modern Violin first appeared in Italy in the early 16th century. Well known early fiddle makers include Guarneri, Amati and Stradivari. The modern classical violin has a longer neck and fingerboard, and a greater neck angle than the original baroque design, in order to provide more volume. Many early violins were modified in the early 1800s to match the requirements of the new design, and can be identified by the grafting on of a new neck.
The top and back are carved out from solid wood. The top is spruce and the back, sides and neck are generally from sycamore. The bassbar is an integral and tonally important part of the top. The soundpost is fitted about 1/4" behind the treble foot of the bridge and connects the front and back of the instrument acoustically in a way that shapes the sound considerably. The most popular type of sycamore used in violins has a curl in the grain which shows up as a flame effect. The edges of the body are almost always inlaid with a band of purfling. Copies and originals of the Italian maker Maggini will have two separate purflings.
Italian Violins are very much sought after, French are probably next most popular. Most old violins available are German from the period 1860 to 1935. Many lesser instruments were made in Czechoslovakia, Romania and Hungary and more recently in China and Korea.
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