Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students
A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
September 3
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1695 - Pietro Locatelli, Italian composer and violinist, was born in Bergamo.

1806 - Beethoven wrote to his publisher that he had completed his three "Rasoumovsky" String Quartets (Op. 59).

1893Anthony Collins,  English conductor, violinist, and composer, was born.

1966 - The Hollies debuted on US pop charts with Bus Stop.

1967 - Woody Guthrie, singer/songwriter (This Land Is Your Land) died.

1969 - The Four Seasons' I've Got You Under My Skin was released.

1974 - American composer, performer and instrument inventor Harry Partch, age 73, in San Diego, Calif.;
Nicolo Amati, Italian violin craftsman, was born September 3, 1596 in Cremona.

By 1600, Cremona was the undisputed center of violin making in Europe. During the Sixteenth Century and into the Seventeenth, people in western Europe started thinking differently about violins.  They began to think that a violinist should not just play his part, he should be able to dazzle the crowds with his virtuosity and express deep emotions through his performance.  This changing role of the violinist required a new look at the violin itself.
Some lovely pictures of Historic Violins at Rene Garmy's web site.  Please click picture to visit.
Andrea Amati was the first recorded violin maker in the Amati family.  It seems that Andrea may have placed the violin into its current form.  Many of Andrea's violins entered the collection of Charles IX of France. 

Andrea had two sons who became violin makers, Antonio Amati (born c. 1540) and Girolamo Amati (1561 – 1630). They worked on the shape of the soundholes. They are also thought to have pioneered the modern alto format of viola (rather than the older tenor violas).

Girolamo Amati's son was Nicolo.   Nicolo's violins, although keeping much of the same shape as his father's instruments, were capable of producing a stronger sound.  He continued work on the f-holes.  And although most of Nicolo's instruments were small, he began to produce instruments with a wider body which we now refer to as "Grand Amati's."  It is said that Nicolo was the only member of his entire family, and in fact the only violin maker in all of Cremona,  to survive the famine and plague that devastated that city in the years around 1630. So, in a sense, Nicolo Amati single-handedly passed down the tradition of fine Cremonese violin making to subsequent generations.

Nicolo's instruments were highly prized, but his even greater contribution may have been his students.  Among them were Antonio Stradivari, Andrea Guarneri (the first of the Guarneri family of violin makers), and Bartolomeo Cristofori (the inventor of the pianoforte).
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The Picture to See The Back
A Nicolo Amati Label
Nicoḷ Amati
1596 - 1684
Woody Guthrie: Woody Guthrie Songbook - sheet music at Woody Guthrie: Woody Guthrie Songbook Performed by Woody Guthrie. For voice and guitar. Format: guitar/vocal songbook (no tablature). With vocal melody, lyrics that you can play your violin to, chord names and introductory text. Folk. 64 pages. 9x12 inches. Published by Hal Leonard. (HL.378817)
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Even when I was a boy I was curious about the violin.  I always perturbed my teacher with lots of questions, like how violins were made.  She always supplied me with good answers, and never got frustrated.  Can You Guess how many types of wood she told me were in a violin?  Extra credit if you name them.

Go to the Bottom of the Page to See the Answer.
Miss Ellen Shenton, soon to become Mrs. Ellen Buxton, told me that there usually at least 3 types of wood in a violin.
Ebony, Maple and Spruce.

Did You See the Color Clues?
Strings Magazine
A Great Resource for All String Players
Hamilton Stands KB1-FS Double Shelf Stand
A Strong, Sturdy Music Stand with Two Shelves to Keep Accessories Handy and Page Turning Easy.  I Love This Stand!
Farley's The Quarter Note Magnetic Pencil Holder
Magnetically Holds Your Pencil to Your Stand!