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National Violin Day

National Violin Day celebrates the violin, a fretless, stringed musical instrument that is played by being bowed. One of the most popular instruments in the world, the violin takes its name from the Medieval Latin word vitula, which means "stringed instrument." Another name for the violin is the fiddle. About 70 pieces of wood—often spruce or maple—are used to build a violin. About 150 to 200 horse tail hairs, usually from male horses, are used in constructing its bow. Other instruments in the violin family are the viola, cello, and double bass.

Early violins date to about 1530 and were born from the influence of a few bowed instruments: the rebec, medieval fiddle, and lira da braccio. The first modern violin was created by Andrea Amati and dates to 1555. Early violins were made by Amati, Giuseppe Guarneri, Antonio Stradivari, Gasparo da Salò, and Giovanni Paolo Maggini. The first violins were used for popular and dance music and became the primary stringed instrument in chamber music in the seventeenth century. Today the violin is found in classical, bluegrass, folk, country, jazz, and rock, among other musical genres. Violins and the music they create are celebrated today with National Violin Day!

How to Observe National Violin Day

Celebrate by listening to music that features a violin! Listen to significant recordings or attend a public event such as a symphonic orchestra performance, violin concerto, or bluegrass show. Pick up your violin and play, or buy a violin and sign up for lessons. Learn about some of the most famous violinists ever and some of the rarest violins. Watch a film that highlights the violin, such as The Red Violin, The Devil's Violinist, and The Soloist.

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