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A Journey through Aesthetic Realms

Cremona - The City of Violin Making, Part 1 of 2



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The violin is one of the most versatile musical instruments in the world. It can be played by anyone regardless of background and ethnicity to express different musical genres and cultural traditions. This timeless string instrument has undergone many transformations in becoming the modern style of the violin that we know today. The "Traditional violin craftsmanship in Cremona" was declared an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2012.

Located on the bank of the River Po in the middle of the Po Valley region of Lombardy, northern Italy, the city of Cremona, one hour’s drive from Milan, with 72,000 inhabitants, is famous for many marvelous historical sites and impressive architecture. Above all, Cremona is famous for its excellence in the making of violins and violas for the last 400 years. Its extraordinary craftsmanship is evident in the magnificent instruments produced by hundreds of workshops and violin makers in the city who continue to pride themselves as one of the finest in the world.

There are several prominent violin-making families in Cremona. Born in 1505, Andrea Amati often called “the father of the modern violin” belonged to the first generation of violin-making families. Stradivari’s instruments are still highly appreciated and sought after today by many collectors fetching vast sums of money.

With more than 500 years of history, the Cremona violin-making craft has been a great asset to the development of stringed instrument manufacturing globally. Steeped in musical tradition as well as in the art of carving and painting, Cremona’s master instrument makers established the basic standards and techniques in the making of violins and other string instruments, that have been emulated by craftsmen throughout the world. Each hand-made Cremonese instrument is unique, as they combine different kinds of wood using techniques particular to each instrument, thus making it impossible to produce two identical violins.

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