Violin the Ravanastrom – Ravan Hatta

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Violin the Ravanastrom or Ravan Hatta

The zenesis of Violin has a topsy-turvy family tree. Each of its parts has its own history. The present day Violin was developed & standardized in Italy during the 16th century.

The origin of stringed instruments played by rubbing the strings is linked to the appearance of the bow. The more ancient stringed instruments were played by plucking the strings with the fingers. Perhaps the bow was at first a simple stick before the hair-bow was adopted. As there is no trace of a bow instrument in classical antiquity, it is freely admitted that the bow was imported from Asia by the Arabs or the Nordic tribes. But whether the evolution occurred in northern Europe, the Near East, India or Central Asia remains a mystery... The bow may have appeared in various places at the same time, as did several major discoveries in the history of mankind!

In India, the origin of Violin is traced into the Ravanastrom.This instrument is said to have belonged to a sovereign of India 5000 BC. Again, it also replicates the ancient instrument called Ravan Hatta which is found even today in Rajasthan. Mythology credits this creation to the demon king Ravana from Ramayana. The Ravan Hatta was played on one string which was 22 inches long encompassing the 3 Octaves. Whereas the Violin encompasses the 3 octaves on 4 strings with a finger board which is 5 1/4th inches long. This 5 1/4th when multiplied by 4 is 22 inches which was the size of the Ravan Hatta. Both are played with a bow.

However, scholars believe that the present day Violin predecessor existed in India from 400 BC. From here it travelled to Persia and Middle East Asia through the Arabs during the 6th - 7th centuries where it emerged as the Rababeh . Rababeh then went into Spain through the Arabs during the invasion of Moors during the 10th - 11th centuries and became the LIRA DA BRACCIO. From Spain it spread in whole of Europe.