One of the most respected and referenced books of its kind, this authoritative volume covers not only violins but other bowed instruments. It ranges from the earliest makers of stringed instruments — Greek, Roman, and Egyptian — to the latter-day masters of French, Italian, German, and English styles. Fascinating items of historic interest include the origins of such instruments as the Welsh bowed-lyre known as the crwth and the viol's medieval predecessor, the rebec. In terms of performance, the authors explore the uses of viols and violins in musical dramas, the architectural tradition of the minstrel galleries, and the lives of lesser-known troubadours as well as legendary players such as Paganini. They also chronicle the practices of famous violin makers through the ages, from the Amati family, Stradivarius, and Guarnerius, to the Forster family and more recent artisans. An essential for every violin lover and student, this volume features more than 55 illustrations, including rare lithographs from private collections.