Bowed instrument with 4 strings tuned GDAE with a three and a half octave range. The 4 stringed version was invented in Italy some time after 1550 and was regarded then as a popular instrument for dances in contrast to the courtly viol, which is not related.
The violin was perfected by Andrea Amati of Cremona who was commissioned by the king of France to build 38 instruments in 1560.
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