Amati

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For the Mazda luxury car marque, Amati, see the main Mazda article

Amati is the name of a family of Italian violin-makers, who flourished at Cremona from about 1550 to 1740.

Andrea Amati (before 1511 – before 1580) was the first maker of violins whose instruments still survive today. Indeed he seems more or less responsible for giving the instruments of the modern violin family their definitive profile. A small number of his instruments survive, dated between the years of 1564 and 1574 and most bearing the coat of arms of Charles IX of France.

Andrea Amati was succeeded by his sons Antonio Amati (born c. 1540) and Girolamo Amati (15611630). The "brothers Amati", as they were known, implemented far-reaching innovations in design, including the perfection of the shape of the soundhole. They are also thought to have pioneered the modern alto format of viola (rather than the older tenor violas).

Nicolo Amati (December 3, 1596April 12, 1684) was the son of Girolamo Amati. He was the most eminent of the family. He improved the model adopted by the rest of the Amatis and produced instruments capable of yielding greater power of tone. His pattern was usually small, but he also made a wider model now known as the "Grand Amati", which have become his most sought-after violins.

Of his pupils the most famous were Antonio Stradivari, Andrea Guarneri (the first of the Guarneri family of violin makers), and Bartolomeo Cristofori (the inventor of the pianoforte).

The last maker of the family was Nicolo's son, Girolamo Amati, known as Hieronymus II (February 26, 1649February 21, 1740). Although he improved on the arching of his father's instruments, by and large they are inferior and no match for the greatest maker of his day, Antonio Stradivari.

Also see

  • Amati Quartet
  • Luthier - provides links to articles about other famous makers of stringed instruments

External links

  • Violin Making (http://www.theviolinsite.com/violin_making/index.html)

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