The violin is the same everywhere, faithfully constructed in the same way, made out of the same woods, in an identical shape with four strings and bowed playing technique with one exception, the ultra-modern wood and steel electronic violin that has made its presence felt even in Arab and classical music. There are many music conservatory students who are interested in the violin because of its great range and difficulty. Piano, guitar or percussion players, mainly tar and darbuka players, cannot play the violin because it is extremely difficult. Players need to start to learn how to play it when they are very young. It is worth noting as well that playing the violin requires considerable levels of energy because it must be carried on the shoulder and the hand and arm must be raised to play it. It also requires intense concentration and very sensitive ears to hear the tone of the instrument.
The oldest violin in the world was found in India along with its bow and dates Back to some 5,000 years BC. The "Ravaston" is a well-known model with two or three strings. In the first century AD, the Arabs invented the four-stringed rabab which developed in the Maghreb and travelled through the Indian peninsula to Europe where it was called the viola. The current violin is quite different from classical viols or the viola de gamba. The first representatives of the violin family appeared at the beginning of the 16th century and were called viola da braccio. A new development arrived in the 17th century in the form of a smaller instrument with four strings called violino in Italian, violon in French and violin in English.
The violin is held with the left hand and supported on the left shoulder. The right hand is used to hold the bow. This is in contrast with popular Moroccan tradition in which the instrument is held on the thigh in an upright position.
The violin has four strings tuned in fifths. A higher and more rounded bridge can take higher string tension. It has a smooth fingerboard terminating in a pegbox. The sides of the sound box are highly curved forming the letter "C" with pronounced corners and the Back and top are slightly arched.
The quality of the instrument reflects the quality of the wood used to make the sound box, the mastery of the maker over his craft and respect for the very precise relationship between shapes and materials. From the beginning, the Tyrol area of northern Italy was renowned for making violins. The Amati was the most famous family of violin makers in the 16th and 17th centuries. In the 18th century, the Cremona School that included the Guarneri and Stradivari families brought violin-making to a level that is still unequalled. Until the present day, they remain the benchmarks for quality and perfection. The violin still holds a special place in music. Its power over the emotions makes the violin the king of all instruments for translating feelings and sentiments. The German 19th century poet Heinrich Heine said it best when commenting on the musical season of 1843, "The violin is an instrument which has almost human caprices, and which is, so to speak, in sympathetic relation to the artist. The least discomfort, the slightest mental trouble, a breath of feeling, manifests itself in a prompt and direct echo, which may well come from this, that the violin is pressed so closely to the breast, and catches the beatings of our hearts".
The violin is used so often today as a solo instrument or in an orchestra that it is difficult to believe how much scorn was heaped on it for three quarters of a century. In the 16th century, the violin was considered to be noisy, shrill and good only for making tavern customers dance. The first examples of music written especially for the violin come from Italy and include concerti for six to 16 voices by Giovanni Gabrieli (1587) and Orfeo de Monteverdi (1607).
The violin plays an important role in symphony orchestras in
a variety of musical compositions including concerti with orchestra,
sonatas, overtures, suites, classical dances and chamber music.
In Morocco, the violin is used to play al-Ala or Andalusian music
and malhoun or popular poetry, Andalusian music and the
malhoun are taught according to strictly defined principles
as part of Morocco's cultural and musical heritage, along with
their various scales, modes, noubas and beats.
Moreover we know that the violin is very often used to play traditional popular music, Arab and Berber folk dances as well as a variety of contemporary Moroccan music.