We The Italians | Italian handcrafts: Cremonese Violin Making

Italian handcrafts: Cremonese Violin Making

Italian handcrafts: Cremonese Violin Making

  • WTI Magazine #138 Apr 17, 2021
  • 75

Cremonese luthiery, the art of making bowed and plucked stringed instruments, began in the mid-16th century and soon attracted attention on the international scene, thanks to the work of Andrea Amati and his disciples. 

The quality of the instruments made by Cremonese luthiers gradually declined from the end of the 18th century, but the foundations for a revival were laid in the 20th century.

Instruments with the “Cremona Liuteria” trademark, made exclusively by hand from spruce, maple, ebony, willow, poplar, rosewood, mahogany, cedar or other traditional wood species, express the originality and personality of the master luthier, while respecting the typical production techniques and developments of the Cremonese violin-making tradition.

It takes about one hundred and twenty hours of work to make a violin. Creating an instrument is not just a question of applying technical knowledge and years of experience, but of imbuing it with the soul of its maker.

The talent of these woodcraft artists consists in providing a sound with a body. The perfect sound finds its greatest expression through the right choice of materials and the design of the shape and curves.

Cremonese violin making represents “excellence” in artistic craftsmanship. UNESCO has recognised it as part of humanity’s intangible heritage and it was showcased at Expo 2010 in Shanghai as an example of Italian expertise.

By Camera di Commercio di Cremona with Unioncamere