The great history of the electric violin

history of the electric violin

But who invented the electric violin? That is a great question!

Although the acoustic violin was born in 1520 around Milano, in Italy, the electric violin was probably born much later!

Old violin

Old acoustic violin – via

In 1874, Elisha Gray (1835 – 1901), a brilliant American inventor, got the idea of electrifying a violin he conceived without a sound box. Unfortunately, no illustration of this violin has been discovered so far.

It was in 1920 that the electric violin was actually born, under Stuff Smith’s fingers (1909 – 1967), an American jazz violinist. A record of this violin can be heard in “You’se a Viper” (from 00:42).

Fender old - First electric violin of the world

Fender violin – via

Then after during the 1930s and the 1940s, we had the “Electro Stringed Instrument Corporation”, and Fender also manufactured some electric violins during the 1950s.

Since the 1990s, electric violins got a new lease of life with the rise of technology, especially microphones, which helped a higher number of violinists throw themselves into this ‘electrifying’ adventure.

Electric Violin –
About electric violins –
George Beauchamp –