Andrea Amati was the first to add the fourth string to the violin. Follow the history of four of Andrea's violins. In 1555, Lorenzo De Medici commissioned Andrea to craft an instrument of the best quality material like the lute but one that required no music training. Andrea created the violin family, the violin, the viola, and the cello. Catherine De Medici commissioned him, to construct violins, violas, and cellos for an orchestra. So well made twelve of these instruments have survived. Andrea Amati sons perfected the F -shape in this family of instruments. The most famous Amati grandson, Nicolo increased violin tones. Antonio Stradivarius apprenticed with Nicolo. This journey takes you to Venice workshops and even to a Switzerland workshop started in the 17th century that is still a thriving business today.