Italy System-Napoli School (Napoli School)

Southern Italy is well known for lute, guitar and mandolin instruments. From 1700 to mid- 19th century, Gagalino is considered to be one of the famous violin production families in Southern Italy.

They made a huge portion of violin, cello and partially, viola. Among the whole system of violins. In terms of the violin production, the first generation Alessandro Gagliano (fl. CA. 1700-ca. 1735) was different from the later generations. Between 1698- 1700,the legendary Antonio Stradivari’s (ca. 1644-1737) son, Omobono Stradivari (1679-1742) stayed in Naples and has taught Alessandro Gagilano. Perhaps, that was the main factor, resulting the different styles (including shape, materials, color) between Alessandro Gagilano and his son. From 1728-1732, the violins from Southern Italy are mostly Naples style and it’s based on Stradivari’s production.

In eighteenth century, members from the Galliano had a certain level of violin craftsmanship ability, but with the rise of middle class in nineteenth century, the market demand had risen up as well. Therefore, Galliano family began to make inexpensive instruments. There was color identification in order to differentiate between the class, usually red color was dedicated to the palace for noble members and golden brown color was sold to the civilian population, piano. Due to the reduced production schedule, therefore the price was lower. Future generation used different paints comparing with the traditional way, in order to create a warmer, thicker texture.

Another obvious feature was that the head of the violin is considered smaller, the maple was used from Abruzzo, volcanic area was located next to Abruzzo, therefore higher calcium was presented and relatively firmer wood.

Since the Naples did not do a great job on operating for the preservation of literature, they still had difficulty to confirm the actual birth date of Galliano members; therefore, they did not record the exact date of violin production for every member in this family.

By the 1800s, the Naples school had turned their focus toward the making of guitars, strings, and mandolins. The Naples school led the way for the development of string instruments in all of Naples and was monopolized by two families: The Vinaccia family and the Galliano family. Successors to the Vinaccia family include Vincenzo Jorio (1780-1849) and Vincenzo Postiglione (1835-1916) , while successors to the Galliano family were Francesco Verzalla (1842-1929) and members of the Ventapane family. Although by the 1860s Francesco Verzalla was still working actively, the violin making industry in Naples was mainly led by Vincezo Postiglione.