The violin, by all accounts, originates in Northern Italy during the first half of the 16th century. But the "inventor" is unknown and will remain open to discussion. Most scholars credit Andrea Amati of Cremona (c.1511-1577), as the first known violin maker because there exists documentation of two violins he created between 1542 and and 1546. However, these instruments had only three strings, like the rebec. The first four string violin, also by Andrea Amati, was dated 1555. The oldest surviving violin, c.1560, is also by Andrea Amati.