Amati is the name of a family of Italian violin-makers, who flourished at Cremona from about 1550 to 1740. Andrea Amati was the first maker of violins whose instruments still survive today. He was succeeded by his sons Antonio and Geronimo. Nicolo, son of Geronimo, was born on the September 3rd, 1596 and died on the August 12th, 1684. He was the most eminent of the family. He improved the model adopted by the rest of the Amatis and produced instruments capable of yielding greater power of tone. His pattern was usually small, but he also made the so-called "Grand Amatis."
Of his pupils the most famous were Antonio Stradivari, Andrea Guarneri (the first of the Guarneri family of violin makers), and Bartolomeo Christofori (the inventor of the piano action). The last maker of the family was Nicolo's son, Hieronymous II, who died in 1740.