The violin family of musical instruments was developed in Italy in the 16th century. At the time the name of this family of instruments was viole da braccio which was used to distinguish them from the viol family (viole da gamba). The standard modern violin family consists of the violin, viola, cello, and (possibly) double bass.
Instrument names in the violin family are all derived from the root viola, which is a derivative of the Medieval Latin word vitula (meaning "stringed instrument"). A violin is a "little viola", a violone is a "big viola" or a bass violin, and a violoncello (often abbreviated cello) is a "small violone" (or literally, a "small big viola"). (The violone is not part of the modern violin family; its place is taken by the modern double bass, an instrument with a mix of violin and viol characteristics)
乐器小提琴家族是16世纪在意大利开发的。当时这个乐器家族的名称是 viole da braccio，用于将它们与维奥尔琴家族（viole da gamba）区分开。标准的现代小提琴家族包括小提琴，中提琴，大提琴和（可能是）低音提琴。
小提琴家族的乐器名称都源自中提琴，这是中世纪拉丁语 vitula（意为“弦乐器”）的派生词。小提琴是“小的 viola”。Violone 是 “大的 viola” 或低音提琴。大提琴 violoncello（通常简称为 cello）是“小的 violone”（或直译为“小的大 viola”）。（Violone 不是现代小提琴家族的一部分，现代低音提琴代替了这种提琴，这是一种具有小提琴和维奥尔琴特色的乐器）