The violin first emerged in northern Italy in the early 16th century especially from the Brescia area. Many archive documents testify that from 1485-95 Brescia was the cradle of a magnificent school of string players and makers, all called with the title of maestro of all the different sort of strings instruments of the Renaissance: viola da gamba (viols), violone, lyra, lyrone, violetta and viola da brazzo. One of the firsts documents that testify the excellence of brescian masters is the 1495 order of three viole from Isabella DEste Gonzaga to an anonymous maker in Brescia. One can find maestro delle viole or maestro delle lire and later, at least from 1558, maestro di far violini that is master of violin making. From 1530 the word violin appears in brescian documents and spread all around north of Italy especially in the last decades of the century. While no instruments from the first decades of the century survive, there are several representations in paintings; some of the early instruments have only three strings and were of the violetta type. Most likely the first makers of violins borrowed from three different types of current instruments: the rebec, in use since the 10th century (itself derived from the Arab rebab), the Viola da Braccio (or Renaissance Fiddle), and the lira da braccio. The earliest explicit description of the instrument, including its tuning, was in the Epitome musical by Jambe de Fer, published in Lyon in 1556. By this time the violin had already begun to spread throughout Europe.