violin/fiddle

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Megane Peaks
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violin/fiddle

Post by Megane Peaks »

At a show recently I was asked the following question -

"Whats the difference between a violin and a fiddle?"

Any ideas.
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Merlon.
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Post by Merlon. »

OED defines them as follows
Violin
a. A musical instrument in common use, having four strings tuned in fifths and played with a bow; a fiddle.
In general structure the violin is composed of a resonant box of elaborately curved outline, and a neck or handle from the end of which the strings are stretched over a bridge to a tail-piece.
Fiddle
A stringed instrument of music; usually, the violin, but also (with defining word as in bass fiddle) applied to other instruments of the viol kind. Now only in familiar or contemptuous use.

looks like they are interchangeable

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bournio
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Post by bournio »

I use them interchangably(thats not spelt right!) except some classical people will shout at you if you call their instrument a fiddle! The few folk fiddlers(Ooo err) i've talked to don't particularly mind what people call the instrument!
If you look generic you look like a few people, ok...

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Megane Peaks
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violin/fiddle

Post by Megane Peaks »

Thank you

Just as I thought.

As a classically trained violinist (only to grade 2 Associated Board of RSM)

I prefer to call mine a Violin. However, if I am playing dance tunes gigues/jigs I would call it a fiddle.
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Steve of RaT
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Post by Steve of RaT »

My understanding is that it's the same instrument, but what makes the difference is how it's played, a violin is under the chin and with more defined standards, where as a fiddle isn't and more free style.
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Tamsin Lewis
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Post by Tamsin Lewis »

Linguistically, they are the same - both coming from the medieval Latin vidula/fidula. (Vidula being gradually changed to vielle, viol, violin)

I use the terms fairly interchangeably, though I play classical and folk.

Violins are not necessarily held under the chin until about 1700. I certainly hold my Renaissance violin against my body rather than under the chin, and do the same for my vielle, rebec and medieval fiddle...
Probably not a helpful answer. :)

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Post by Scottish Lady »

I'd agree with Steve, it's the style in which it's played that makes the difference.
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James Bretlington
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Post by James Bretlington »

Well, in the US, the violin player tends to have all of their own teeth... :lol:

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Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

:lol: (The peeple round here ain't the peeple from round here mister). Still those extra fingers just help them to play real fast.
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Post by James Bretlington »

More seriously, isn't there a slight difference in the curve of the bridge?

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Post by Steve of RaT »

According to http://www.folkofthewood.com/page4779.htm the bridge can be shaved to assist double stopping.
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lil bob
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Post by lil bob »

I am currently learning the fiddle so I can play at events but am stuck as to where to get 17th century music can anyone help please?
roll out the barrel ....

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Karen Larsdatter
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Post by Karen Larsdatter »

lil bob wrote:I am currently learning the fiddle so I can play at events but am stuck as to where to get 17th century music can anyone help please?
Maybe some of these?
http://www.bodley.ox.ac.uk/ballads/
http://emc.english.ucsb.edu/ballad_project/
http://www.pbm.com/~lindahl/ballads/music.html

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lil bob
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Post by lil bob »

many thanks :D
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busy mole
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Post by busy mole »

Hello, we have a 17th century tune book, and the complete playford arranged for violin/fiddle!
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RovingCrows
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Fiddle

Post by RovingCrows »

Fidil is the irish/gaelic word for violin and hence used in most connotations for Folk music

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Eric the well read
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Post by Eric the well read »

Hi,
I always watch the player.
If they start on an upstroke they are classically trained and would probably call it a violin.
If on a downstroke, folk trained, and would probably call it a fiddle!
This works most times.

Regards
Eric

Toimhseachan
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Re: violin/fiddle

Post by Toimhseachan »

When I was learning to play the Violin (some 20 odd years ago now) my teacher at the time said the difference was that a full sized Fiddle was about 2/3rds of the size of a full size Violin, so really the same instrument.

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ladydetemps
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Re:

Post by ladydetemps »

Eric the well read wrote:Hi,
I always watch the player.
If they start on an upstroke they are classically trained and would probably call it a violin.
If on a downstroke, folk trained, and would probably call it a fiddle!
This works most times.

Regards
Eric
I'd confuse you then...I tend to vary between the two...depending on how much I'm concentrating and on what. Although I prefer starting with downbow.
I've only been playing a year so most people flee the room when I play.

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