medieval fiddle

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kate/bob
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medieval fiddle

Post by kate/bob »

I've been thinking about getting a medieval fiddle. I play the violin and wondered how similar or not they are to play. Any thoughts?

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Tamsin Lewis
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Re: medieval fiddle

Post by Tamsin Lewis »

There are various ways of tuning, but you can tune it in 5ths like a violin.

The main differences is that it's not played under the chin, strings are gut, and you don't use vibrato.

I found it very easy to go from playing Classical violin to playing rebecs/medieval and renaissance fiddles.

Tom H
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Re: medieval fiddle

Post by Tom H »

Tamsin, just curious - why don't you use vibrato.

I don't play violin/fiddle but do play various bagpipes and have recently been thinking about different approaches to ornamentation that various players use when performing historic music from different periods, and indeed regions. Just interested in a perspective from another instrument.

kate/bob
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Re: medieval fiddle

Post by kate/bob »

thanks for the reply Tamsin.

I was thinking about a fiddle rather than a rebec as I'm not sure I could cope with having one less string!

How different is the bow to use? I held one and it seemed like the balance is very different from a modern one (please tell me it's very difficult as I'm doing increasingly badly at convicing myself not to buy one!)

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Foxe
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Re: medieval fiddle

Post by Foxe »

It's totally different Kate. Moving from a classical bow to a fixed-frog bow is one of the hardest things I've ever done and it took me a long long time to be able to get a tune with an early bow.*

Does that help?







*Perhaps as long as three or four minutes. :devil:
...and further this Informant saith not.

Foxe

'Don't be fooled by his general air of living in a skip'

http://www.etfox.co.uk

kate/bob
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Re: medieval fiddle

Post by kate/bob »

:wink: Thanks Foxe

Handbag
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Re: medieval fiddle

Post by Handbag »

Fixed frog bows can take a little getting used to , but I would say no more than when i changed from 3/4 size to full sized modern violin when i was a child.
My first early music instrument was a rebec and the change from violin to rebec was strange but fun at the same time with learning all the quirks and abilities of the instrument. the little rebec is so versatile it really is fun instrument to play.

Fundamentaly the process of playing a medieval fiddle can be the same, the resulting sound and tone is going to be different, but i adore the sound of gut strings!

good luck!

kate/bob
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Re: medieval fiddle

Post by kate/bob »

my other thought was about getting a small harp instead. I'm not very good at playing more than one note at a time, but figured that the opportunity to do that is limited with a small harp!

ceilteach_kitten
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Re: medieval fiddle

Post by ceilteach_kitten »

I recently bought a rebec and to be honest I'm really struggling with the gut strings. They don't stay in tune, snap easily and are uneven in diameter. They sound lovely but they're such a nightmare that I'm seriously considering re- stringing with modern violin strings. Just a word of warning!

Handbag
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Re: medieval fiddle

Post by Handbag »

what make are your strings? - you can get really bad cheap ones which will do this - I have Chorda (Pirastro) strings and have found these fine compared to the strings I had sent with the instrument.

ceilteach_kitten
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Re: medieval fiddle

Post by ceilteach_kitten »

It's the strings the instrument came with so I'm not sure to be honest. I suspect they probably are from the cheaper end of the spectrum. Any recommendations for better quality gut string suppliers? Thanks!

In response to the original thread, I also have a small (12 string) harp and enjoy playing it. It didn't require a lot of learning! :)

Handbag
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Re: medieval fiddle

Post by Handbag »

Ive got from Busy mole in the past and also Stringmail.co.uk

kate/bob
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Re: medieval fiddle

Post by kate/bob »

having done some more research and some more thinking I'm starting a harp fund with some birthday money.

thanks for all your replies :D

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