Saturday, July 22, 2006

More History of the Fiddle

To consider the music of the Fiddle you have to also consider the Violin and the differences between the two, consider also how the fiddle came to be and the different types of music through out history .

Example: Irish, German, Scottish, even in to Old Time Music, Blue grass, Western.

The fiddle is a violin played as a folk instrument. It is also a colloquial term for the instrument used by players in all genres, including classical music. Fiddle playing, or fiddling, is a style of music.


A violin is sometimes informally called a fiddle, regardless of the kind of music being played with it. The words "violin" and "fiddle" come from the same Latin root, but "violin" came through the Romance languages and "fiddle" through Germanic languages.Historically, the word fiddle also referred to a predecessor of today's violin. Like the violin, it tended to have 4 strings, but came in a variety of shapes and sizes. Another series of instruments which contributed to the development of the modern fiddle was the viol, which was played while held between the legs, and has a fretted fingerboard.One very slight difference between "fiddles" and ordinary violins may be seen in American (e.g., bluegrass and old-time music) fiddling: in these styles, the top of the bridge may be cut so that it is very slightly less curved. This reduces the range of right-arm motion required for the rapid string-crossings found in some styles, and is said to make it easier to play double stops and shuffles (bariolage), or to make triple stops possible, allowing one to play chords.Most classical violinists prefer a more rounded curve to the top of the bridge that allows them to articulate each note more easily and clearly. In practice, most instruments are fitted with a rounded bridge to better accommodate the shape of the fingerboard. (One exception is the 3-string kontra or bracsa, a viola used in Hungarian and Transylvanian folk music fitted with an absolutely flat bridge to allow all three strings to be played simultaneously.) In any case, the difference between "round" and "flat" is not great; about a quarter or half a millimeter variation in the height of one or two strings. A fiddle strung with steel will work best with a bridge as much as a millimeter lower overall. For gut, nylon or other synthetic-core strings, the action may be set suitably higher. As a violin's bridge is relatively easy to replace, modifying the bridge does not permanently make a violin into a fiddle.

Fiddle - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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