fiddle or violin

fiddle or violin

Hi everyone,just wondering if you could settle an argument between me and my wife,or should I say a difference of opinion! Are the fiddle and the violin the same instrument,I say that they are but my wife think’s that they are two different instruments.Could someone please prove ME or her right.

Re: fiddle or violin

Hi Billy,
I once knew a classical violinist who was a student at Juilliard, and he made rent money by playing fiddle in a bluegrass band… and he only owned one instrument. He cleaned the rosin off of the instrument after the bluegrass sessions, though, which might technically disqualify him as a fiddler. ;)
I think you’re the winner!
Sara

Re: fiddle or violin

This is so dummmm

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Re: fiddle or violin

Thank’s,I knew it to be true,I once heard an old guy saying the only difference was ££££££££££

Re: fiddle or violin

Fatwah,you have such a tremendous grasp of the english language.

Re: fiddle or violin

Danny, it’s always just exactly the dumbest things that become the source of arguments with a spouse… I don’t know who put that into the definition of marriage, but I’d like to have a chat with them. ;)
Sara

Re: fiddle or violin

O O

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Re: fiddle or violin

In Cornwall violins and fiddles are called crowds. How confusing is that?

Re: fiddle or violin

Crowd? It’s probably derived from the same roots as the Welsh "crwth". Welsh and Cornish are both P-Brythonic, aren’t they? (Or am I totally off the beam there?)
Sara

Re: fiddle or violin

Someone on this website once said a fiddle is a violin with attitude 🙂

In the classical orchestras I play in people use the two terms interchangeably. So what’s the problem?

Trevor

Re: fiddle or violin

Is there a difference in the bridge,height wise?

Re: fiddle or violin

Same instrument but Violin is Classical and Fiddle is Trad.

The difference is the type of music played on the instrument, not the instrument it self. However, being a bit of trad snob, I own Fiddle, not a violin. I hate people calling MY instrument a violin. ITS A FIDDLE! 🙂

I’m a Fiddle player and proud of it, I’ve never played Violin and don’t intend to start any time soon. 🙂

Re: fiddle or violin

There can be a difference in the angle of the bridge. Classical violin bridges are often unevenly curved to make them higher where the g and d strings pass over. This is done because it makes playing in 3rd position and above on the d and g strings easier for the violinist. Fiddlers generally prefer a bridge that is evenly curved. Most fiddlers don’t go above first position. (Some of the Scots fiddle music I have is marked for 3rd position in specific spots, but that’s the exception rather than the rule I believe.)
Sara (a former classical violinist, now a fiddler. *grin*)

Re: fiddle or violin

Isn’t violin a little purple flower that grows in the woods?

Re: fiddle or violin

A violinist/fiddler who does a lot of playing in the high positions (and cellists too, for that matter) may well prefer a really low action so as to make fingering as light and as easy as possible. As long as the strings don’t buzz against the fingerboard, of course. You don’t necessarily have to play classical to be playing in very high postions, either.
It doesn’t matter so much for the Irish trad fiddler who spends 99.99% of the time in the first position, but lowering the bridge a bit for many players wouldn’t do any harm at all. I’ve noticed that new instruments, usually shop-bought, almost invariably have the action set far too high.
Trevor

Re: fiddle or violin

Trad fiddle pleyer here who loves fourth finger, third position and harmonics and never played violin in my life.

Totally agree with the bridge thing. My friend owns a trad music shop in Glasgow (Folk Revolution) and he makes sure all the instrument are at there best before selling them, that includes decent strings and a decent bridge. So many shops just don’t seem to care too much about the quality of what they’re selling, or even have the right knowledge of there products and just wanna get it out the door asap.

Re: fiddle or violin

Heh, heh, heh, nobody has beat me to it so here goes with a couple of old cliches:

"A violin you carry in a case; a fiddle gets carried in a burlap sack." (I have no idea where I first heard that one).

My favourite though is:

"No difference, unless you’re a violinist, then it really is a violin."

The Ticonderoga #2 pencil adjustment for shaping the bridge works pretty well. Just be careful though; I’ve ruined more than one bridge by thinking I was a luthier.

Re: fiddle or violin

The two luthiers I’ve met and my friend Mike who does bridges all say that the curvature of the bridge is dictated by the curvature of the finger board and isn’t varied (at least by them) for classical or folk ideals. The height often is however. The higher the bridge, the louder the sound, and despite the increased difficulty for classical violinists to play high notes with a higher action, a higher bridge is nevertheless preferable. Folk violinist have often subconsciously gotten hold of a violin with a lower action (i.e. low nut and bridge) such that it rolls, cuts and stops more readily or deliberately lower the action in the violin they have. My paesold violin was very loud and brash despite having been well worked in by my concerto standard violin playing brother. When I got hold of it, I had the bridge taken right down, the soundpost shifted and the nut filed. Its quietened it alot and made rolling much more enjoyable. You might well set the violin up for folk playing with different strings usually with lower tension or less bright strings like Helicores.

Greenbutton, your man in Glasgow, he doesn’t make guitars does he?

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Re: fiddle or violin

Reducing the absolute height of the bridge will indeed make the tone a little quieter, but perhaps not noticeably so, depending on the instrument itself and other aspects of its set-up, and the strings; but for me that is a small price to pay for ease and facility in playing. If you’re playing in a band and using amplification, it’s probably an irrelevant issue anyway.

However, if you require a high bridge but don’t want the consequent high action the way round this is to have the fingerboard raised by a long thin wedge of wood between it and the neck of the fiddle. Needless to say, this demands precision carpentry of a high order and must be left to the skilled luthier.

Sometimes you may see an old fiddle, perhaps from the early 18c, which originally would have had a low bridge and a fingerboard at a very shallow angle to the axis of the instrument, which in modern times has been modified to give a raised (and probably longer) fingerboard to match the higher modern bridge. Such an instrument would almost certainly have had other substantial modifications done to it, such as a longer bass bar to give it more volume.

Strings also have a big effect on tonal volume (apart from tonal quality). For instance, helicores are far too quiet for my old German fiddle, even though it has a powerful natural tone and lots of resonance, so I find that good quality synthetic core strings such as obligato or Infeld Reds give excellent results. On the other hand, helicores sound fine on my modern fiddle.

Trevor

Re: fiddle or violin

The difference betweena fiddle and violin is quiet simple. You are allowed smile when you play a fiddle!
Hee hee back to lurk mode ;)
Pol.

Message For Jamie

He doesn’t make Guitars but knows everything about them, It’s his first instrument. He can Get you almost anything and has plenty of advice and skills on the instrument.

He also knows the guy that makes Moon guitars, very nice instruments.

Go to http://folkrevolution.co.uk all contact info is on there.

Re: fiddle or violin

same

Re: fiddle or violin

Tim O’Brien recently said that "The difference between a violin and a fiddle, is that you’d never dream of spilling beer in your violin"

Another good is is that it’s "A fiddle when you buy it, and a violin when you sell it"

I have seem some set ups where a violin/fiddle is set up with a slightly flatter bridge to faciliate playing double stops, but for the most part, the instrument is the same, it’s the music that’s different…

~Lisa

Re: fiddle or violin

I heard it as - "if you spill beer on a fiddle, no one crys."

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Remembering that "fiddle" and "violin" are the same thing … a good fiddle player on a cheap fiddle sounds better than a bad violinist on a quality violin…

Jim

Re: fiddle or violin

Though a bad violinist may be better than a good fiddler…

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A violin has four strings, a fiddle has two(too).

Re: fiddle or violin

According to a Kevin Burke story I once heard, a stewardess who was arguing with him about putting his fiddle in the overhead compartment relented when he called it a violin, and told him later that if he’d called it a fiddle she wouldn’t have let him put it in the compartment. So maybe if you’re flying with it, it’s a violin after all for the duration of the flight… ;)
Sara

Re: fiddle or violin

Sara:

I’ve been going round and round about just this…

I’m flying with my fiddle next week to go down to San Deigo for business. She’s a little bigger than allowable carryone but will fit in the overhead.

A baggage handler can have my fiddle when he pries it from my cold dead fingers…

~L

Re: fiddle or violin

You all are way beyond me, so if I sound elementary, I am. I learned classical style in grade school and played into my early high school year. Busted my violin and just bought one an an auction yesterday, a reddish violin made in Nippon. It is missing the bridge and nut. I want to set it up to learn to play fiddle style music for personal edification (not a band). How in the heck to I go about finding the right nut and bridge and someone to set it up? Also, is there a DVD somewhere that demonstrates how to play the fiddle?

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Re: fiddle or violin

well, for a change. I HATE IT WHEN PEOPLE CALL MY VIOLIN A FIDDLE. I HAVE PLAYED FOR 10 YEARS AS A CLASSICAL VIOLINIST. when will the locals (texas) learn that there is other music worthy of listening to than country?! i can play both, and am in fact playing with a country star. THAT DOES NOT MAKE IT A FIDDLE. I simply play country music on the violin, because it makes me money, and i like playing on a stage more receptive than a formal show-HOWEVER-i do strongly prefer playing classical music, because it doesnt bug the hell out of me and in my opinion is more expressive anyway. and no this is just how i feel, i dont mean to offend anyone by my small…rant. but the best explination i have found is that a violin is the original name given to the instrument. "fiddle" is a nickname for it. and danl, you have a head start, since many fiddlers who have never played classical have awful technique. dont lose it whatever you do! there are so many things, even in fiddle music, that you cant play with a "pancake hand".

Re: fiddle or violin

oh. and i forgot. when you play anything, my focus isnt on whether or not i have a strange leer where my mouth should be. i am concentrating on whether or not i am in tune. even if i dont show it in my face, i do enjoy playing music i like, and it certainly shows in the music coming out of my VIOLIN

Re: fiddle or violin

Trexon, If you hate having your violin called a fiddle, you are probably hanging around the wrong website!!!

Re: fiddle or violin

Ha ha, Trexon, what a dreadfully sad existence you have. I weep for your sadness.

A classical violinist and being forced to play country for mere money and adulation. Pity is not a strong enough word.

(p.s. When ever I’ve seen Itzhak Perlman he’s always refered to his fiddle as … well … his fiddle)

Posted .

Re: fiddle or violin

and sometimes it’s my axe…

(hey trexon, check out Liz C’s left hand…)

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ha ha, cross post wyogal

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Re: fiddle or violin

hahahaha!

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Someone once told me that a Violin sings and a Fiddle dances. I can’t explain the difference well, but from what i’ve learned, Fiddle is geared toward driving the Rhythm, while Violin is geard toward driving Voices… does that make sense?

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(pssst … whisper it, in case someone gets upset …It’s the same thing)

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Re: fiddle or violin

I went into a music store once and asked for fiddle strings, and the young man behind the counter replied, "Sorry, we don’t carry fiddle strings, only violin strings."
I have heard that if the player has wheels on the bottom of their house, it is probably a fiddle they play. Also, I have heard that per capita, there are less teeth among fiddlers than violinists. I have also heard that the difference between fiddlers and violinists is the two or three extra zeros at the end of the violinist’s paycheck at the end night.
And finally, I am told that violins are the exact same size as violas. It is just the swelled heads of the violinists that make the instrument look smaller…

Re: fiddle or violin

Haha Al, that last one was pretty funny 🙂 Nothing’s wrong with Fiddling. If it moves your audience, then you’ve done your job. And it’s awesome seeing peoples reaction to my Fiddle playing 🙂

Re: fiddle or violin

The fiddle is a bowed mediaeval instrument, the immediate ancestor of the violin (which itself is just a fiddle that has been significantly redesigned and refined to make it suitable for Italian court music). In mediaeval Ireland there was also a fiddle that had three or four bowed strings plus two extra strings that were either plucked or were sympathetic resonating strings. Since the 17th century the fiddle began to be replaced by the (more refined) violin throughout Europe, but players of the old folk or traditional music still refer to the (new) violin as a fiddle (after the mediaeval instrument on which the music was originally played.)

Here’s what mediaeval fiddles looked like: http://www.gaita.co.uk/fiddle.html

(from an old post, from a search of the site https://thesession.org/discussions/16748 )

Re: fiddle or violin

Dare I say it?

You’re BOTH right!
(sorry…)