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Monday, January 20, 2020

Musical Playgrounds: All About Fiddling

What is a fiddle?

Do you know what a fiddle is? A fiddle is a four-stringed musical instrument. The fiddle is a string instruments and looks very similar to a violin. In fact, both instruments are even played with a bow! (But did you know there is a difference between the two instruments? Learn the difference between the violin and fiddle!) While the bodies of the two musical instruments are the same, the set up of the violin and fiddle can differ. The fiddle is one of the oldest and most basic instruments in the history of music. The first historical mentions of the fiddle emerged from Europe some time in the 10th century. The fiddle is widely played in countries all over the world, and spans just about every genre of music! From folk music, to bluegrass, country and Celtic music, the fiddle is a widely loved musical instrument!

The Origins and History of the Fiddle

Facts About the Fiddle

  • Parts of the fiddle include the fingerboard, neck, bridge, sound hole, strings, back plate, tuning pegs, tailpiece, bass bar, and more.
  • The first manufactures of the fiddle and violin was Andrea Amati in Italy.
  • Depending where you are in the world, the fiddle varies. The Stroh fiddle and violin in Ireland has a horn on the side that the American fiddle does not.
  • It takes fiddle craftsmen over 200 hours to build a fiddle.
  • Fiddles are traditionally made out of wood, but in some countries you can find fiddles made out of metals such as tin cans.
  • In the early years, the strings for the fiddle were made of animal intestines. Today, they are often made from steel or aluminum.

Want to check out some famous fiddlers? Here's a good list to get you started:

Bob Wills

Craig Duncan

Hyram Posey

Aubrey Hayney

Hoot Hester

Justin Branum

Bobby Hicks

Charlie Daniels

Mark O-Connor

Jay Ungar

Natalie MacMaster

And here's a great list of other fiddlers to check out: List of Fiddlers and Fiddle Performers

Old-Style Fiddling

Irish and Celtic Fiddling

Fiddle Playing Guides and Music

Fiddle Clubs, Events, Magazine, Organizations & More!

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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