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What is a fiddle made out of?

Updated: 8/30/2023
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13y ago

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I have seen, on this site, several answers which make the violin and the fiddle identical instruments. In fact, my teacher, Boris Schwarz, used to call his instrument a fiddle (though he played classical violin).

There is a difference, however, between the two. On the violin, the bridge has a typical curve that raises the strings and separates them from one another. Bariolage (moving from string to string and back again rapidly) is possisble because of the nature of this bridge. However, on a fiddle the artist might NOT want this traditional curve to the bridge and ask the maker to REDUCE the curve of the bridge to make bowing and double stopes easier.

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14y ago
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13y ago

Fiddles tend not to last very long, and the oldest ones probably date from the Renaissance. What we know about medieval fiddles is almost entirely derived from pictures and statues. We cannot be absolutely certain about the construction of these instruments, but we can make some guesses.

The earliest fiddles were of different types. One is like a rabab, which has a rounded body like that of a lute. The body could have been a shell, it could have been carved from a block of wood, or it could have been built up out of strips of wood, like the body of a lute. Other bodies might also have been used. The belly might have been leather, like the head of a drum, or it might have been of wood. The neck could have been attached to the belly, or it could have gone through the belly and formed a spike for the instrument to rest on at the bottom, as it was played vertically.

A second type of fiddle looked rather like a bottle, and was probably made entirely of wood. We have very few pictures of this instrument, but it was probably played as far east as Turkey, and as far west as Spain. This instrument may have been formed or carved from wood, but we have almost no information.

The bottle shaped instrument probably developed into the medieval fiddles that looked like a viola da gamba, cello, or guitar. In fact all of these instruments may have developed from it. Such an instruments were built by forming the sides out of thin wood, attaching flat backs with glue, attaching necks, probably with glue, but possibly mechanically, and gluing on carved bellies, which were not flat, but somewhat curved like the belly of a violin.

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12y ago

The Fiddle, which is also a Violin, has 8 main components. First there is the scroll, which is the head of the fiddle and has 4 pegs in order to tune the strings. Next is the neck which runs all the way down to the body of the fiddle and supports the strings. The bridge, lies at towards the lower end of the body of the fiddle and holds the strings in place as well as transmits the vibrations of the strings to the body of the fiddle. The tailpiece and chin rest are at the bottom of the fiddle. Lastly, there is the bow which typically has horse-tail hair or synthetic fibers held taught by wood in order to play the strings.

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14y ago

It is played by moving the bow across the strings and pressing down the strings on the fingerboard.

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14y ago

a fiddle is made up of the sames thing as a cello, violin, and viola noting but smooth polished wood as wel as the bow. the hairs on the bow are horse hairs.

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13y ago

wood for the main body and bridge - they used cat gut for many years for the strings but now they use synthetic gut.

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13y ago

A fiddle is a violin that is made for Country Music.

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