Fiddle
Overview
 
The term fiddle may refer to any bowed
Bow (music)
In music, a bow is moved across some part of a musical instrument, causing vibration which the instrument emits as sound. The vast majority of bows are used with string instruments, although some bows are used with musical saws and other bowed idiophones....

 string
String instrument
A string instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound by means of vibrating strings. In the Hornbostel-Sachs scheme of musical instrument classification, used in organology, they are called chordophones...

 musical instrument
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

, most often the violin
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

. It is also a colloquial term for the instrument used by players in all genres, including classical music. Fiddle playing, or fiddling, refers to various styles of music.
The medieval fiddle emerged in 10th-century Europe, deriving from the Byzantine lira (Greek:λύρα, Latin:lira, English:lyre), a bowed string instrument of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 and ancestor of most European bowed instruments.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
The term fiddle may refer to any bowed
Bow (music)
In music, a bow is moved across some part of a musical instrument, causing vibration which the instrument emits as sound. The vast majority of bows are used with string instruments, although some bows are used with musical saws and other bowed idiophones....

 string
String instrument
A string instrument is a musical instrument that produces sound by means of vibrating strings. In the Hornbostel-Sachs scheme of musical instrument classification, used in organology, they are called chordophones...

 musical instrument
Musical instrument
A musical instrument is a device created or adapted for the purpose of making musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can serve as a musical instrument—it is through purpose that the object becomes a musical instrument. The history of musical instruments dates back to the...

, most often the violin
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

. It is also a colloquial term for the instrument used by players in all genres, including classical music. Fiddle playing, or fiddling, refers to various styles of music.

History

The medieval fiddle emerged in 10th-century Europe, deriving from the Byzantine lira (Greek:λύρα, Latin:lira, English:lyre), a bowed string instrument of the Byzantine Empire
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

 and ancestor of most European bowed instruments. The first recorded reference to the bowed lira was in the 9th century by the Persian
Persian people
The Persian people are part of the Iranian peoples who speak the modern Persian language and closely akin Iranian dialects and languages. The origin of the ethnic Iranian/Persian peoples are traced to the Ancient Iranian peoples, who were part of the ancient Indo-Iranians and themselves part of...

 geographer Ibn Khurradadhbih
Ibn Khordadbeh
Abu'l Qasim Ubaid'Allah ibn Khordadbeh , author of the earliest surviving Arabic book of administrative geography, was a Persian geographer and bureaucrat of the 9th century...

 (d. 911); in his lexicographical discussion of instruments he cited the lira (lūrā) as a typical instrument of the Byzantines and equivalent to the rabāb played in the Islamic Empires. Lira spread widely westward to Europe; in the 11th and 12th centuries European writers use the terms fiddle and lira interchangeably when referring to bowed instruments (Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009).

Over the centuries, Europe continued to have two distinct types of fiddles: one, relatively square-shaped, held in the arms, became known as the lira da braccio
Lira da braccio
The lira da braccio was a European bowed string instrument of the Renaissance. It was used by Italian poet-musicians in court in the 15th and 16th centuries to accompany their improvised recitations of lyric and narrative poetry. It is most closely related to the medieval fiddle, or vielle, and...

 (arm viol) family and evolved into the violin; the other, with sloping shoulders and held between the knees, was the lira da gamba (leg viol) group. During the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

 the gambas were important and elegant instruments; they eventually lost ground to the louder (and originally less aristocratic) lira da braccio family.

The fiddle or violin family

Fiddle, when used as a noun signifying an instrument, can have a more generalized meaning than violin. For example Chicken Fiddle, refers to a viola
Viola
The viola is a bowed string instrument. It is the middle voice of the violin family, between the violin and the cello.- Form :The viola is similar in material and construction to the violin. A full-size viola's body is between and longer than the body of a full-size violin , with an average...

 used as a fiddle, while a Turkey Fiddle, refers to the cello
Cello
The cello is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is a member of the violin family of musical instruments, which also includes the violin, viola, and double bass. Old forms of the instrument in the Baroque era are baryton and viol .A person who plays a cello is...

.

Contemporary viol

It can refer to a larger instrument of the viol family: * the double bass
Double bass
The double bass, also called the string bass, upright bass, standup bass or contrabass, is the largest and lowest-pitched bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra, with strings usually tuned to E1, A1, D2 and G2...

 ("bull fiddle" or "bass fiddle")

Bowed string instruments, generally

Fiddle may also be used (loosely) to refer to any stringed instrument played with a bow. Examples of this usage are:
  • Hardanger fiddle

  • Stroh violin or phonofiddle is a violin that amplifies its sound through a metal resonator and metal horns rather than a wooden sound box as on a standard violin.

  • Byzantine lira

  • Chinese erhu
    Erhu
    The erhu is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, more specifically a spike fiddle, which may also be called a "southern fiddle", and sometimes known in the Western world as the "Chinese violin" or a "Chinese two-stringed fiddle". It is used as a solo instrument as well as in small ensembles...


  • Welsh crwth
    Crwth
    The crwth is an archaic stringed musical instrument, associated particularly with Welsh music, once widely-played in Europe.-Origin of the name:...


  • Apache
    Apache
    Apache is the collective term for several culturally related groups of Native Americans in the United States originally from the Southwest United States. These indigenous peoples of North America speak a Southern Athabaskan language, which is related linguistically to the languages of Athabaskan...

     Tzii'edo' a 'tl

  • cello
    Cello
    The cello is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is a member of the violin family of musical instruments, which also includes the violin, viola, and double bass. Old forms of the instrument in the Baroque era are baryton and viol .A person who plays a cello is...

     as played in the context of a Scottish violin/cello duo ("wee fiddle and big fiddle")

Etymology

The etymology
Etymology
Etymology is the study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.For languages with a long written history, etymologists make use of texts in these languages and texts about the languages to gather knowledge about how words were used during...

 of fiddle is uncertain: the Germanic
Germanic languages
The Germanic languages constitute a sub-branch of the Indo-European language family. The common ancestor of all of the languages in this branch is called Proto-Germanic , which was spoken in approximately the mid-1st millennium BC in Iron Age northern Europe...

 fiddle may derive from the same early Romance
Romance languages
The Romance languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family, more precisely of the Italic languages subfamily, comprising all the languages that descend from Vulgar Latin, the language of ancient Rome...

 word as does violin, or it may be natively Germanic. The name seems however to be related to Icelandic Fiðla
Fiðla
The fiðla is a traditional Icelandic musical instrument, consisting of a box zither with two bowed strings. The strings pass over a bridge near the playing end of the instrument, and are tuned at the other end by two tuning pegs.-Similar instruments:...

. A native Germanic ancestor of fiddle may even be the ancestor of the early Romance form of violin. Historically, fiddle also referred to a predecessor of today's violin. Like the violin, it tended to have four strings, but came in a variety of shapes and sizes. Another family of instruments which contributed to the development of the modern fiddle are the viol
Viol
The viol is any one of a family of bowed, fretted and stringed musical instruments developed in the mid-late 15th century and used primarily in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. The family is related to and descends primarily from the Renaissance vihuela, a plucked instrument that preceded the...

s, which are held between the legs and played vertically, and have fretted fingerboards.

Musical style

Common distinctions between violins and fiddles reflect the differences in the instruments used to play classical and folk music. However, it is not uncommon for classically trained violinists to play folk music, and today many fiddle players have some classical training. A lot of traditional (folk) styles are aural traditions, so are taught 'by ear' rather than with written music.

Construction and setup

In construction, fiddles and violins are essentially identical (with the Norwegian
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

 Hardanger fiddle excepted as a special case). The medieval fiddle had rear tuning pegs set in a flat headstock
Headstock
Headstock or peghead is a part of guitar or similar stringed instrument. The main function of a headstock is holding the instrument's strings. Strings go from the bridge past the nut and are usually fixed on machine heads on headstock...

 similarly to the Byzantine lyra
Byzantine lyra
The Byzantine lyra or lira , was a medieval bowed string musical instrument in the Byzantine Empire and is an ancestor of most European bowed instruments, including the violin. In its popular form the lyra was a pear-shaped instrument with three to five strings, held upright and played by stopping...

 and unlike the rabāb and rebec
Rebec
The rebecha is a bowed string musical instrument. In its most common form, it has a narrow boat-shaped body and 1-5 strings and is played on the arm or under the chin, like a violin.- Origins :The rebec dates back to the Middle Ages and was particularly popular in the 15th and 16th centuries...

.

Bridge

Some (folk) fiddle traditions fit the instrument with a flatter bridge
Bridge (instrument)
A bridge is a device for supporting the strings on a stringed instrument and transmitting the vibration of those strings to some other structural component of the instrument in order to transfer the sound to the surrounding air.- Explanation :...

 than classical violinists use. The difference between "round" and "flat" is not more than about a quarter or half a millimeter variation in the height of one or two strings
Strings (music)
A string is the vibrating element that produces sound in string instruments, such as the guitar, harp, piano, and members of the violin family. Strings are lengths of a flexible material kept under tension so that they may vibrate freely, but controllably. Strings may be "plain"...

, but is sufficient to reduce the range of right-arm motion required for the rapid string-crossings found in some styles, and those who use flatter bridges say it makes playing double stop
Double stop
A double stop, in music terminology, is the act of playing two notes simultaneously on a melodic percussion instrument or stringed instrument...

s and shuffles (long short-short long short-short rhythms) easier. It can also make triple stops possible, allowing one to play chord
Chord (music)
A chord in music is any harmonic set of two–three or more notes that is heard as if sounding simultaneously. These need not actually be played together: arpeggios and broken chords may for many practical and theoretical purposes be understood as chords...

s. In bluegrass
Bluegrass music
Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

 and old-time music
Old-time music
Old-time music is a genre of North American folk music, with roots in the folk music of many countries, including England, Scotland, Ireland and countries in Africa. It developed along with various North American folk dances, such as square dance, buck dance, and clogging. The genre also...

, for example, the top of the bridge is sometimes cut so that it is very slightly flattened; the Hardanger fiddle uses an even flatter bridge, and the bridge of the kontra or bracsa (a three-string viola used in Hungarian
Hungarian folk music
Hungarian folk music includes a broad array of styles, including the recruitment dance verbunkos, the csárdás and nóta.During the 20th century, Hungarian composers were influenced by the traditional music of their nation which may be considered as a repeat of the early "nationalist" movement of the...

 and Transylvania
Transylvania
Transylvania is a historical region in the central part of Romania. Bounded on the east and south by the Carpathian mountain range, historical Transylvania extended in the west to the Apuseni Mountains; however, the term sometimes encompasses not only Transylvania proper, but also the historical...

n folk music) is flat enough that all three strings can easily be played simultaneously.

Most classical violinists prefer a more rounded curve to the top of the bridge, feeling that this allows them to articulate each note more easily and clearly. Many fiddle players use the same top curve as well; most fiddles are fitted with a standard classical bridge, regardless of the style of music played on the instrument. Since the bridge may be changed, it does not permanently define an instrument as fiddle or violin.

Soundpost

Since some genres of fiddling favor different tone
Timbre
In music, timbre is the quality of a musical note or sound or tone that distinguishes different types of sound production, such as voices and musical instruments, such as string instruments, wind instruments, and percussion instruments. The physical characteristics of sound that determine the...

 than what most violinists might prefer, soundpost position and tension will vary according to the use of the instrument.

Strings and tuners

Fiddle is more likely to be used than violin if the instrument's strings are steel
Piano wire
Piano wire, or "music wire", is a specialized type of wire made for use in piano strings, as well as many other purposes. It is made from tempered high-carbon steel, also known as spring steel.-Manufacture and use:...

 rather than gut
Catgut
Catgut is a type of cord that is prepared from the natural fibre found in the walls of animal intestines. Usually sheep or goat intestines are used, but it is occasionally made from the intestines of cattle, hogs, horses, mules, or donkeys.-Etymology:...

 or synthetic, as the sound of steel strings better suits some fiddling styles. Tuning steel strings is easier with fine tuners (small screw mechanisms attached or built into the tailpiece
Tailpiece
A tailpiece is a component on many stringed musical instruments that anchors one end of the strings, usually the end opposite the end with the tuning mechanism the scroll, headstock, peghead, etc.-Function and construction:...

) so fiddlers may favor instruments with fine tuners on all four strings; it is very uncommon to see four fine tuners on full-size instruments played by classical musicians. Strings are subject to regular replacement, fine tuners may be added or removed, and tailpieces may be changed, so, like flattened bridges, they do not make an irreversible difference.

Fiddle playing in ensemble

In performance, a solo fiddler, or one fiddler or two with a group of other instrumentalists, is the norm, though twin fiddling is represented in some North American, Scandinavian, Scottish and Irish styles. Violins, on the other hand, are commonly grouped in sections. These contrasting traditions may be vestiges of historical performance settings: large concert halls in which violins were played required more instruments, before electronic amplification, than did more intimate dance halls and houses fiddles were played in. The difference was likely compounded by the different sounds expected of violin music and fiddle music. Historically, the majority of fiddle music was dance music, while violin music had either grown out of dance music or was something else entirely. Violin music came to value a smoothness which fiddling, with its dance-driven clear beat, did not always follow - in situations that required greater volume, a fiddler (as long as they kept the beat) could push their instrument harder than could a violinist. (Different fiddle traditions had different values, as detailed below; these explanations are meant to present the differences between fiddle music and violin music generally.)

Following the folk revivals of the second half of the 20th century, however, it has become common for less formal situations to find large groups of fiddlers playing together—see for example the Calgary Fiddlers, and Swedish
Music of Sweden
Sweden shares the tradition of Nordic folk dance music with its neighboring countries including polka, schottische, waltz, polska and mazurka. The accordion, clarinet, fiddle and nyckelharpa are among the most common Swedish folk instruments. This instrumental genre is the biggest one in Swedish...

 Spelmanslag
Spelmanslag
The spelmanslag is an amateur organization of Swedish folk musicians, usually dominated by fiddles, who play tunes together. Often these groups play tunes from the specific area of Sweden with which they are affiliated...

 folk-musician clubs, and the worldwide phenomenon of Irish sessions
Pub session
A pub session refers to playing music and/or singing in the relaxed social setting of a local pub, in which the music-making is intermingled with the consumption of ale, stout, and beer and conversation...

.

Scottish fiddle with cello

In the very late 20th century, a few artists have successfully attempted a reconstruction of the Scottish tradition of violin and "big fiddle," or cello. Notable recorded examples include Iain Fraser and Christine Hanson, Amelia Kaminski and Christine Hanson's Bonnie Lasses and Alasdair Fraser
Alasdair Fraser
Alasdair Fraser is a Scottish fiddler.Fraser operates Culburnie Records, and is a leading artist on the label. He has founded three summer fiddling programs: the fiddle camp in California , a week-long course on the Isle of Skye and the more recent in California...

 and Natalie Haas
Natalie Haas
Natalie Haas is an American cellist. A graduate of the Juilliard School, she has toured extensively with Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser. Together they have recorded several albums. Also, she has toured and recorded with Mark O'Connor and his Appalachia Waltz Trio, and with Natalie MacMaster.Haas...

' Fire and Grace.

Bows used in fiddling

Most fiddling styles that use the standard violin also use the standard violin bow
Bow (music)
In music, a bow is moved across some part of a musical instrument, causing vibration which the instrument emits as sound. The vast majority of bows are used with string instruments, although some bows are used with musical saws and other bowed idiophones....

, the same as classical players; the bow stick may be usually made from wood, but bows made from fiberglass and other materials are becoming more common, as they are much cheaper and less fragile. However, there are a few styles which use other bows. One notable example is the folk music from Hungary and Transylvania used in the táncház
Táncház
Táncház is a "casual" Hungarian folk dance event . It is an aspect of the Hungarian roots revival of traditional culture which began in the early 1970s, and remains an active part of the national culture across the country, especially in cities like Budapest...

 tradition. While the violinist uses a standard bow, both the kontra and bass are played with heavy and crude "folk bows", consisting of a stout stick, usually hand-hewn, with the hank of horsehair attached at the tip and tied around the frog. Some players tension the hair by squeezing it when playing.

Scottish fiddlers emulating 18th century playing styles sometimes use a replica of the type of bow used in that period, which is a few inches shorter, and weighs significantly more.

Fiddling styles

To a greater extent than classical violin
Violin
The violin is a string instrument, usually with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is the smallest, highest-pitched member of the violin family of string instruments, which includes the viola and cello....

 playing, fiddle playing is characterized by a huge variety of ethnic or folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 traditions, each of which has its own distinctive sound, including, but not limited to:
  • American fiddling, including
    • Blues
      Blues
      Blues is the name given to both a musical form and a music genre that originated in African-American communities of primarily the "Deep South" of the United States at the end of the 19th century from spirituals, work songs, field hollers, shouts and chants, and rhymed simple narrative ballads...

       fiddling
    • Bluegrass music
      Bluegrass music
      Bluegrass music is a form of American roots music, and a sub-genre of country music. It has mixed roots in Scottish, English, Welsh and Irish traditional music...

       fiddling
    • Cajun
      Cajun music
      Cajun music, an emblematic music of Louisiana, is rooted in the ballads of the French-speaking Acadians of Canada. Cajun music is often mentioned in tandem with the Creole-based, Cajun-influenced zydeco form, both of Acadiana origin...

       fiddling
    • Country
      Country music
      Country music is a popular American musical style that began in the rural Southern United States in the 1920s. It takes its roots from Western cowboy and folk music...

       fiddling
    • Rock fiddling
    • Jazz
      Jazz
      Jazz is a musical style that originated at the beginning of the 20th century in African American communities in the Southern United States. It was born out of a mix of African and European music traditions. From its early development until the present, jazz has incorporated music from 19th and 20th...

       fiddling
    • Worldbeat
      Worldbeat
      Worldbeat is a music genre that primarily refers to a blending of Western pop music with traditional/folk or world music influences...

       fiddling
    • Folk
      American folk music
      American folk music is a musical term that encompasses numerous genres, many of which are known as traditional music or roots music. Roots music is a broad category of music including bluegrass, country music, gospel, old time music, jug bands, Appalachian folk, blues, Cajun and Native American...

       dance
      Folk dance
      The term folk dance describes dances that share some or all of the following attributes:*They are dances performed at social functions by people with little or no professional training, often to traditional music or music based on traditional music....

       fiddling, including square dance
      Square dance
      Square dance is a folk dance with four couples arranged in a square, with one couple on each side, beginning with Couple 1 facing away from the music and going counter-clockwise until getting to Couple 4. Couples 1 and 3 are known as the head couples, while Couples 2 and 4 are the side couples...

       and contra dance
      Contra dance
      Contra dance refers to several partnered folk dance styles in which couples dance in two facing lines...

       fiddling
    • Old-time
      Old-time music
      Old-time music is a genre of North American folk music, with roots in the folk music of many countries, including England, Scotland, Ireland and countries in Africa. It developed along with various North American folk dances, such as square dance, buck dance, and clogging. The genre also...

       fiddling
    • Western swing
      Western swing
      Western swing music is a subgenre of American country music that originated in the late 1920s in the West and South among the region's Western string bands...

       style fiddling
    • Zydeco
      Zydeco
      Zydeco is a form of uniquely American roots or folk music. It evolved in southwest Louisiana in the early 19th century from forms of "la la" Creole music...

       style fiddling
  • Forró
    Forró
    Forró is a kind of Northeastern Brazilian dance as well as a word used to denote the different genres of music which accompanies the dance. Both are much in evidence during the annual Festa Junina , a part of Brazilian traditional culture which celebrates some Catholic saints...

    , a type of music from Brazil
  • Balkan music, including Táncház
    Táncház
    Táncház is a "casual" Hungarian folk dance event . It is an aspect of the Hungarian roots revival of traditional culture which began in the early 1970s, and remains an active part of the national culture across the country, especially in cities like Budapest...

     (Hungarian music), Romanian music, Gypsy music
  • Canadian fiddling, including
    • Cape Breton fiddling
      Cape Breton fiddling
      Cape Breton fiddling is a regional violin style which falls within the Celtic music idiom. Cape Breton Island's fiddle music was brought to North America by Scottish immigrants during the Highland Clearances. These Scottish immigrants were primarily from Gaelic-speaking regions in the Scottish...

      , with a distinct Scottish and Acadian influence
    • French Canadian
      French Canadian
      French Canadian or Francophone Canadian, , generally refers to the descendents of French colonists who arrived in New France in the 17th and 18th centuries...

       fiddling, influenced from the Brittany
      Brittany
      Brittany is a cultural and administrative region in the north-west of France. Previously a kingdom and then a duchy, Brittany was united to the Kingdom of France in 1532 as a province. Brittany has also been referred to as Less, Lesser or Little Britain...

       area of northern France
    • Métis
      Métis people (Canada)
      The Métis are one of the Aboriginal peoples in Canada who trace their descent to mixed First Nations parentage. The term was historically a catch-all describing the offspring of any such union, but within generations the culture syncretised into what is today a distinct aboriginal group, with...

       fiddling, of central and western Canada, with French influence
    • Newfoundland and Labrador
      Newfoundland and Labrador
      Newfoundland and Labrador is the easternmost province of Canada. Situated in the country's Atlantic region, it incorporates the island of Newfoundland and mainland Labrador with a combined area of . As of April 2011, the province's estimated population is 508,400...

       fiddling, with a strong Irish Sliabh Luachra
      Sliabh Luachra
      Sliabh Luachra is a region in Munster, Ireland, located around the River Blackwater, on the County Cork/County Kerry/County Limerick borderland.-Music and literature:...

       style of playing
    • Maritimes
      Maritimes
      The Maritime provinces, also called the Maritimes or the Canadian Maritimes, is a region of Eastern Canada consisting of three provinces, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. On the Atlantic coast, the Maritimes are a subregion of Atlantic Canada, which also includes the...

      , Acadian
      Acadian
      The Acadians are the descendants of the 17th-century French colonists who settled in Acadia . Acadia was a colony of New France...

       or Downeast style of fiddling which has many similarities to Cape Breton fiddling
      Cape Breton fiddling
      Cape Breton fiddling is a regional violin style which falls within the Celtic music idiom. Cape Breton Island's fiddle music was brought to North America by Scottish immigrants during the Highland Clearances. These Scottish immigrants were primarily from Gaelic-speaking regions in the Scottish...

    • English-Canadian fiddling or Anglo-Canadian fiddling, which is a combination of English, Scottish, Irish, French, Ukrainian and German fiddling styles
  • Eastern European Jewish Klezmer
    Klezmer
    Klezmer is a musical tradition of the Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern Europe. Played by professional musicians called klezmorim, the genre originally consisted largely of dance tunes and instrumental display pieces for weddings and other celebrations...

     fiddling
  • English Folk music
    Folk music of England
    Folk music of England refers to various types of traditionally based music, often contrasted with courtly, classical and later commercial music, for which evidence exists from the later medieval period. It has been preserved and transmitted orally, through print and later through recordings...

     fiddling
  • French fiddling (including a rich Breton music
    Music of Brittany
    Since the early 1970s, Brittany has experienced a tremendous revival of its folk music. Along with flourishing traditional forms such as the bombard-binou pair and fest-noz ensembles incorporating other additional instruments, it has also branched out into numerous sub-genres...

     fiddling tradition)
  • Irish Folk music
    Folk music of Ireland
    The folk music of Ireland is the generic term for music that has been created in various genres in Ireland.-History:...

     fiddling including, among others,
    • Clare fiddling, from the central west
    • Donegal
      Donegal fiddle tradition
      The Donegal fiddle tradition is a type of Irish traditional music, based on a two-hundred year-old tradition of playing the fiddle in County Donegal, Ireland...

       fiddling, from the northwest
    • Sliabh Luachra
      Sliabh Luachra
      Sliabh Luachra is a region in Munster, Ireland, located around the River Blackwater, on the County Cork/County Kerry/County Limerick borderland.-Music and literature:...

       fiddling, from the southwest
    • Sligo fiddling, from a bit south of the northwest
  • Mexican fiddling, including mariachi
    Mariachi
    Mariachi is a genre of music that originated in the State of Jalisco, in Mexico. It is an integration of stringed instruments highly influenced by the cultural impacts of the historical development of Western Mexico. Throughout the history of mariachi, musicians have experimented with brass, wind,...

    , huapango
    Huapango
    Huapango is a corruption of the Nahuatl word huapanco that textually means on top of the wood platform according to the dictionary of the Real Academia Española . Today huapango refers to a musical style that originated in and is played throughout the La Huasteca region in Mexico...

    , son huasteco
    Son Huasteco
    Son Huasteco is one of 8 Mexican son styles and is a traditional Mexican musical style originating in the 6 state area of Northeastern Mexico called La Huasteca. It dates back to the end of the 19th century and is influenced by Spanish and indigenous cultures...

     and son calentano
    Son Calentano
    The son calentano is an instrumental form of Tierra Caliente, Mexico. It has meters in 3/4 and 6/8, an ornamented use of violin and back beats on guitar and tamborita....

  • Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fiddling
  • Norwegian fiddling (including Hardanger
    Hardingfele
    A Hardanger fiddle is a traditional stringed instrument used originally to play the music of Norway. In modern designs, the instruments are very similar to the violin, though with eight or nine strings and thinner wood...

     fiddling; see also Bygdedans
    Bygdedans
    Bygdedans or village dance is the term most commonly used for a variety of regional, traditional dances of Norway. Bygdedans are the oldest and most distinctive among Norwegian folk dances....

     and Gammaldans
    Gammaldans
    Gammaldans is a small set of Nordic dances that became broadly popular in the late 19th century. These were also the dances of the Nordic immigrant communities in the United States....

    )
  • Peruvian violin
  • Scottish fiddling
    Scottish fiddling
    Scottish fiddling, even to many an untrained ear, can be distinguished from other Celtic and folk fiddling styles by its particular precision of execution and energy in the delivery. The style has a very large repertoire consisting of a great variation of rhythms and key signatures, arguably more...

  • Shetland fiddling, which includes trowie tunes said to come from peerie folk.
  • Slovenian fiddling
  • Swedish fiddling (including, but not limited to, the Spelmanslag
    Spelmanslag
    The spelmanslag is an amateur organization of Swedish folk musicians, usually dominated by fiddles, who play tunes together. Often these groups play tunes from the specific area of Sweden with which they are affiliated...

     and Gammaldans
    Gammaldans
    Gammaldans is a small set of Nordic dances that became broadly popular in the late 19th century. These were also the dances of the Nordic immigrant communities in the United States....

     traditions)
  • South Indian Carnatic fiddling
  • Welsh Fiddling
    Music of Wales
    Wales has a strong and distinctive link with music. The country is traditionally referred to as "the land of song". This is a modern stereotype based on 19th century conceptions of Nonconformist choral music and 20th century male voice choirs, Eisteddfodau and arena singing, such as sporting...

     (Welsh Ffidil; see Ar Log
    Ar Log
    Ar Log are a well-established folk band in Wales who have performed since the 1970s. They perform both instrumental music and songs in Welsh. Their name in Welsh means For Hire....

    )

Instruments

  • Lira
    Byzantine lyra
    The Byzantine lyra or lira , was a medieval bowed string musical instrument in the Byzantine Empire and is an ancestor of most European bowed instruments, including the violin. In its popular form the lyra was a pear-shaped instrument with three to five strings, held upright and played by stopping...

    , the medieval bowed instrument of the Byzantine Empire
  • Erhu
    Erhu
    The erhu is a two-stringed bowed musical instrument, more specifically a spike fiddle, which may also be called a "southern fiddle", and sometimes known in the Western world as the "Chinese violin" or a "Chinese two-stringed fiddle". It is used as a solo instrument as well as in small ensembles...

  • Gadulka
    Gadulka
    The gadulka is a traditional Bulgarian bowed string instrument. Alternate spellings are "gudulka" and "g'dulka". Its name comes from a root meaning "to make noise, hum or buzz"...

  • Gudok
    Gudok
    The gudok or hudok is an ancient Eastern Slavic string musical instrument, played with a bow.A gudok usually had three strings, two of them tuned in unison and played as a drone, the third tuned a fifth higher. All three strings were in the same plane at the bridge, so that a bow could make them...

  • Gusle
    Gusle
    The Gusle is a single-stringed musical instrument traditionally used in the Dinarides region of the Balkans ....

  • Huqin
    Huqin
    Huqin is a family of bowed string instruments, more specifically, a spike fiddle popularly used in Chinese music. The instruments consist of a round, hexagonal, or octagonal sound box at the bottom with a neck attached that protrudes upwards...

     family of Chinese fiddles
  • Hurdy gurdy
    Hurdy gurdy
    The hurdy gurdy or hurdy-gurdy is a stringed musical instrument that produces sound by a crank-turned rosined wheel rubbing against the strings. The wheel functions much like a violin bow, and single notes played on the instrument sound similar to a violin...

     also known as the wheel fiddle
  • K'ni
    K'ni
    The K'ni is a Vietnamese Traditional Instrument. It is the only Violin of Jarai people. It is a bowed chordophone which uses the musician's mouth as a resonator which enables the instrument to imitate certain qualities found in vocal music.- Description :...

  • Kamancheh
    Kamancheh
    The kamānche or kamāncha is a Persian bowed string instrument related to the bowed rebab, the historical ancestor of the kamancheh and also to the bowed lira of the Byzantine Empire, ancestor of the European violin family. The strings are played with a variable-tension bow: the word "kamancheh"...

  • Kemenche
  • Kobyz
    Kobyz
    The Kobyz or kyl-kobyz is an ancient Kazakh string instrument. It has two strings made of horsehair. The resonating cavity is usually covered with goat leather....

  • Lijerica
    Lijerica
    The lijerica is a musical instrument from Hercegovina and the Croatian region of Dalmatia. It is a pear-shaped, three-stringed instrument which is played with a bow. It is played to accompany the traditional linđo dance from the region...

  • The lyra of Crete
    Lyra (Cretan)
    The Cretan lyra is a Greek pear-shaped, three-stringed bowed musical instrument, central to the traditional music of Crete and other islands in the Dodecanese and the Aegean Archipelago, in Greece...

  • Nyckelharpa
    Nyckelharpa
    A nyckelharpa , sometimes called a keyed fiddle, is a traditional Swedish musical instrument. It is a string instrument or chordophone. Its keys are attached to tangents which, when a key is depressed, serve as frets to change the pitch of the string.The nyckelharpa is similar in appearance to a...

  • Rebab
    Rebab
    The rebab , also rebap, rabab, rebeb, rababah, or al-rababa) is a type of string instrument so named no later than the 8th century and spread via Islamic trading routes over much of North Africa, the Middle East, parts of Europe, and the Far East...

  • Rebec
    Rebec
    The rebecha is a bowed string musical instrument. In its most common form, it has a narrow boat-shaped body and 1-5 strings and is played on the arm or under the chin, like a violin.- Origins :The rebec dates back to the Middle Ages and was particularly popular in the 15th and 16th centuries...

  • Rubab

See also

  • African fiddle
    African fiddle
    The term African fiddle may be applied to any of several African bowed string instruments.- Instruments :Luo orutuGongey"Fiddle tube"- Ethnomusicology :...

  • American fiddle
    American fiddle
    This page is about fiddle music in the USA. For other North American styles, see Fiddle#Fiddling_styles.American fiddle playing began with the early settlers who found that the small viol family instruments were portable and rugged. According to Ron Yule, "John Utie, a 1620 immigrant, settled in...

  • Bluegrass fiddle
    Bluegrass fiddle
    "In the 1940s Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys revolutionized American string band music by incorporating virtuosic instrumental solos and a “high lonesome” vocal style". Bluegrass fiddling burst into national view during the folk revival of the 1960s with the first televised documentary...

  • Blues fiddle
    Blues fiddle
    Blues violin or fiddle originated as a variety of American fiddle and is the expressive interpretive performance of a relatively standardized repertoire of music from the various blues genres on a violin which may have been outfitted with a flattened bridge, an electric pickup, and different strings...

  • Cajun fiddle
    Cajun fiddle
    Cajun fiddle music is a part of the American fiddle music canon. It is derived from the music of southwest Louisiana and southeast Texas, as well as sharing repertoire from the Quebec and Cape Breton traditions...

  • Canadian fiddle
    Canadian fiddle
    Canadian fiddle is the aggregate body of tunes, styles and musicians engaging the traditional folk music of Canada on the fiddle. It is an integral extension of the Anglo-Celtic and Québécois Frenchfolk music tradition but has distinct features found only in the Western hemisphere Due to...

  • Donegal fiddle tradition
    Donegal fiddle tradition
    The Donegal fiddle tradition is a type of Irish traditional music, based on a two-hundred year-old tradition of playing the fiddle in County Donegal, Ireland...


  • Irish fiddle
  • List of All-Ireland Champions
  • List of fiddlers
  • Metis fiddle
    Métis fiddle
    Métis fiddle is the style with which the Métis of Canada and Métis in the northern parts of the US have developed to play the violin in folk ensemble and solo. It is marked by percussive use of the bow and percussive accompaniment such as spoon percussion. The Meti people themselves blend First...

  • Old time fiddle
    Old time fiddle
    Old time fiddle is a genre of American folk music. "Old time fiddle tunes" may be played on fiddle, banjo or other instruments but are nevertheless called "fiddle tunes". The genre has European origins and traces from the colonization of North America by immigrants from England, France, Germany,...

  • Rock violin
    Rock violin
    Rock violin is rock music which utilizes violin in its instrumental lineup. This includes rock music only and does not include classical style music using melodic motifs from rock....

  • Western swing fiddle
    Western swing fiddle
    Westerns swing originated in 1920s and 1930s; small towns in the US Southwest. Although sometimes subject to the term "Texas swing" it is widely associated with Tulsa,others contend that "Western Swing music finds deep roots in the dust bowl of Oklahoma", and its influences include jazz from the...



External links

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