Backstroke from plink
July 28, 2007 6:37 AM   Subscribe

F i d d l e.
posted by Mblue (17 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I sense a theme, and I'm holding out for J E W S H A R P.
posted by jonson at 7:12 AM on July 28, 2007

Nah, E L E C T R I C G U I T A R with a T O N E B A R. I'll get back to you in a few years.
posted by Mblue at 7:28 AM on July 28, 2007

Couple of my faves: Martin Hayes; Knut Buen (could only find Amazon samples of Knut).
posted by Abiezer at 7:52 AM on July 28, 2007

Excellent stuff! Don't forget Vassar! and me. :D
posted by Baby_Balrog at 2:05 PM on July 28, 2007 [2 favorites]

I sense a theme, and I'm holding out for J E W S H A R P.

Something like this, maybe?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:14 PM on July 28, 2007

Hey, Baby_Balrog, nice!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:35 PM on July 28, 2007

Anyone interested in seeing what else can be done on a erhu (first 'd' link -- the Chinese version of the fiddle) should check out this incredible rendition of Saint-Saëns Rondo and Capriccio (youtube clip).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:47 PM on July 28, 2007

And for those who'd like to hear some of the erhu's Japanese cousin, the kokyu, click on the fuzzy little white dots at the left of the text.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:18 PM on July 28, 2007

Youtube is a great tool for beginning fiddlers. Unlike classical violin, you have to see a fiddler play in order to pick up the nuances of style. How fiddlers bow, how they hold the fiddle, how they use their noting fingers, all of this has to be seen to be learned. I actually have been asked to teach classically trained violinists how to break out of their training in order to stop sounding "classical" in order for them to play in various fiddle styles. Youtube makes that a lot easier. Cases in point:

Tommy Jarrell. The late master fiddler from Toast, North Carolina, whose "Round Peak" style became the default mode for the New York old-time fiddle scene.

Canray Fontenot, creole-cajun fiddler who passed away a few years ago. Extreme Lousiana Creole Funk Tradition.
The Kemenche or Pontic Lyra is the old Black Sea Byzantine fiddle still played by Black Sea Greeks, Turks, and Laz ethnic groups around the eastern Black Sea.

Hutsuls from the western Ukraine play wild fiddle... this is Ivan Popovich from Tyaciv.

If you haven't heard them, then run, do not walk, to get a Cd from the Warsaw Village Band.

Romania still maintains a strong regional fiddle tradition. There's the Lautar tradition of the Clejani musicians (AKA Taraf des Haidouks) Less well known traditions include the Moldavian Csango styles of the Seret River valley, the village string bands of Transylvania, such as Palatka who use three string violas with flat bridges to accompany the music. There is the Gyimes fiddle tradition among the Hungarian minority Csangos in Harghita County. And my favorite - the vioara cu goarne in Bihor county, a hybrid resonator fiddle with a trumpet bell. Oh... and that's me playing second fiddle.
posted by zaelic at 4:37 AM on July 29, 2007 [3 favorites]

Oops... I almost forgot the fiddlers in the Val De Resia... Slovene dialect speakers in Northeast Italy. About a thousand people speak Resiani in this one high Alpine valley. about a hundred of them can play fiddle.
posted by zaelic at 4:40 AM on July 29, 2007

Thanks for that tour zaelic; I'll be checking all those links out.
posted by Abiezer at 4:47 AM on July 29, 2007

Hey Zaelic - what's the difference between the vioara cu goarne and a Stroh violin?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:43 AM on July 29, 2007

Baby Balrog: not very much. Strohs were made around the early 1900s in an attempt to make the violin louder, more directional, and thus easier to record on early gramphone recording technology - before the invention of the electric microphone musicians would be placed in front of a huge horn which served to amplify the sounds going into the recording device. Violins were very weak, and so the strohgs were invented. There is a company making them in Thailand, but they are made out of aluminum and aren't much to write home about.

After World War I Romania's economy was booming, and a lot of emmigrants returned home. Supposedly one group of Romanians from North Dakota came home with a stroh, and since then local craftsmen have been making copies that have divereged a lot from the original stroh, and are a lot louder. (Warning: Gratuitous blog self link.) The Romanian term is Bihor dialect for "Violin with a Horn."
posted by zaelic at 5:57 AM on July 29, 2007 [1 favorite]

Sweet - thanks! My next instrument purchase is going to be a Stroh - or perhaps a vioara cu goarne if I can find one for sale. Traveling to Europe soon - will be stopping through Scandinavia in an attempt to find a good Hardinger but maybe I should make a jaunt through Romania as well.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:02 AM on July 29, 2007

Well, you should look at this if you want a vioara cu goarne... directions to the maker's house.
posted by zaelic at 11:46 AM on July 29, 2007

Yes! Thanks zaelic!
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:28 PM on July 30, 2007

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